Lyuben Karavelov was born in Koprivshtitsa. He attended Nayden Gerov’s school in Plovdiv and later read at the Faculty of History and Philology at Moscow University. In Russia he contributed to the Bratski trud magazine and a number of Russian periodicals; he was the correspondent of Russian newspapers in Belgrade and Novi Sad. In 1869 he moved to Bucharest. He published the Svoboda and Nezavisimost newspapers, which were rather influential among the Bulgarian revolutionaries in Romania. He presided over the Bulgarian Revolutionary Committee in Romania but after Vasil Levski’s death his ideas changed: Karavelov started publishing the Znanie magazine, popular science books and miscellanies in order to enlighten the readers.
His belletristic debut was in Russia (1860). In Moscow he published Pamyatniki narodnogo byta bolgar [Monuments of the every-day life of the Bulgarian people] (1861) and the collection Stranitsy iz knigi stradanii bolgarskogo plemeni. Povesti i rasskazy [Pages from the book of suffering of the Bulgarian tribe. Novellas and short stories] (1868; such titles as Voyvoda [Chieftain], Neda [Neda], Doncho [Doncho], Siroto semeystvo [Unhappy family], Turski pasha [A Turkish pasha], or Balgari ot staro vreme [Bulgarians of old times] were included in the edition).
In the period 1868-1869, in Belgrade, Karavelov published several novellas and short stories in Serbian; he wrote his memoirs Iz martviya dom [From the house of death] in Serbia as well (1871). After 1869, Karavelov went on publishing his belles-lettres in Bucharest and the novella Maminoto detentse [Mummy’s boy] got very popular. He was also the author of poems, numerous feuilletons, and literary criticism.
A poet, belletrist, encyclopaedist, journalist, ethnographer, and revolutionary, Lyuben Karavelov contributed to the development of social ideas in the Bulgarian Revival Period.