Great Akhmatova's memorabilia


Poema bez Geroia. Triptikh. 1940-1962. Leningrad-Tashkent-Moskva

[Poem Without a Hero. Triptych. 1940-1962. Leningrad-Tashkent-Moscow]

Publication: [Moskva?, 1968?].

AKHMATOVA, Anna, Poema bez Geroia. Triptikh. 1940-1962. Leningrad-Tashkent-Moskva

An interesting and very unusual item: a samizdat copy of Akhmatova’s masterpiece, bound in the poetess’ dress, with a lengthy inscription detailing part of the provenance.

Read More

Out of stock

Our Notes & References

Bound in one of Akhmatova’s favourite dresses, shortly after her death. With nice provenance.


Akhmatova initiated work on the Poem Without a Hero in 1940 and completed a significant portion of it while in Tashkent. She continued revising the poem throughout the 1960s, leaving from four to nine versions of the text. Extracts from the poem first appeared in the magazine Leningrad in 1944 and later in Leningradskii Almanakh in 1945. During the 1950s, the poem circulated in samizdat, and in 1960 one of the versions was published without the author’s knowledge in the American almanac Vozdushnye puti (No 1). The complete text of the final editing was published in the collection of her selected works in the USSR in 1974.

This samizdat typescript includes a text of the Poem Without a Hero closely resembling the fourth version, along with various (anonymous) editors’ notes and comments. These indicate that the poem’s text derived from the editing published by Amanda Haight in the Slavonic and East European Review (XLV, pp. 474) in July 1967. We also find Boris Filippov’s article that originally appeared in Vozdushnye puti in 1961 and an altered version of an article from Akhmatova’s Works published in Munich in 1968. Additionally, the volume presents Akhmatova’s memoirs about the poet Osip Mandelstam with editors’ comments.

This unusual samizdat belonged to the private Anna Akhmatova museum located in the Moscow apartment of Irina and Mark Bazhenov, renowned pioneers in research of Akhmatova’s life in Moscow. As the long handwritten gift inscription indicates, the Bazhenovs received the book from Eduard Kuznetsov (born 1939), a dissident, journalist, and writer. During his university years, Kuznetsov became involved with the first unsanctioned samizdat magazines, for which in 1961 he was sentenced to seven years in prison. After his release in 1968, Kuznetsov played a prominent role in the Dymshits-Kuznetsov hijacking affair in June 1970 and was arrested on charges of “high treason.” He was initially sentenced to execution, but the sentence was later commuted to fifteen years in prison and labour camps after his appeal and international protests. In 1979, Kuznetsov, along with four other dissidents, was exchanged for two Soviet spies arrested in the United States. From 1983 to 1990, he served as a chief of the news department at Radio Free Europe in Munich. 


Irina and Mark Bazhenov, gift inscription on verso of upper cover from Eduard Kuznetsov: “V dar sobraniiu “Vse ob Anne Akhmatovoi” Iriny i Marka Bazhenovykh – v dni prazdnovaniia 100-letiia so dnia rozhdeniia A. A. Akhmatovoi (k sozhaleniiu, nadpisana vopreki ee pravilam) Leningrad. 25/VI-1989 g. Riadom s pamiatnikom Pushkinu, kotoryi spasli deti. E. Kuznetsov” [A gift to the collection “Everything about Anna Akhmatova” to Irina and Mark Bazhenov on the occasion of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of A. A. Akhmatova’s (regrettably, inscribed contrary to her rules). Leningrad, June 25th, 1989. Next to the monument of Pushkin, which was saved by the children. E. Kuznetsov].

Item number



Physical Description

Large octavo (23.5 x 18 cm). Carbon typescript. [138] pp. text printed on both sides of the leaves.


Contemporary handmade black cloth boards.


Light wear to edges and boards; small staining to a couple of pages, a pleasant example with many manuscript additions.

Request More Information/Shipping Quote

    do you have a question about this item?

    If you would like more information on this item, or if you have a similar item you would like to know more about, please contact us via the short form here.