The Novels of Ivan Turgenev, Illustrated Edition… Translated from the Russian by Constance Garnett. London: William Heinemann, 1906
15 volumes, in 8vo, of Turgenev’s novels. Printed in 250 copies. Comprising:
- A house of gentlefolk
- On the eve
- Fathers and children
- Virgin soil (2 vols)
- A sportsman’s sketches (2 vols)
- Dream tales and prose
- The torrents of spring, etc
- A Lear of the steppes
- The diary of a superfluous man, etc
- A desperate character
- The Jew
A Prolific and Influential Translator
Constance Garnett’s translation of Turgenev was first published in the 1890s, also by Heinemann. She played a leading role in popularising Russian literature in the Anglophone world.
Garnett translated some 71 volumes by Russian authors including Tolstoy, Gogol, Dostoyevsky and Chekhov. She worked at speed, and her translations are no longer considered definitive, but for decades after her death they remained the standard means for English speakers to experience Russian literature, and her influence was profound.
According to ODNB: ‘Her descriptive passages are often exquisitely done and she eschews linguistic fads or slang. Conrad, for whom Turgenev was Constance Garnett, compared her to a great musician interpreting a great composer. For Katherine Mansfield, Garnett transformed the lives of younger authors by revealing a new world. Without her translations, HE Bates believed, modern English literature itself could not have been what it is’. Her husband, Edward, was an author, editor and critic; her son David was a prominent member of the Bloomsbury Group.
Condition & Materials
Illustrated with black and white plates, sporadic foxing, one or two passages marked in pencil in the margin. Green publisher’s cloth with double-headed eagle motif on spines; some hinges weak, lower hinge of ‘On the eve’ broken; top edge gilt, remainder uncut. Ink stamps of HC Hoare to pastedowns of each volume, probably Henry Colt Hoare (1888-1917), only child of Sir Henry and Lady Alda Hoare of Stourhead, of the banking family. Captain Hoare died of wounds sustained while serving with the Dorset Yeomanry in Palestine.
TURGENEV, Ivan Sergeyevich
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