Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Garnett Family (4): Richard the Third

Richard Garnett: The White Dragon (1963)

It's strange how important reading the right children's book at just the right time can be.

I'm not sure just what impression Richard Garnett's White Dragon would have on me now if I were encountering it for the first time, but, as it turned out, it had the effect of introducing me to a whole set of fascinating topics which have interested me ever since:

    For more on this, I strongly recommend the following:
    E. K. Chambers. The English Folk-Play. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1933.

    E. K. Chambers: The English Folk-Play (1933)

    In the book, the children find the remains of a pantomime dragon, "Old Snap," and are inspired to resurrect an almost forgotten seasonal play in which St. George battles this personification of winter in order to bring life back to the land again.

    Daniel Defoe: A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain (Folio Society, 2006)

  1. Daniel Defoe's Tour of the Whole Island of Great Britain (1724-26)

  2. Garnett's protagonist, Mark Rutter, also centre stage in his earlier book The Silver Kingdom, reads a passage from Defoe's fascinating compendium of local gossip and anecdotes - combined with direct observation - about a mysterious 'white worm' which can only be seen at certain times of day on a nearby eminence called the 'Wormell' (or Worm-Hill).

    Richard Garnett: The Silver Kingdom (1957)

    Mark, who is (according to his archaeologist friend from the previous book) a 'born finder', discovers the solution to this mystery by sheer happenstance, and unearths another dragon to set alongside Old Snap.

    Sure enough, the second 'white dragon' in the book turns out to be a chalk figure cut into the hillside. Unlike the more familiar examples, where the turf has to be recut periodically to keep them visible, the 'white worme' of the Wormell has been made out of chalk packed into man-made ditches on this artificial eminence. As a result, it proves possible to re-establish its long-overgrown contours by the simple expedient of drilling small holes in the hillside.

    Graham Oakley: Cover illustration (1963)

    The above illustration shows the contours of the chalk figure as it is eventually revealed. Mark spots it because the snow melts more slowly on the chalk than the earth of the hill, so he is able to photograph its momentarily revealed shape one evening during the thaw: a 'born finder', indeed!

    Adriaen Pietersz van de Venne: Der Winter (1614)

  3. Ice yachting

  4. Mark's desire to construct an ice yacht for his cousin Tom, a keen skater injured in a road accident years before, and now forced to go everywhere on crutches, forms most of the actual narrative of the book.

    This was the era of the can-do hero, when a set of enterprising boys and girls could easily solve a cipher, reconstruct an old building, start an archaeological dig, or - as in this case - master the mechanics of ice-yachting.

    It's strangely inspiring to read about, however little it may resemble the pathetic constructions of cardboard and plastic which were all I and my contemporaries could achieve.

    Richard Garnett: The White Dragon (1963)

    The original cover of the hardback edition, above, shows the success that attends their efforts. 'The White Dragon' and 'The Red Knight' are the names of the two yachts they build out of a few old planks and some leftover ice-skates provided by the local junkshop owner.

    This is more of a peripheral reference in the book, but a 'white dragon' in mahjong is a totally blank tile. It's named from the fact that such a sheet of white can represent a white dragon hiding on a field of snow - or nothing at all, depending on how you interpret it.

    The book concludes with the gift to Mark from his friends of a blank mahjong tile, the fourth (and last) dragon in the story. When asked what the difference is between a white dragon and a blank tile, he replies: "All the difference in the world." Those, rather appropriately, are the last words of the text.

Julian Bell: Richard Garnett (1992)

As you'll have deduced from the title of my blogpost, the author of The White Dragon, Richard Garnett (1923-2013), was the third writer of that name, in direct line of descent from Richard Garnett the Philologist (1789-1850), and Richard Garnett the writer and editor (1835-1906). He was the grandson of Edward and Constance Garnett, and the son of David and Ray Garnett.

Despite - or perhaps because of - the weight of this family legacy, he was a pretty competent and multi-faceted character in his own right.

As well as an author of children's books (his only other published work in this vein, the historical novel Jack of Dover, is pictured below), he was also an editor and publisher.

Richard Garnett: Jack of Dover (1966)

This is his history of the firm that he mainly worked for, Rupert Hart-Davis, co-founded by his father, David Garnett:

Nicolas Barker has this to say of his skills as a publisher in his 2013 Independent obituary:
Garnett was ... [Rupert Hart-Davis]'s production manager, and soon an expert editor as well. Heinrich Harrer's Seven Years in Tibet, another bestseller, and the three-volume autobiography of Lady Diana Cooper (Hart-Davis's aunt), exercised both skills. Laurence Whistler's books spurred him to become a glass-engraver. His nautical experience came to the fore with the Mariner's Library of sea classics ... But the heart of the firm lay not in these but in scholarly but readable books such as Leon Edel's five-volume life of Henry James, Allan Wade's Letters of W. B. Yeats and Peter Fleming's imperial sagas. All of these achieved their reputation thanks to the joint expertise of Garnett and Hart-Davis. Not for nothing did one of their admiring beneficiaries call the firm "the university of Soho Square".

