8 September 2010

Брюсов, Валерий Яковлевич, Огненный ангел: повесть в XVI главах: украшения по современным гравюрам / Валерий Брюсов, VIII, 374 с. ил. 23 см, W 301/257, Москва: Скорпион, 1909

Bryusov, Valery Yakovlevich, The Fiery Angel: the story in XVI chapters : decorated with contemporary engravings / Bryusov, VIII, 374 s.ill. 23 cm, W 301/257, Moscow: Scorpion, 1909

The second edition of one of the most famous historical novels by Valery Bryusov (1873—1924). Unlike the first, it has had 'explanatory notes' added, illuminating the era portrayed in the story — the central Europe of the XVI century, a mysterious and controversial time, the heyday of the Renaissance, the Reformation and the ideas of humanism. This was a period of turning to alchemy and other 'secret sciences', waiting for the end of the world and the time of Inquisitions. For the first time the book was published in the journal 'Libra' in 1907.

Valery Bryusov is a poet, novelist, translator, critic and founder of Russian Symbolism. In his prose and poetry, he explores the deepest psychological aspects of the time, masterfully recreating the style of the era of the collapse of the old world, its apocalyptic moods, the craving for the unknown and for the dark side of the human soul. That is, he turns to everything that the native contemporaries of Bryusov had in common with the heroes of the novel, the inhabitants of Germany of the XVI century (one of the characters — the famous Dr. Faust). The atmosphere of the book is enhanced and complemented by drawings from the engravings of XVXVI centuries by Albrecht Durer (14711528), Hans Holbein the Younger (14971543) and Lucas Cranach the Younger (15151586). Among them is the famous portrait of Martin Luther (14831546) from an engraving by Lucas Cranach the Elder (14721553), as well as one of the earliest images of Faust and Mephistopheles — from an engraving by Christoph von Zihema (1608).

'The Fiery Angel' by Bryusov is a remarkable example of the Silver Age period. The novel came out in the famous publishing house 'Skorpion' (19001916), which published the latest European literature, works of Russian Symbolists and also specialized in art history books. Particular attention was paid to the visual design of the books.

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20 September 2010

Вильчковский, Сергей Николаевич, Царское Село : [путеводитель] / С. Н. Вильчковский, Санкт-Петербург : Т-во Р. Голике и А. Вильборг, 1911. [6], 276, [1] с., [98] л. ил., карт., портр. ил. 21 см

Vilchkovsky, Sergei Nikolaevich, Tsarskoe Selo: [guide] / S. N. Vilchkovsky, St. Petersburg: Association of R. Golike and A. Vilborg, 1911. Pages: [6] 276, [1]., [98] A. il. and maps., portr. ill. 21 cm

The book is devoted to a description of Russia’s largest palace and park complex (since 1937 the town of Pushkin), created in the XVIII—XIX centuries with the efforts of many great architects, sculptors, gardeners and craftsmen.

For the first time a description of the 'sovereign fiefdom' appeared in the 30’s of the XIX century and instantly became a bibliographical rarity. A new edition of the book, which tells about the past of 'a vast art museum of the imperial period of national history' was timed for the 200-year anniversary of Tsarskoe Selo (1910). The guide was sold out in six months, and the redactors decided to republish it, also printing it, with additions and corrections, in English and Germans. Many cultural professionals took part in the preparations, which included archival research, consultations, proofreading and design.

The book has interesting content and imagery. The publication contains a general historical overview and separate sections devoted to the largest facilities of the complex. The text is livened up by the inclusion of poetry, in particular, by Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin. The description of the Art Gallery of the Grand Palace is completed with a list of 130 images. The reference section is so extensive that the footnotes alone fill over 20 pages.

The book is richly illustrated. Here are reproductions of paintings, facsimiles of imperial decrees, photos of reigning families, buildings, interiors, household goods, monuments, natural sites: parks, lakes and ponds. On the pages which precede these sections, there are wonderful vignettes by such artists as N. I. Suslov and S. Y. Sidorchuk. There is also a map called 'Plan of Tsarskoe Selo'.

The famous artist Alexander Nikolaevich Benois was involved in this edition of the guide. The binding of 'Tsarskoe Selo' is of a noble cherry colour, made with semi leather and decorated with gold lettering.

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6 August 2010

Select works of the British poets, from Chaucer to Jonson / with biographical sketches by Robert Southey. — Printed for Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, 1831. — 1016 p.

