The last lifetime edition - with both wrappers

PUSHKIN, Aleksandr Sergeevich

Evgenii Onegin, Roman v stikhakh

[Eugene Onegin, Novel in Verse]

Publication: Sanktpeterburg, Eksp. zag. gos. bumag for Iliia Glazunov, 1837.

PUSHKIN, Aleksandr Sergeevich, Evgenii Onegin, Roman v stikhakh

One of Russia’s greatest masterpieces, here in a lovely ‘miniature’ edition – the last one published during Pushkin’s lifetime – and in an attractive example with the rare wrappers.

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Our Notes & References

Important and charming small-format edition of “the first great Russian novel and a major influence far beyond its age” by the Russian national poet “at the center of the “Golden Age” of Russian literature” (Terras).

In lovely contemporary full morocco with publisher’s wrappers which are “completely impossible to find” (Smirnov-Sokolskii).

Possibly Pushkin’s most influential work, this ‘novel in verse’ took more than seven years to write, in 1823-31. It was first published in parts from 1825 to 1832. The first book edition came out in 1833, and this is the third edition – but also the last one during Pushkin’s short life, before the poet was killed in a duel just a couple of weeks after this publication. As a result, the entire edition sold out within a week. Interestingly, this edition could come back, for the first time, to the original text published in parts, with the complete text, unaltered by censors.

This edition was, and still is, remarkable for its innovative format and its quality. Smirnov-Sokolskii notes that Pushkin was advised to publish his masterpiece in the manner of Shakespeare’s miniature English editions, in “the smallest font and in beautiful wrappers; it looked more like a miniature “keepsake” than a solid edition, and was new in Russian publications of the time, although it was not entirely easy to read because of the small print. It was executed so thoroughly, as Pushkin’s works had never been published before or since” (our translation here and below).

Published by the bookseller Glazunov, the edition was following closely the format and presentation of his 1835 edition of Krylov’s Fables, which had been hailed as a typographical masterpiece.

The poet personally edited the novel, noting all earlier mistakes from previous editions: “Not a single error was left; the last proofreading was very attentively reviewed by Pushkin himself” (Sm.-Sok.). As a result, “Pushkin liked [this edition] so much that every day he would bring his acquaintances to the bookshop […] and instructed Glazunov to publish some of his other works the same way” (Sm.-Sok., quoting ‘A Brief Overview of the Rook Trade of the Glazunovs’ [Kratkii obzor deiatelnosti Glazunovykh, 1883]).

“It was Pushkin who, drawing on a plethora of European and Russian literary and social precedents, taught subsequent novelists (especially Lermontov, Turgenev, and Tolstoi) what sort of actuality to capture and how to encode it” (Terras).


‘A.G.’ (gilt initials in Cyrillics to spine foot); ‘A mon amy (?) ce 16 avril 62’ (inscription in brown ink to upper fly-leaf); UK private collection.


Gubar 12 & 13; Kilgour 877 (with only lower wrapper bound-in); Markov 13; Sm.-Sok. 1021 & Rasskazy 36; Terras, A History of Russian Literature. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1991.

Item number



Physical Description

32mo (10.8 x 7 cm). Half-title, title, introduction leaf, 310 pp., blank leaf.


Original publisher’s brown printed wrappers bound in contemporary straight-grained dark green shagreen, flat spine gilt in compartments with direct gilt lettering, covers with gilt ornamental borders and gilt corner pieces, gilt turn-ins, glazed turquoise endpapers, all edges gilt.


Binding a bit rubbed, gilt and corners especially, Pushkin’s dates in pencil to upper pastedown, upper wrapper with crease to corner; light foxing throughout, sometimes a bit heavier, a couple of pencil scribbles, minor creasing and small other spotting, a larger waterstain to first leaves incl. title, 4 leaves a bit shorter at bottom margin. Still a near fine, very attractive example in a distinguished contemporary binding and with the wrappers in fine condition, very rare without damage.

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