Mikhail Osorgin was born in 1878 into the landed gentry. He studied law at Moscow State University. After joining the Party of Social Revolutionaries and participating in the revolution of 1905; Osorgin fled Russia and eventually spent ten years in exile, mostly in Italy, where he earned a living as a journalist. Returning to Russia in 1916, he wrote mainly for socialist newspapers but was arrested by the Cheka in 1919. Although released through international pressure, in 1922 he was expelled by Lenin from Russia. He died in exile in France in 1942.