The publication is a compilation of works of the 'fathers' of British poetry. Each author is represented by about 30 pages of the book — a short biographical sketch and the fragments of the most famous poems. Although the title states 'From Chaucer to Johnson', the last one in the collection is poet Richard Lovelace (16181658). The book shows the poems of 22 authors.

There are fundamental series of publications of classical works by Chalmers (21 volumes under the title 'The works of the English poets, from Chaucer to Cowper') and Anderson’s (there is no serial name, the name of each volume is individual). This edition compares favourably because of the presence of some poems, which are absent in these collected works, such as the work of John Skelton (14601529) and Thomas Sackville (15361608). In general, the book provides a unique opportunity to trace the development of British poetry from the XIV to the XVII century as well as the unique style of each of the poets.

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9 July 2010

Записки князя Якова Петровича Шаховскаго, полициймейстера при Бироне, обер-прокурора Св. Синода, генерал-прокурора и конференц-министра при Елисавете, сенатора при Екатерине II.

Санкт-Петербург : издание «Русской старины», 1872

Memoirs of Prince Yakov Petrovich Shahovskoy, the police commissioner under Biron, chief procurator of the Holy Synod, the procurator-general and conference minister under Elizabeth, a senator under Catherine II. St. Petersburg: the publication of 'Russkaya Starina', 1872

The book is a published memoir of Prince Yakov Petrovich Shakhovskoy (17051777) — a famous statesman of XVIII century. In the beginning of the book there is an argument for the need to re-issue the memoirs (there are earlier publications in 1810 and 1821): The interest in it is great, as Yakov Petrovich, in his memoirs vividly introduces the reader to the time from the era of the death of Peter I to the beginning of the reign of Catherine II, while talking about the 'official and service' world. In addition, the previous publications have been deprived of a reference system.There is a foreword to the first part of the work which is the Prince’s personal appeal to the reader and the texts of such documents as: 'resignation', 'Review of service from 1750 to 1766' and 'decree of the Empress'. The language of 'the notes' makes them somewhat archaic and difficult reading, but their originality helps the reader to a fuller and deeper experience of the atmosphere of the age of enlightenment. The author of this work is the historian and journalist, Mikhail Ivanovich Semevsky (18371892).

These memoirs are printed with a clearer typeface, the text is divided into chapters containing the list of events represented in them and there is a pointer to personal names. But most importantly it includes a lot of Shakhovskoy’s 'authentic papers' available from the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of the Synod. The book also includes the preface to the previous publications. In the introductory article Semevsky rightly observes: such publications are not only historical, but also have an educational value as they tell of a individual, worthy of emulation.

Prince Yakov Petrovich Shakhovskoy (17051777) began service in 1719 as a soldier in the Guards of the Semenov regiment and took part in the Russian-Turkish war of 17351739. Prior to retirement in 1766 he held such important positions as: chief procurator of the Synod, the procurator-general of the Senate, the conference minister, a senator — the posts he got through his remarkable intellect, organizational abilities, strength of character, integrity, honesty and concern for the welfare of Russia. No wonder Catherine II, highly appreciative of Yakov Petrovich, ordered him to be payed a lifetime pension instead of the usual annual salary at the time of his resignation. But it is the fine business and moral qualities of Shakhovskoy that aroused envy, hatred and the constant scheming of his enemies.

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9 July 2010

Воспоминания о Суворове / Соч. Ген. штаба полк. А. Астафьева

Recollections of Suvorov / by General of regimental headquarters. A. Astafiev

The book is a separate edition of a speech, given after the memorial service for Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov (1729 (1730) — 1800) in the church of the village of Konchanskoye. Author — military writer Alexander Astaf’ev (1816 — after 1863). It was published for the first time in the 4th issue of 'Voenny Jurnal' in 1856.

'Recollections of Suvorov' — is a story full of admiration for the feats of a military genius, who did not lose a single battle.

The sheer number of the major battles in which Suvorov participated, defending the interests of Russia, is impressive.

A big part of Astaf’ev’s story is about the role, which Suvorov played in tirelessly preparing soldiers for future battles, highlighting the uniqueness of the relationship between the commander and soldiers who 'loved him to distraction'. The author admires Suvorov not only as a commander and practitioner, who, thanks to a deep reflection on the smallest details of the forthcoming operation could gain a victory with fewer forces than the enemy’s. Astaf’ev understood about the commander beeing ahead of his time and an innovator in the field of combat and war in general: 'An amazing object of study is Suvorov... as the Russian original genius who created his science of winning...'

