GEORGE SAND: ‘MORE SOVEREIGN THAN THE TSAR’

Kvintiliia. Sochinenie Zhorzh-Sanda. Perevod s frantsuzskago [Quintilia. A work by George Sand. A translation from the French] …

St Petersburg, N. Grech, 1837.

2 vols., 8vo, pp. [4], 296; [4], 248, [2]; some dampstaining at the beginning and end of each volume, more so to vol. I; contemporary Russian half roan, spines direct-lettered and numbered gilt, rubbed, some repairs to spines and corners, marbled paper to sides and endleaves renewed.

£1800

Approximately:
US $2329€1990

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First edition in Russian of Le secrétaire intime (1834), an early appearance in Russian for the French novelist.

‘Nowhere in the world did George Sand’s works find a warmer reception than in tsarist Russia, where there formed around her a veritable cult … One eye-witness to her enormous popularity in Russia was the international opera star Pauline Viardot, who wrote to her close friend in 1847 that: “là-bas tous vos ouvrages sont traduits à mesure qu’ils paraîssent, que tout le monde les lit du haut en bas de l’échelle, que les hommes vous adorent, que les femmes vous idolâtrent et qu’enfin vous régnez sur la Russie plus souverainement que le tzar.”

‘Perhaps the most authoritative testimony we have to Sand’s importance in Russian literary history is found in Prince Mirsky’s highly regarded History of Russian Literature. In it Mirsky credits Sand with being the major source of the Russian realist novel: “Russian realism was born in the second half of the forties … In substance it is a cross between the satirical naturalism of Gogol and an older sentimental realism revived and represented in the thirties and forties by the then enormously influential George Sand. Gogol and George Sand were the father and mother of Russian realism and its accepted masters during the initial stages”’ (Carole Karp, ‘George Sand and the Russians’, George Sand Papers, 1976, pp. 151–2).

Françoise Genevray, ‘Les traductions russes des oeuvres de George Sand de 1833 à 1866’, Les amis de George Sand, 2001, p. 74. Not in OCLC.

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