WOMEN IN 19TH CENTURY RUSSIA

Bednaia Nevesta, komediia v piati deistviiakh [The poor bride, a comedy in five acts].

Moscow, Stepanova, 1852

Large 8vo, pp. 128; some light spotting and staining, but a very good copy in Russian contemporary quarter sheep, marbled paper boards, minor repairs to spine.

£6500

Approximately:
US $8691€7369

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First edition. A rare early play by one of the leading Russian playwrights of the 19th century. Ostrovsky’s second play, The Poor Bride, was first published in the literary magazine The Muscovite (edited by Mikhail Pogodin) earlier in 1852. Initially banned from production by the censor, it was one of Ostrovsky’s first plays to be produced on stage, at the Maly Theatre, Moscow, in 1853. From this date until his death no year passed without a new play by Ostrovsky appearing on the stage of the Imperial theatres. ‘The Poor Bride realistically shows the unfortunate position of women in Ostrovsky’s time, whose only hope of economic security was in marrying for money, not love. Though at moments the author parodies the romantic archetype, he states no thesis, but merely implies one in the relentless realism characteristic of both his first plays’ (Terras).

Not in Kilgour or Smirnov-Sokol’skii. OCLC records copies at University of Melbourne, Library of Congress, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, and Columbia.

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