Ballady o Robin Gude [Ballads of Robin Hood].

St Petersburg, “Vsemirnaia Literatura”, 1919.

12mo, pp. 97, [3], + 3 pp. advertisements; light browning throught; in the original printed wrappers, spine repaired with loss at foot, tear to top of front wrapper repaired (old tape mark from previous repair), booksellers’ marks to back cover.


US $1272€1031

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First edition: a collection of translations of twelve popular songs featuring Robin Hood, published in the early Soviet series Vsemirnaia Literaura (‘Worldwide Literature’), edited by Gumilev and with a 10 pp. introduction by Gorky. After discussing the paradox of the ‘good’ robber in literature and the popular mind, Gorky turns to Robin Hood, a character unlike famous Russian bandits such as Stepan Razin and Emelyan Pugachev. ‘The Russian people, languishing for 250 years under the Tartar yoke, never created or held in their heart a hero the like of Robin Hood’ (p. 14).

The translations are by Gumilev (2), Adamovich, Georgy Ivanov, Vsevolod Rozhdestvensky (7), and Aleksandr Piotrovsky.

Very rare: only a microfilm listed in OCLC.

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