GUMILEV, Nikolai Stepanovich (1886-1921). Autograph manuscript of his poems 'Dezdemona' and 'Da! Mir khorosh, kak starets u poroga', signed ('N. Gumilev') and dated 1913, 14 and 12 lines of verse respectively, on two sides of one leaf, 8vo (shallow folding creases, light wear). [With:] -- Autograph letter signed ('Kolia') to his mother ('milaia i dorogaia mamochka') and dated Alexandria, 2 October 1908, one page, large 8vo (small puncture where folding creases meet). [And:] -- Autograph manuscript, a draft plan for a translation into Russian of Leconte de Lisle's poetry, one page, large 8vo (margins trimmed with small losses).
A GROUP OF VERY RARE MANUSCRIPTS, INCLUDING TWO POEMS, BY ONE OF RUSSIA'S BEST-LOVED POETS. In 1921 Gumilev was tried and executed on fabricated charges of counter-revolutionary activity. His works were banned, and owning them, especially manuscripts,
was potentially very dangerous. Consequently ANY GUMILEV MANUSCRIPT IS VERY RARE: ABPC and AE record not a single example at auction. This remarkably rich group includes manuscripts of the poems 'Dezdemona', published in Niva, issue 46, on 16 November 1913, and the poem opening 'Da! Mir khorosh, kak starets u poroga', which he composed ca. 1911 but published in Niva, issue 34, on 24 August 1913. As Gumilev dates these manuscripts 1913 it is likely that he wrote them with the Niva publications in mind. The last line of the opening stanza of 'Dezdemona' shows a variant reading from the published version: 'zagliadyval s norchnogo [s chuzhnogo] nebosklona'. The group also includes a letter written to his mother from Alexandria, en route to on one of his famous African expeditions; the letter reveals great tenderness, and gives insight on the problems Gumilev faced funding these expeditions. Lastly this fine group includes a draft plan, also in Gumilev's hand, for a collaborative translation of Leconte de Lisle's poetry, probably for publication in Vsemirnaia Literatura. Gumilev's fellow translators include Annenskii, Lozinskii, Ivanov, Rozhdestvinskii and Piotrovskii, etc.; the plan shows which poems are to be translated and by whom.
Together with a fascinating group of letters written to Gumilev, and one to his wife Anna Akhmatova: GORODETSKII, Sergei Mitrofanovich (1884-1967). Autograph letter signed to Gumilev, dated 16 April 1914, breaking with Gumilev and effectively ejecting him from the Acmeists. [And:] BRIUSOV, Valerii Iakovlevich (1873-1924). Autograph letter signed to Gumilev, on Skorpion letterhead, dated 3 September 1907, advising him on who might publish his work. [And:] IVANOV, Viacheslav Ivanovich (1866-1949). Autograph letter signed to Gumilev dated 16 June 1911, appreciating his work, noting similarities with Annenskii, but refusing to recommend is work for publication in Apollon. [And:] GUREVICH, Liubov Iakovlevna (1866-1940). Autograph letter signed to Anna Akhmatova ('Anna Andreevna'), and dated 19 January 1915, requesting a poem, to accompany one from her husband, for a fundraising publication.