With the dust-jacket


Belaia Gvardiia

[The White Guard]

Publication: Bradda Books, Letchworth, Hertfordshire, 1971.

BULGAKOV, Mikhail, Belaia Gvardiia

An attractive example, with the rare original dustjacket, of the second complete ‘tamizdat’ edition of the Bulgakov’s first novel.

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Our Notes & References

An attractive example, with the rare original dustjacket, of the second complete ‘tamizdat’ edition of the Bulgakov’s first novel; this is its 1971 reedition, published the same year as the first English edition, and after the first imprint by Bradda Books in 1969.

The publication history of Belaia Gvardiia is a bit complex. The first 13 chapters (about 60% of the text) appeared in the journal “Rossiia”, published by Zakharii Kaganskii. The journal was then shut, as Kaganskii fled Soviet Russia and settled in Paris, where he opened a new publishing house, Concorde. In 1927, without Bulgakov’s approval, Concorde published the first 11 chapters (and the beginning of Ch. 12): it was the first and the last book by Concorde. In 1929, Bulgakov, incensed by another pirate edition of his text appearing in Riga in 1927 with a counterfeit ending, decided to cooperate with a Paris publisher, E.A.Brenner and his firm Moskva: he sent them the amended version of the remaining chapters of the novel, changing his original plan to develop Belaia Gvardiia into a trilogy.

Therefore, the two Paris volumes of 1927 and 1929 are the first book editions of the novel; they were used for subsequent editions by Western publishers. There seem to be no other editions outside Russia between the Concorde/Moskva editions and the Bradda Books edition of 1969, making the latter the second edition of the complete text in the original Russian published outside Russia, after the Moskva complete edition 40 years earlier.

The first complete edition of the novel in the USSR came out in the collection of his prose “Izbrannaia proza” (Khud. literatura, Moskva, 1966). Prepared by the writer’s widow Elena Bulgakova, it is based on the first journal publication, unpublished proofs of Part III, as well as the Paris editions.

The edition is prefaced by an Introduction (in English) by Dr D.G.B. Piper, from the University of Manchester.


Acquired directly from the estate of Aleksandr Dolberg (1933-2021), aka David Burg.

Item number



Physical Description

Octavo (15.1 x 21.4cm). 246pp. inc. frontispiece with a photo portrait of Bulgakov, title and introduction (paginated additionally as V-VIII), ill. to p. 9.


Original publisher’s printed boards in blue and grey, original dustjacket.


Slight wear and small marginal tear to dustjacket; excellent condition elsewhere.

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