Alexander Ivanovich didn’t pass over the strangeness of the character and behaviour of the commander, who remained an enigma for his contemporaries, nor his expressive Russian way of speaking, many phrases of which turned into proverbs.

The book by Astaf’ev is a remarkable tribute to the memory of Suvorov — a warrior and a man, a true son of Russia.

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28 January 2010

Стромилов Н. С. Цесаревна Елисавета Петровна в Александровой слободе и Успенский девичий монастырь в то же время. — М.,1874. — [2], 51 с.

Stromilov N. S. Tzarina Elisaveta Petrovna life in Alexandrova Sloboda and the Uspensky (Assumption) Nunnery at the said period of time. — М.,1874. — [2], 51 p.

The narration of young Elisabeth I (1709—1761), empress-to-be, stay in one of her patrimonial estates near Moscow — Alexandrova Sloboda.

The present town of Alexandrov, near Vladimir, Alexandrova sloboda is known since mid-14th century. In the 17th century, during Aleksey Mikhailovitch’s reign, there was a Sviatouspensky (of the St Assumption) nunnery founded in it. In this nunnery, in the quiet country-side and away from the court, Elisaveta Petrovna stayed from 1729 to 1741, before being enthroned.

According to the author, the first local historian Nikolay Stromilov (1842—1895), the princess led an easy and pleasant life, enjoying game, socialising with local maidens at traditional entertaining young women’s meetings — posidelki — and walking in the neighbourhood. The author, Alexandrova Sloboda being his ancestral place, was well aware not only of the written sources of the princess’ stay in her fief, but also of the local folklore related to that period of time. These local stories add interesting details to the narration of the princess living in quiet rural solitude.

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23 January 2010

Русские портреты XVIII и XIX столетий. Т. 2, вып. 4. — СПб., 1906. — Л. 126—205, [25] л. портр.

Russian Portraits of 18th and 19th centuries. V.2, issue 4. — Spb, 1906. — L. 126205, [25] s.

This is a book from the series devoted to remarkable Russians of the 18th and 19th centuries. Issue 4 of volume 2 contains 79 portraits of state leaders along with less known people who left their imprint on the Russian history.

Each ’portrait’ consists of a a brief biographic essay and an image of a person. The essays are bilingual, in Russian and French. They provide less known details of lives of public persons: e.g. account of the decease of the empress Elizaveta Alexeevna, the spouse of Alexander I; details of private life of the Great Princess Anna Fedorovna, the spouse of the Crown Prince Konstantin Pavlovitch. Brief as they are these essays portray bright and vivid characters and draw a surprisingly poetic image of the epoch long gone.

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10 January 2010

Полевой Н. А. История русского народа. — Т.4. — М., 1833. — 366, 84, XVII с.

Polevoy N. A. The History of the Russian People. — V.4. — М., 1833. — 366, 84, XVII p.

Book 4 of these series of six books by Nikolay Polevoy (17961846), a famous Russian historian, is devoted to the period between the Mongol Invasion and Ivan Kalita’s reign, i.e. from 1236 to 1341. Polevoy refered to the period as to ’the 1st half of the Tatar dominance over Rus’. The narration starts with a survey of the processes on the vast Asian territories, brings a reader to the South-East Rus and Lithuania and comes eventually to Moscow and Tver struggling for the title of the Great Princedom.

Having initially planned a series of twelve books Polevoy collected the subscription fees for all twelve, but, because of personal issues, only managed to write and publish six. As opposed to Karamzin’s ’The History of the Russian State’, he strived to shift from interpreting governors, military leaders and foreign policies as major historic driving force and reveal the ’organic’ development of the ’common national essence’ instead.

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21 December 2009

Царская коронация. История коронования государей у египтян, индейцев, персов, китайцев, турок, евреев, греков, римлян, русских, начиная с древнейших времен.

У русских начиная с Владимира Св. до ныне благополучно царствующего имп. Александра III. — СПб., 1882. — [2], 46.

Royal (Czar) coronation. The history of coronation of sovereigns as practiced by the Egyptians, Hindu, Persians, Chinese, Turks, Jews, Greeks, Romans and Russians, from the ancient times. The Russian coronation tradition since Vladimir the Saint to the nowadays happily reigning emperor Alexander III. — Spb., 1882. — [2], 46.

