Mykola Gogol was born in Sorochintsi, Ukraine, and grew up on his parent's country estate. His real surname was Ianovskii, but the writer's grandfather had taken the name "Gogol" to claim a nobel Cossack ancestry. Gogol's father was an educated and gifted man, who wrote plays, poems, and sketches in Ukrainian. Gogol started write while in high school. He attended Poltava boarding school (1819-21) and Nizhyn high school (1821-28). In 1829 he settled in St. Petersburg. Gogol worked at minor governmental jobs and wrote occasionally for periodicals. Between the years 1831 and 1834 he taught history at the Patriotic Institute and worked as a private tutor.