The Bakchesarian Fountain. By Alexander Pooshkeen. And Other Poems, by Various Authors
Philadelphia: C. Sherman, 1849.
Philadelphia: C. Sherman, 1849. First English language edition. 12mo, original tan printed paper wrappers respined and recornered; 72 pp. Housed in a custom half-morocco folding case. Only minor marginal foxing and soiling to interior, inch of tape residue along spine edge of wrappers. An extremely good copy. Scarce.
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. The Bakchesarian Fountain tells the story of the proud khan, Giray, and his ill-fated search for romance amidst geopolitical warring and conquering. Jealousy wreaks havoc on Giray and the women of his court. Pushkin's poem would be adapted into a famous ballet in 1934, bearing the same name as the poem. (Item #1717)