This brochure by an unknown author (only signed by the initials A. Zh.) describes the coronation proceedings in different nations and is timed to the coronation of the Russian emperor Alexander III in 1882.

The publication consists of 4 chapters. In chapter 1 the author accounts briefly of coronation proceedings in the ancient nations, such as Egypt, India, Persia, Greece, Rome, Turkey and China. Chapter 2 and 3 are devoted to the old Jewish and Byzantine procedures of anointing the Sovereigns correspondingly. Chapter 4 gives most detailed account of the proceedings in Russia. It starts with the references to Slavonic warrior-kings and brings to Russian emperors. The author speaks of the three types of enthronement orders in Russia. The first type was shaped during the reign of Moscow Tzars, starting with Dmitriy Ivanovitch, a grandson of Ivan III. It only embraces two orders — those of Dmitry Ivanovitch and Ivan IV. The second type is presented by the orders from Fedor Ioannovitch to the empress Catherine I, the spouse of Peter I. The third type embraces all the subsequent orders, from Catherine I to Alexander II.

Coronation Proceedings of the Russian Empire are well presented in numerous publications. This particular book, of a modest volume and plain design, with no illustrations, was obviously quite affordable and targeted a common reader, as distinguished from luxury albums of sophisticated artistic design, printed on quality paper.

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6 December 2009

Антипин И. Молитва русских людей. — СПб., 1845 — [4] с. Уникальный в своем роде памятник — авторская молитва сер. XIX в.

Antipin I. A Prayer of the Russian people. — SPb., 1845 — [4] p.

This volume is a class by itself — a prayer of authorship, unique for the 19th century. The prayer to God the Pantocrator asks for His favours to the Emperor, the Empress, the Heir, his spouse and, finally, the whole royalty of Russia. As follows from the date of publishing, the prayer refers to the Emperor Nikolay I, his spouse Alexandra Fedorovna, the Crown Prince Alexander Nikolayevitch, the future Emperor Alexander II and his spouse Maria Alexandrovna. Maria Alexandrovna married the Crown Prince in 1841, hence the prayer was written between 1841 and 1845.

It is written by a ’trader’s son from Kaluga’ Ivan Antipin. The prayer goes entirely in line with the ideology of the Russian Monarchy — people’s overall love for the monarch, — and is titled correspondingly: ’A Prayer of the Russian people’. It is formally closer to folk poetry than to ecclesiastic prayers: it is a piece of poetry in modern Russian, with a few Old Slavonic terms. 

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27 November 2009

Животовский, С. В. (1869—1936) На Север с отцом Иоанном Кронштадтским: Очерки и ил. С. В. Животовского.

— СПб.: Худож. типо-лит. А. К. Вейерман, 1903. — [2], 76 с., 1 л. портр. ил., М 109/21

Zhivotovsky, S. V. (1869—1936). Accompanying Fr Ioann of Cronshtadt to the North: essays and illustrations by S.V. Zhivotovsky. — Spb.: A. K. Veyerman Artistic lithographic printers, 1903. — [2], 76 p., 1 s. portr. ill., М 109/21

Ioann of Cronshtadt — Ivan Ilyich Sergiev (1829 — 1908), a preacher, clerical writer, protopriest and senior priest at the Andreevsky Cathedral in Kronshtadt was immensely famous in Russia on the verge of the 19th — 20th centuries. While alive he was reverently regarded a ’people’s saint’, miracle-worker and holy man. Later the Russian Orthodox Church canonized him as a saint.

In May and June 1903 Sergey Zhivotovsky, an artist, accompanied Fr. Ioann in one of his regular waterway travels to his home village of Sura in Arkhangelsk region. The records, drawings and photos the author would do on the way were subsequently submitted to the newspaper Peterburgsky Listok (St. Petersburg Leaflet), and published further on as a single volume, in response to the demand of Fr Ioann’s numerous admirers.

The reports tell of Fr. Ioann’s experiences during the travel, conducting services and meeting people. There are also accounts of several miraculous events evidenced by the author, such as the rain that, after Fr Ioann’s prayer, poured over a region which had been suffering from the dry weather and the risk of forest fires.

The book contains remarkable descriptions of the natural beauty of Russian North, its waterways, lakes, villages and towns passed by the party.

