Hamlet in war time

SHAKESPEARE, William, and Boris PASTERNAK (translator)

Gamlet. Prints Datskii. Tragediia

[The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark]

Publication: Moskva, Goslitizdat, 1941.

SHAKESPEARE, William, and Boris PASTERNAK (translator), Gamlet. Prints Datskii. Tragediia

First separate edition of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy in Pasternak’s fine translation. A pleasant example of this scarce edition.

Read More

Out of stock

Our Notes & References

First book edition of Pasternak’s translation – one of the best of Hamlet in Russian language. Scarce, especially in this condition: OCLC locates only one copy (in Cambridge, UK).

At the end of the 1930s, Pasternak the poet had to become a translator, “…not by good fortune through misprision, and if conditions were better I ought not to be translating at all” (Makaryk, McHugh. Shakespeare and the Second World War. 2012). This is a translation that Pasternak reviewed many times, in particular after the first publication in the magazine ‘Molodaia Gvardiia’ (# 5-6, 1940). In all there are about twelve variants of Pasternak’s translation.

The literary critic and Shakespearean scholar Mikhail Morozov (1897–1952) prepared a short afterword for this first book edition, which includes a bibliographical review of Hamlet’s translations in Russian. Morozov headed the cabinet of Shakespeare and Western European theatre at the All-Russian Theatrical Society.

This volume was designed by Vladimir Favorskii (1886-1964), a key figure in the Russian graphic art and book design of the 20th century. He studied in Munich at Simon Hollosy’s school, before teaching in VKhUTEMAS and becoming a woodcut master.


Zakharenko, 1995. # 112.

Item number



Physical Description

Octavo. Frontispiece and 172 p., frontispiece and head- and tail-pieces by V. Favorskii.


Original publisher’s wrappers, designed by V. Favorskii.


Wrappers minimally stained or creased; rare spotting, a few leaves with pinholes (stitching holes) to gutter; otherwise a pleasant, fresh example.

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.