Born in 1878 in Moscow, Russia, P. D. Ouspensky was already a well-known mathematician, author, and journalist before becoming a pupil of G. I. Gurdjieff in 1915 in Tsarist, and later revolutionary, Russia. He put the system into what was then (early 20th century) contemporary Russian language and organized the fragments of knowledge into a form suitable for the Western mind.
Later, P. D. Ouspensky founded The Society for the Study of Normal Man, and its publishing arm the Historico-Psychological Society, in London, England, and in Lyne Place near Virginia Water, where, except for the years of the Second World War when he was in the United States at Franklin Farms, he taught from the 1920s until his death on 1947.10.02.
A clear introduction to the ideas of the Work can be found in his works In Search of the Miraculous, Fragments of an Unknown Teaching and his The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution (both published posthumously).
He also wrote many other important works, among them Tertium Organum, A Key to the Enigmas of the World, Strange Life of Ivan Osokin, his only novel, A New Model of the Universe, Principles of the Psychological Method in its Application to Problems of Science, Religion, and Art, and Talks with a Devil, a series of short stories.
Several other books, compiled by his students and others from notes of his meetings with his students in London and elsewhere, were published posthumously. Among them are: The Fourth Way, A Record of Talks and Answers to Questions based on the Teaching of G. I. Gurdjieff, A Further Record, A Record of Meetings, Conscience: The Search for Truth, and Letters from Russia 1919.
P. D. Ouspensky's papers are archived at the P. D. Ouspensky Memorial Collection (MS 840). Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.