Nikolay Vasilievich Gogol also known as Nikolai Gogol was born 31st March 1809, in Sorochyntsi, near Poltava Governorate, Russian Empire which is know modern day Ukraine. Gogol was technically born 19th March as the 31st March is based on the old Julian calendar which was replaced by the Gregorian calendar in 1918. This is why you see the Russian Orthodox church celebrating Christmas on 7th January because they continue to use the Julian calendar which is thirteen days behind the Gregorian.

Not only is the date of his birth, a matter for discussion but due to Gogol having been born in both the Ukraine and the Russian Empire, there has been much debate over the years as to his nationality. In 2009, the year of his birth, The Guardian newspaper published an article about an ongoing dispute between Russia and the Ukraine over his nationality. Despite Gogol being born in the Ukraine, he wrote much of his works in Russian and died 4th March 1852 in Moscow at the age of 42, where he is buried. He also for a time, had lived in Saint Petersburg and due to these facts, the Russians claim him as their own and the the Ukrainians claim him due to his birthplace. 

Russian academics argue  that because he wrote in Russian and thought in Russian, then he should be considered Russian. The article went on to say that Russia had gained the upper hand by being the first to open a Gogol museum.  The Ukrainian novelist Vladimir Yavorivsky was quoted as saying  that Gogol was like a tree and that Vladimir Yavorivsky, a Ukrainian novelist and MP, said that if Gogol was a tree, "the crown was in Russia but the roots were in Ukraine".Vladimir Yavorivsky, a Ukrainian novelist and MP, said that if Gogol was a tree, "the crown was in Russia but the roots were in Ukraine"."the crown was in Russia but the roots were in Ukraine".

When Nikolay was just nineteen years old, he moved to Saint Petersburg, which at that time was the capital of the Russian Empire. In Saint Petersburg, he hoped to achieve his dreams of becoming famous in the literary world, this in despite of the previous failure of his self published book of poetry entitled 'Hanz Kuechelgarten' which had been panned by the literary agent which he had sent copies to.

Despite his setbacks, he turned his attention to prose and wrote about what he knew best, tales from the Ukrainian countryside. Gogol published two volumes under the title 'Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka' The volumes were published in 1831 and 1832 and were instantly popular with Saint Petersburg literati. His work even came to the attention of other famous writers of the time including Vasily Zhukovsky, Pyotr Alexandrovich Pletnyov and Alexander Pushkin.