28 November 2018
PUSHKIN, Alexander (1799-1837). Evgenii Onegin. Roman v stikhakh. Gl. 1. [Eugene Onegin. A novel in verse. Chapter 1.] St Petersburg: at the press of the Department of Public Instruction, 1825.
The first edition, in the original wrappers, of the first part of Pushkin's masterpiece – 'a bibliographical rarity of the highest order' (Smirnov-Sokol'skii, p. 287). This publication marks the first appearance in print of the opening chapter of the most important work in Russian literature. A collected edition appeared in 1833, but Onegin in the original parts, published serially over the course of 7 years, is among the rarest Russian books of the 19th century. Smirnov-Sokol'skii's legendary collection featured a bound set of the Onegin parts, but did not include a separate Chapter I in the original wrappers; 'in all my time collecting I could only find five of the chapters, and to this day I have not been able to find an example in original wrappers of the first edition of Chapter I...' (p.287). RBH and ABPC do not record any part of Onegin in the original wrappers having been offered at auction. Kilgour 877, Smirnov-Sokol'skii, Pushkin, 5 & p.287.
Volume 1 [of 7], twelvemo (183 x 113mm, with deckle edges). Complete with XXII pp., 2 unnumbered pp., and 60pp [this copy with the half-title bound between pages XXII and the part title] (the deckle-edges of most leaves neatly strengthened; the title and four leaves with light marginalia in blue pen; occasional faint dampstain; occasional light soiling). Original blue wrappers printed in black (spine and corners neatly repaired; some soiling); housed in a cloth clamshell case. Provenance: indistinct signature in the blank margin of the last leaf.
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