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5 November 2009

Тарапыгин, Ф. А. Известные русские военные деятели: краткое их жизнеописание / сост. Ф. А. Тарапыгин; ред. В. Пруссака. — СПб.: тип. И. В. Леонтьева, 1911. — II, 190 с., [3] л. ил.; 23 см

Tarapygin, F.A. Brief life stories of famous Russian military leaders / comp. By F.A. Tarapygin; ed. V. Prussak. — Spb.: Leontiev Printers, 1911. — II, 190 p., [3] ill. s.; 23 cm.

Fedor A. Tarapygin wrote and compiled a lot of essays and compendia for school and family reading. In the present book there are stories of life and heroic deeds of most famous Russian military leaders, such as B. Sheremetev, A. Menshikov, G. Potemkin-Tavrichesky, A. Suvorov-Rymniksky, M. Golenitshev-Kutuzov, M. Barklay-de-Tolly, P. Bagration, A. Yermolov, I. Paskevitch-Erivansky, I. Dibitch-Zabalkansky, M.Muravyev, E. Totleben, K. von Kaufman, D. Milyutin, F. Radetsky, M.Skobelev, A.Orlov-Chesmensky, M. Platov, M. Lazarev, P. Nakhimov, V. Kornilov, V. Istomin, R. Kondratenko.

The book is published as a part of popular series ’Brief Life Stories of Famous Russians’, compiled by F. Tarapygin. Particular volumes of the series are devoted to Russian writers, state and public leaders, scientists, artists, composers and clergy.

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5 November 2009

Рычков, К. М. Сказки сибирских инородцев / К. Рычков.— Пг: Тип. Т-ва Петроградского печ. пр-ва И. Р. Белопольского и К°, 1917.— 16 с.; 22 см. — (Библиотека журнала «Жаворонок»; № 2)

Rychkov, K. Folk tales of Siberian Minorities / K. Rychkov, — Pg: Press of Petrograd printers’ partnership Belopolsky and Co, 1917.— 16 с.; 22 см. — (Supplement to The Lark magazine, N 2)

«Folk-tales of Siberian Minorities» consist of the three folk-tales on animals of the indigenious inhabitants of Siberia as recorded by Konstantin Rychkov (1882—1923), a Russian ethnographer and linguist. When living in exile in the Turukhansk region (1903—1913), he studied the traditional life of the Evenkis, Dolganis, Sekulps, Nenets and Khanty, and wrote several works on their customs, beliefs, rituals and daily life. Spread as a word of mouth, the folk tales were not meant specifically for children, but carried attitudes and wisdom of the Siberian aboriginal minorities, making a significant part of the regional heritage.

The tales were published in 1917, as a supplement to a popular children’s magazine ’The Lark’ (published and edited by one of the most successful publishers of the time N. Koretsky). The magazine was known for its supplements, including children’s rhymes and stories by Russian writers, toy-books and humor.

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24 October 2009

Бронзов, А. А. Нравственное богословие в России в течение XIX столетия. — СПб.: Тип. А. П. Лопухина, 1901. — [4], 349 с.; 25 см

Bronzov, A. Moral Theology in Russia in the 19th century. — Spb.: Lopukhin Printers, 1901. — [4], 349 p.; 25 cm

Professor of Moral Theology in St Petersburg Theological Academy Alexander Bronzov contemplates on the history and development of this branch of theology in Russia in the 19th century.

Moral theology, research of the mentality and behaviour of a human who persuades living in accordance with the Christian dispensations, is a relatively young branch of theology. Introduced to Russia by the end of the 18th century it had been continuously developing through the 19th century, borrowing quite a lot from protestant and catholic sources.

Due to the revival of moral theology in modern Russia prof. Bronzov’s work, one of the major Russian sources on the subject, is of special interest for a modern reader, particularly for teachers and students of theology and those interested in the history of theology as related to major moral issues of the past and present.

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13 October 2009

Дживелегов, А. К. Александр I и Наполеон: исторические очерки / А. К. Дживелегов. — М.: Изд. М. и С. Сабашниковых, 1915. — VII, 301, [2] с.; 20 см

Dzhivelegov, A.K. Alexander I and Napoleon, historic essays / A. K. Dzhivelegov. — M.: M.&S. Sabashnikov Publ., 1915. — VII, 301, [2] p.; 20 cm

This volume by a historian and journalist Dzhivelegov is a compilation of his articles, revised and extended, which he had previously published in periodicals and other publications.

