Ocherki iz krest’ianskago byta [Sketches from Peasant Life].

St Petersburg, [A. Dmitriev,] 1856.

8vo, pp. 226, [2]; scattered spotting throughout; contemporary quarter morocco, cloth sides, spine lettered gilt, old bookseller’s marks to rear pastedown, front hinge cracked, blind-stamped ownership initials to front cover.

£3000

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First edition: ‘one of Pisemsky’s most universally acclaimed books’ (Moser, p. 54) and the one which cemented his reputation as ‘a chronicler of the life of the common people’ (Terras).

The book’s appearance provoked much discussion, especially the third story, Plotnich’ia artel’ (The Carpenters’ Guild). Although contemporary critics such as Nekrasov and Botkin received the book with faint praise, Turgenev, who heard Pisemsky read it aloud, thought very highly of it. Chekhov later considered it the best of Pisemsky’s works.

Kilgour 833; Smirnov-Sokol’skii 960. OCLC adds the copy at the Library of Congress.

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