First edition in English, introducing Dostoevsky to British readers on a large scale for the first time, a gorgeous copy.
THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV
"The novels of Dostoevsky are seething whirlpools, gyrating sandstorms, waterspouts which hiss and boil and suck us in." – Woolf, "The Russian Point of View"
Before Constance Garnett's series of translations (beginning with this one of THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV), Dostoevsky's works were largely unknown in English. Tolstoy and Turgenev had already appeared in English, but Dostoevky remained largely untouched because translators viewed him as significantly more difficult to translate for an English audience. Many major English authors, like D.H. Lawrence and John Galsworthy, vehemently rejected Dostoevksy; but Virginia Woolf, then still an new critic and not yet a novelist, became an important champion: in a 1912 letter to Lytton Strachey she wrote, "It is directly obvious that he is the greatest writer ever born." A recognized turning point in the critical reception of Dostoevsky, and the beginning of his reputation in English as one of the world's greatest novelists. Already a scarce edition, it is especially unusual in this condition.
Read more: Mirsky, The Intelligentsia of Great Britain; Kaye, Dostoevsky and English Modernism.
London: William Heinemann, 1912. Octavo. 7.5'' x 4.75''. Original full red cloth, blind-stamped central ornament, gilt-stamped ornamental spine, lettered "THE NOVELS / OF / FIODOR / MICHAEILOWITCH / DOSTÖEVSKY / THE / BROTHERS / KARAMAZOV / HEINEMANN." Bottom edge uncut. Translated by Constance Garnett. xii, 838,  pages. Housed in custom quarter red goatskin clamshell box and cloth chemise. Spine toned, a couple bumps to cloth, gilt faded, some dustiness to text block edges. Binding firm, text clean.
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