29 November 2007
KHERASKOV, Mikhail Matveevich (1733-1807). Bakhariiana, ili Neizvestnyi. Volshebnaia Povest, pocherpnutaia iz Russkikh skazok. [Bakhariana, or The Unknown. A Fantastic Tale Adapted from Russian Fairy Tales]. Moscow: Platon Beketov, 1803.
8° (225 x 135mm). With half-title and leaf of corrections. (Occasional light marginal soiling and spotting.) 19th-century calf, flat spine gilt, red morocco label (covers detached, spine chipped, worn). Provenance: Aleksandr Smirdin (late bookplate) -- Rossica (bookplate) -- Paul M. Fekula.
FIRST EDITION, THE SMIRDIN COPY, of this popular oriental tale by the greatest Russian poet in the age of Catherine II, known in his lifetime as 'the Russian Homer'. While Curator of Moscow University he greatly assisted Nikolai Novikov by leasing him the University Press for ten years. Kheraskov likewise supported the foundation of the Masons's seminaries of 1799 and 1782. Fekula 4821 (this copy); Kilgour 508; Smirdin 6750 (this copy); Sopikov 12445 (second edition only).
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