Born in Russia to British parents, Fred Whishaw's family returned to England soon after his birth. However, at age 16, Whishaw decided to reacquaint himself with his country of origin and struck out for St. Petersburg on his own. This immersion in Russian culture and politics proved to be enormously influential. As Whishaw continued to develop as a writer, many of his novels were set in Russia. Moscow is a fictionalized account of the French incursion into Russia in 1812, which proved to be a definitive tipping point in the Napoleonic campaigns.