It was like walking along the knife-edge of the highest possible mountain range, seeing life on one side and death on the other in the form of two deep, gorgeous and gleaming seascapes.' This astonishing novella from 1908, newly translated for Little Black Classics by War and Peace translator Anthony Briggs, probes the emotions and experiences of seven people condemned to death in Tsarist Russia. A powerful and subtle exploration of the morality of capital punishment, it was a bestseller at the time, and, in a strange quirk of history, influenced the conspirators in the cataclysmic assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. One of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics' huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries - including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants.