PUSHKIN’S RARE HISTORY OF PUGACHEV’S REVOLTIN A CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN BINDING

Исторія пугачевскаго бунта [Istoriia pugachevskago bunta; History of the Pugachev Rebellion].

St. Petersburg, Chancellery press, 1834.

3 parts in 2 vols, large 8vo, pp. [8], 168, 110, [2], 6, 2, [2 (errata)], [4]; [2], 4, [2], 336, [2 (blank)]; with engraved map, engraved numismatic portrait of Pugachev, and four leaves of lithographic manuscript; bound without the frontispiece portrait, map with tear into lower left side, occasional light staining, but a very attractive set in contemporary Russian green half morocco, marbled sides, panelled spines decorated and lettered in gilt; extremities lightly worn; from the family library of Viktor and Aleksandr Gal’fter, with stamp on titles and last leaf.

£9500

Approximately:
US $11855€11232

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Исторія пугачевскаго бунта [Istoriia pugachevskago bunta; History of the Pugachev Rebellion].

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Rare first edition, in a contemporary Russian binding. Pushkin’s undertook his foray into the genre of history-writing with the utmost regard for his sources: from archival documents and eyewitness reports to direct inspection of the places where the conflict played out, he acquired an exceptionally well-documented array of information for what was to be, according to his working title, the ‘History of Pugachev’. Tsar Nicholas II, however, facilitated his work through a substantial loan, insisting that the title should include the word ‘rebellion’.

Our copy includes, as part of the first volume, the 110-page supplemental notes which do not appear in all copies and were not mentioned by Smirnov-Sokol’skii. This copy has the further distinction of a notable provenance: it bears the stamp of the family library of Russian senior officers Viktor and Aleksandr Gal’fter. A distinguished general, Viktor Gal’fter (1868–1951) left Russia during the Revolution, and died in London, whilst his brother Aleksandr, also a high-ranking officer, fell victim to the State purge.

Kilgour 887; Smirnov-Sokol’skii, Pushkin 33.