Posmertnyia zapiski startsa Fedora Kuz’micha umershago 20-go ianvaria 1864 goda v Sibiri, bliz goroda Tomsk, na zaimke kuptsa Khromova. [Posthumous notes of the old man Fedor Kuz’mich, who died on 20 January 1864 in Siberia, near the town of Tomsk, at the ‘zaimka’ of the merchant Khromov.]

St Petersburg, V. Vrublevskii, 1912.

8vo, pp. 32; slightly age-toned, but a very good copy in the original printed paper wrappers.

£1750

Approximately:
US $2212€2043

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Posmertnyia zapiski startsa Fedora Kuz’micha umershago 20-go ianvaria 1864 goda v Sibiri, bliz goroda Tomsk, na zaimke kuptsa Khromova. [Posthumous notes of the old man Fedor Kuz’mich, who died on 20 January 1864 in Siberia, near the town of Tomsk, at the ‘zaimka’ of the merchant Khromov.]

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First edition, very rare, of an unfinished story, begun in 1905, exploring the popular legend that Tsar Alexander I had staged his own death in 1825 and had gone into hiding as the hermit Fedor Kuz’mich. Kuz’mich, St Fedor of Tomsk in the Russian Church, was sent to Siberia as a vagrant, where he lived a life of spiritual isolation under the protection of the merchant Semen Khromov. Rumours abounded even during Kuz’mich’s lifetime – mysterious letters in code, visits from important noblemen – but the jury is still out.

Tolstoy’s story was evidently intended to be a longer narrative; he was attracted to such an evocative story of worldly renunication (a theme that preoccupied him in later life), and discussed the matter several times with Grand Duke Nikolai Milhailovich (who afterwards wrote a book on the topic).

Not in OCLC.

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