The book by a marked specialist in the history of Napoleonic wars, policies of Alexander I and inter-European relationships in the early 19th century, also known for his brilliant writing style, demonstrates his profound knowledge of facts and covers quite a range of issues. His comparison of the two great historic leaders, their characters, relationships and roles they had played in history, are of a special interest.

Published in spring 1915 the book by Dzhivelegov, then a constitutional democrat, presents his analyses of essential issues of the World War I as compared to the war against Napoleon in 1912. According to the author, Russian Foreign Policy’s goal was or should have been ’to deprive Germany of its smashing power, which it had been cumulating, with our negligence, during the recent century’.

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2 October 2009

Карташев, А. В. Лекции по истории русской церкви 1900–1901 акад. год. — [СПб.]: Дух. акад., ценз., 1901. — 415, 13, 20, [4] с.; 30 см

Kartashev, A.V. Lectures on the History of Russian Church 1900—1901 academic year. — [StPb.]: Theological Academy, censored, 1901. — 415, 13, 20, [4] p.; 30 cm.

Kartashev, Anton Vladimirovitch (1875—1960) was a prominent public and clerical figure, a theologist, focused at the history of the Russian Church, associated professor at the St Petersburg Theological Academy, Head of the department for the History of Church and Religion at the High Bestuzhev School for Women (1906—1918), Chief Procurator of the Synod (1917), Minister of Religious Denominations at the Provisional Government (1917), a co-founder of «St. Sophia Brotherhood» (1918—1922).

In January 1919 he emigrated consequently to Finland and France, where persuaded his public and academic activities and became the Minister of Foreign Affairs with General Yudenich Political Council (1919), the chairman of the Russian National Committee (1924) and eventually professor and a founder of St Sergiy Theological College in Paris (1925—1960).

Manuscripts of his lectures on the history of Russian Church before the Mongol Yoke were later used as the basis for another, more extensive publication ’Essays on the History of the Russian Church’, printed in Paris in 1959.
The present lectures delivered by Kartashev during his engagement with the department of the history of Church at St Petersburg Theologic Academy (1899—1905) would be of interest for his biographers, historians, professors and students of Theology. 

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24 September 2009

Соборная грамота духовенства православной восточной церкви, утверждающая сан царя за великим князем Иоанном IV Васильевичем 1561 года / изд. к. М. А. Оболенским

— Москва : Синодальная тип., 1850. — 50 с.; 32 см

The Eastern Orthodoxal Church epistle of 1561, granting the Tzar title to the Great Prince Ioann IV Vasilievitch / pulblished by Pr. M.A.Obolensky — Moscow, Synodic Printers, 1850. — 50 p., 32 cm.

The opening article is written by Prince Mikhail Alexandrovitch Obolensky, the Supervisor of the General Archives at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who had published a wide range of rare and unique documents. The article expands on the introduction of the royal regals to Russia. There is also a bilingual (Greek and Old Slavonic) letter granting the Great Prince Ivan Vasilievitch the title of Tzar by the Orthodoxal Ghurch — the instance, which would traditionally enthrone Russian monarchs as Tzars.

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7 September 2009

Щеголев П. Е. А. С. Грибоедов и декабристы : (по архивным материалам) : с приложением факсимиле дела о Грибоедове, хранящегося в Государственном архиве / П. Е. Щеголев. – СПб., 1905.

Schegolev, P. A. Griboedov and the Decembrists (based on the archives), with the faximile of Griboedov’s case file preserved in the State Archives. — St Petersburgh, 1905.

This is a publication of the full text and the facsimile of the so-called ’Griboedov’s Case’ file, containing formal evidence of Griboedov’s involvement with the Decembrists.

This research by Pavel Schegolev (1877—1931), a literary and social historian, and a scholar in Pushkin studies, was first published in the ’Literary Newsletter’ in 1904, and was consequently revised and extended in 1905. The edition contains full faximile of the authentic ’Griboedov’s Case’ file from the State Archives. As Shegolev himself wrote, ’Representing the course of investigation in full, I suggest that the reader use the facsimile of the file to have a graphic idea of the proceeding in the well-known Board for investigating the decembrist plot, and feel the ’flavour of the time’ which exceeds from the authentic pages and would be most certainly lost in textual representation of the documents alone’.

