Soboriane. Stargorodskaia khronika [Cathedral Folk. Chronicle of Stargorod].

Moscow, University Press, March - July 1872.

3 vols., 8vo; occasional light browning, but a very good copy in Russian contemporary half sheep and marbled boards, spines lettered gilt, spines rubbed and with some minor repairs; the original blue printed wrappers bound in; stamp of the Library of the Odessa Institute to title-page and first leaf of text in each volume.


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The first appearance in print of all five parts of Leskov’s best known novel (or ‘chronicle’ as he preferred to call it), Cathedral Folk, published in instalments, between March and July 1872, in Russkii Vestnik. It first appeared in book form later the same year. In 1867 Leskov had begun publishing the cluster of works which eventually, in altered and somewhat truncated form, became Cathedral Folk. The work provides a sympathetic picture of the life of the provincial Orthodox clergy, seemingly under attack from all directions. ‘The hero, Father Savely Tuberozov [a character admired by Dostoevsky], is one of the most attractive portraits in Russian literature of an Orthodox clergyman’ (Terras).

Russkii Vestnik [Russian Herald], 1856 – 1906, was one of the most important literary monthly journals in 19th-century Russia. Anna Karenina, Fathers and Sons, all Dostoevsky’s major novels, and many more, were published in Russkii Vestnik before they appeared in book form.

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