AN EXTREMELY RARE POEM ON THE 1824 ST PETERSBURG FLOOD

L’inondation de Saint-Pétersbourg. Le 7 Novembre 1824.

St Petersburg, de l’imprimerie du Département de l’Instruction Publique (to front cover: chez MM. de St-Florent et Hauer), 1824.

8vo, pp. 8; a fine copy in the original publisher’s printed wrappers; with mss. authorial correction and addition on page 7.

£850

Approximately:
US $1190€959

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First edition, and the second copy recorded, of a scarce eye witness account in verse of the flooding which hit St Petersburg on 7th of November 1824, and peaked on the 19th, when the Neva breached its embankments and destroyed large parts of St. Petersburg, killing several hundred people.

The original wrapper bears the dedication, dated 10 November 1824, to Alexander von Benckendorff, Adjutant General of Tsar Alexander I, who was involved in the rescue operation and evacuation of flood victims.

Auguste de St-Thomas’ pamphlet was not the only verse written about the inundation: the 1824 flood, the largest in St Petersburg’s history, served as inspiration for Alexander Pushkin’s The Bronze Horseman.

Only one other copy is recorded, at the National Library of Russia (listed in Bibliothèque Impériale Publique de St. Pétersbourg, Catalogue de la section de Russica ou écrits sur la Russie en langues étrangères, St Petersburg, 1873, vol. II, p. 246, n. 109).

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