The facsimile also displays handwritings of the prominent ’decembrists’: Ryleev, Biestuzhev-Riumin, Muravyev-Apostol, Byestuzhev, Trubetskoy, Odoyevsky etc.

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7 September 2009

Дьяконов М. А. Очерки общественного и государственного строя Древней Руси. — СПб., 1912.

Diakonov, M. Essays on social and political system in Old Russia. — St. Petersburg, 1912.

’Essays...’ is one of the last works of a well-known Russian law historian Mikhail Diakonov (1855—1919). Having received a degree in law at St Petersburg University, Diakonov became an associate professor and consequently a professor of Russian Law History in Derpt (Yuriev) University. In 1905 he accepted ordinary professorship at the department of Russian Law History in Petersburg Polytechnical Institute and became an adjunct of the Emperor’s Academy of Science, where he specialised in Old Russian issues. In 1909 he was appointed a member of the Academy. Characteristically, his last years Diakonov worked in the Library of the Academy of Science, as a librarian of Deparment 2. He played an important role in developing the tradition of scholarly writing on Russian Law History being a founder of political history and the theory of state power in Old Russia. Latest Diakonov’s works were focused at the social history of tax-paying population in Moscovite Russia.

The last one of his major works is an adaptation of his university course in Russian Law History, which he used to read in higher educational institutions. RSL collection displays the 4th, revised and extended, edition of the book published within his life in 1912, by ’Law’ publisher. The title page carries a gift inscription addressed by the author to Victor Grabar’, consequently a Russian and Soviet lawyer and a brother to an artist Igor Grabar’. The book for e-copying was kindly provided by Grabar’ collection.

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7 September 2009

Вейдемейер А. И. О России под державою дома Романовых до единодержавия Петра Великого. — СПб., 1858.

Veidemeier, A. I. On Russia under the power of Romanov House up to monocracy of Peter the Great. — St. Petersburg, 1858.

The chronicle comprising important events in Russian history of 17—18th centuries is compiled by a learned historian Alexander Veidemeier (died in 1852), whose works are appreciated and frequently referred to by modern historians. Veidemeier, known for his historic writings, was born and raised in a German family which was in service at the Russian Court: his father was a senator and a State Council member.

A. Veidemeier wrote a number of works focused at Russian historic past and some celebrated citizens of the period. Interestingly, the book ’On Russia...’ was officially censored by a prominent Russian historic novelist I. Lazhechnikov (1792—1869).

The book for e-copying was originally stored in the library of 3rd Moscow Cadet Corps of the Emperor Alexander II.

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16 June 2009

Цветаев Д. В. «Избрание Михаила Феодоровича Романова на царство». — М., 1913.

Read the bookTsvetaev D. V. «Election of Michail Feodorovich Romanov as the crowned Tzar» — Moscow, 1913.

This is a book written by professor Dmitry Vladimirovitch Tsvetaev, the governor of the Moscow Archive of the Ministry of Justice early in the 20th century (with the Russian monarchy yet unchallenged). It is devoted to one of the major benchmarks in the history of Russian statehood — election of the first Romanov Tzar Michail Fedorovitch by Zemsky Council (the council of territorial representatives) and foundation of the Romanov dynasty.

The work was published in 1813, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Romanov House. Particular chapters are devoted to zemsky (territorial) councils of the period; the represetnative membership in the historic zemsky council of 1613; Romanovs' genealogy. The author refers to the wide range of archive and historical sources. The appendix provides copies of archive sources used, including the earliest known document mentioning Michail Romanov as a state service man with the tzar Vasiliy Nikolaevitch Shuisky.

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15 June 2009

Русские народы: Наброски пером и карандашом. — Ч. 1, вып. 1. — М., 1894.

Read the bookPeoples of Russia: Sketches in pencil and pen. – P. 1, issue 1, Moscow, 1894.

It is a small in volume, but exquisitely designed collection of essays on the population and nature of several regions in the European part of Russia by the end of 19th century. The authors of the collection, published under the supervision of Nikolay Jurievitch Zograf, a professor in Moscow university, saw their goal in answering questions a reader may ask 'while observing the motley and varied range of peoples inhabiting the Russian state'. There are also notes on the so-called 'tables' — wonderful illustrations based on drawings in pen and pencil by L. L. Balyakin.


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