Our Notes & References
Fine example, in contemporary binding, of the rare first edition in book form of Turgenev’s last and longest novel.
It was this work, the last of Turgenev’s novels, that established the writer as a global political and literary authority. In it, the psychological depth combined with the vivid descriptions of the desolate Russian countryside and its rural villages lend the novel a photographic quality not present in his earlier work – a harshness and rhythm which is the sign of Turgenev’s ultimate artistic maturity.
‘Virgin Soil’ offers a complex and careful examination of the political unrest of Turgenev’s times. If in ‘Fathers and Sons’ Turgenev tactfully examined the nature of nihilist theories in the young generation, in Virgin Soil the writer confronts the full force of populism, a radicalised and highly politicised offspring of nihilism.
No other copies of this edition were traced in the auctions since 1994.
E. Shneider (inscription to title).