PUSHKIN, Alexander. Boris Godunov. St Petersburg: at the Press of the Department of Public Education, 1831.
PUSHKIN, Alexander. Boris Godunov. St Petersburg: at the Press of the Department of Public Education, 1831.
PUSHKIN, Alexander. Boris Godunov. St Petersburg: at the Press of the Department of Public Education, 1831.
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PUSHKIN, Alexander. Boris Godunov. St Petersburg: at the Press of the Department of Public Education, 1831.

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PUSHKIN, Alexander. Boris Godunov. St Petersburg: at the Press of the Department of Public Education, 1831.

8° (180 x 120mm). Pagination: [6], 142; with the half title and dedication to Karamzin. (Light and mostly marginal scattered spotting, minute loss in top corner of last few leaves.) Contemporary Russian red half roan and marbled boards (rebacked preserving old spine, corners repaired). Provenance: N. Kupreianov (title signature) – Sergei Gessen (1903-1937, author, historian; small stamp) – Russian bookseller’s stamps on rear pastedown.

FIRST EDITION OF PUSHKIN’S FAVOURITE OF HIS OWN TEXTS, AND THE RAREST OF HIS FIRST EDITIONS (Smirnov-Sokol’skii). From the collection of Sergei Gessen, the Pushkin scholar and author of Knigoizdatel’ Aleksandr Pushkin (Academia, 1930). This copy is complete with the half-title, and Pushkin’s dedication to Karamzin, ‘whose genius inspired this work’. Boris Godunov, written while Pushkin was exiled to his estate, is the first Russian tragedy on a political theme. Pushkin wrote under the influence of Shakespeare, having realized that ‘Russia had no truly national drama, only an imitation of the neo-classical French school, and that it could only be created by returning to Russian themes and Russian folklore, and by making the Russian language a literary instrument fit to rank with the French and German languages for which it had been so often discarded in its own country... in other respects too it was revolutionary: it was broken up into scenes and episodes, it mingled poetry with prose, and made use of colloquial Russian speech’ (Oxford Companion to the Theatre, p.651). Kilgour 884; Smirnov-Sokol’skii Pushkin 25.
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