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GOGOL, Nikolai.

Dead Souls,

or Tchitchikoff's Journeys. Translated from the Russian by Isabel F. Hapgood.

London: John and Robert Maxwell, [1887] Stock Code: 132518
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First appearance titled Dead Souls

First complete edition in English, and the first under this title, UK issue from the US sheets with a cancel title page (the US sheets published by T. Y. Crowell, New York, 1886). The novel first appeared in English in 1854 under the title Home Life in Russia, but that was an adaptation of part one only, with an altered ending. Isabel Florence Hapgood's (1851-1928) translations from the Russian "were numerous and in their day influential... She was one of the early translators of Gogol and Tolstoy, and it is a sign of the popularity of things Russian that her versions of Gogol's Dead Souls and Taras Bulba were immediately reissued without acknowledgement by the enterprising publisher Vizetelly, who contented himself with having them slightly revised" (Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, vol. IV, p. 315). The pirated edition of Vizetelly was published a month after the UK issue of the first edition, and the two should not be confused.

Dead Souls was first published in Moscow in 1852 under the censor-imposed title The Adventures of Chichikov, and told the story of a middling gentleman intent on raising his social standing by buying the names of deceased serfs from landowners in order to commit fraud. Gogol's original intention was to publish a further two parts mimicking the structure of the Divine Comedy. In the second part Chichikov would experience a moral transformation corresponding to purgatory, but Gogol burned the manuscript shortly before his death.

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2 volumes, octavo. Original red cloth, spines lettered in gilt, covers blocked in gilt and blind.


Monogram book labels - "E.H.C.F" - to front pastedowns; faint pencil signature of Dennis Smith to front free endpapers. Spines a little sunned and soiled with a small chip to vol. II, light wear to extremities, hinges just beginning to split, light abrasion to front free endpaper of volume I. A very good copy.


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