ONE OF THE FIRST PUBLICATIONS OF PUSHKIN IN ENGLISH
PUSHKIN, Alexander. The Bakchesarian Fountain. By Alexander Pooshkeen. And Other Poems, by Various Authors. Philadelphia: C. Sherman, 1849. 12mo, original tan printed paper wrappers respined and recornered; 72 pp. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $6200.
First edition in English of Pushkin's popular third book.
This translation of Bakhchisaraiskii Fontan (Moscow 1824) is one of the poet's first appearances in English, published 12 years after his death in a duel, preceded by G. Borrow's translation of The Talisman published in St. Petersburg in 1835. This edition stands as an important early example of American interest in Russian literature, interest which would blossom in the next half-century with the publication of works by Tolstoy, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and others. Translator William Lewis lived and worked in Russia in the early 1820s; during that time he became the friend of Nikolai Ivanovich Grech, editor of the Syn Otechestva (a weekly magazine), who introduced him into the literary group that met at the home of the poet Derzhavin. Twenty-five years after leaving Russia the present work was privately published and received an enthusiastic review from his friend Grech. Contains as well a section of "Amatory and other Poems" by P. Pelsky, Dmeetrief, Melaidinsky, N. M. Shatroff, Merzliakoff and Derzhavin. Translated from the original Russian by William D. Lewis. Kilgour 876 note. Line A12.
Only minor marginal foxing and soiling to interior, inch of tape residue along spine edge of wrappers. An extremely good copy. Scarce.