But commercial success did not follow. Three times the firm had to be bailed out. Control passed first to Heinemann, then Harcourt Brace and finally to Granada. Hart-Davis himself left in 1963; three years later the firm was merged with MacGibbon & Kee and finally Garnett was sacked. As he left, a water-pipe burst in the attic, leaving him to say "Après moi le déluge". ... Fortunately, Macmillan was in need of just his talents, to supervise copy-editing and proof-correction. He soon became indispensable ... Gerald Durrell's books owed much to his editing, which verged on authorial, as did the natural history books of Bernard Heuvelmans.
Barker sees his two greatest achievements as:
  1. his 1991 biography of his grandmother, Constance Garnett:

  2. Richard Garnett: Constance Garnett: A Heroic Life (1991)

  3. his design work for The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, edited by Kathleen Coburn et al., 16 parts in 34 volumes (Princeton University Press, 1969-2002):

  4. Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Biographia Literaria, ed. James Engell and W. Jackson Bate (1983)

That seems as good a place as any to conclude my survey of this unusually talented family of writers and artists.

David "Bunny" Garnett had six children in all. Two sons - including Richard himself - with his first wife Rachel "Ray" Marshall (1891–1940); and four daughters with Angelica (1918–2012). The eldest of these, Amaryllis Virginia Garnett (1943–1973) was an actress who had a small part in Harold Pinter's film adaptation of The Go-Between (1970). She drowned in the Thames, aged 29 - whether by accident or suicide is unclear.

Richard Garnett himself died leaving two sons, but whether or not either of them - or their own children, for that matter - have literary ambitions remains beyond the grasp of that (would-be) fount of all knowledge, wikipedia.

Joseph Losey, dir.: The Go-Between (1971)

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."

Friday, February 15, 2019

The Garnett Family (3): "Bunny"

Lytton Strachey, perhaps the most thoroughly naturalised of Bloomsbury insiders, once decided that it would be interesting to try to record in detail the events of a single day:
... to realize absolutely the events of a single and not extraordinary day - surely that might be no less marvellous than a novel or even a poem, and still more illuminating, perhaps! If one could do it! But one can't, of course. one has neither the power nor the mere physical possibility for enchaining that almost infinite succession; one's memory is baffled; and then - the things one remembers most one cannot, one dares not ...

Michael Holroyd & Paul Levy, ed.: The Shorter Strachey (1980)

He decided to have a go at it, anyway. The day he chose was Monday June 26th, 1916. The results were not published till long after his death, in The Shorter Strachey (1980), but they do constitute an irreplaceable record of Bloomsbury in wartime. His biographer Michael Holroyd gives the background of the piece as follows:
Rejected as a conscientious objector, Strachey was also rejected as unfit for any kind of military service. On 26 June 1916 he was staying at Wissett Lodge, a remote Suffolk farmhouse where Duncan Grant and David Garnett had set themselves up as official fruit farmers under the National Service Act. His description of this Bloomsbury colony gives an authentic picture of a matriarchy presided over by Vanessa Bell. [21]

Christopher Hampton, writ. & dir.: Carrington (1995)

This is all material familiar from Christopher Hampton's brilliant film Carrington. What perhaps isn't quite so familiar is the following:
I went out of the room before anyone else, and walked through the drawing-room out onto the lawn. It was still quite light, though it must have been past nine o'clock. I paced once or twice up and down the lawn, when Bunny appeared and immediately joined me. ... I felt nervous, almost neurasthenic - what used to be called 'unstrung'. He was so calm and gentle, and his body was so large, with his shirt (with nothing under it) open all the way down - that I longed to throw myself onto him as if he were a feather-bed, to tell him everything - everything, and to sob myself asleep. And yet, at the same time, the more I longed to expand, the more I hated the thought of it. It would be disgusting and ridiculous. It was out of the question ... We went and sat on a dirty seat at the end of [the kitchen garden], and I thought that if it had been a clean stone seat, and if he had been dressed in white knee-breeches and a blue coat with brass buttons, and if I had been a young lady in a high waist - or should it have been the other way round? - the scene would have done well for an academy picture by Marcus Stone.

Marcus Stone: Two's Company, Three's None (1892)

... We came nearer to one another, and, with a divine vigour, embraced. I was amused to notice, just before it happened, that he looked very nervously in the direction of the house. We kissed a great deal, and I was happy. Physically, as well as mentally, he had assuaged me. That was what was so wonderful about him - he gave neither too little nor too much. I felt neither the disillusionment of having gone too far, nor any of the impatience of desire. I knew that we loved each other, and I was unaware that my cock had moved. [34-37]
Of this delightful scene (for Lytton, at least) David Garnett later caustically observed:
What I remember must have been the next day - the day he apparently left. We went for a walk along the edge of a cornfield and he told me that he was in love, or more than a little in love with Carrington and made me promise not to tell Vanessa or Duncan or anyone. ... I kept my promise ... I suppose it was the reassurance I had given him which led him to confide in me and he was also perhaps more ready to confide a heterosexual attachment to me than a daydream about the postman which would have strained my powers of sympathy!

I guess, at the very least, this extract serves to give you some idea of the polymorphous complexity of its day-to-day life. The aptly nicknamed "Bunny" (David Garnett) would go on to marry Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell's daughter Angelica, a quarter of a century his junior, who was not even born at the time. Duncan Grant was, rather awkwardly, an ex-lover of his.

Duncan Grant: Portrait of David Garnett (1915)

These complexities of his emotional life have grown to overshadow unfairly the range of David Garnett's creative work, though I suppose it could be said that attempts to convey the complexities of love lie at the heart of most of his writing: certainly his first great success, the fantasy Lady into Fox (1922), but also such later novels as Aspects of Love (1955), adapted as a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1989.

Andrew Lloyd Webber: Aspects of Love (1990)

I suppose what appeals to me most about Garnett is this many-sidedness of his. He could be somewhat censorious of the sexual irregularities of others in later years - witness some very judgemental remarks about the sado-masochistic leanings of his friend T. H. White (included in the published correspondence between the two), as well as the implied sneer at Lytton Strachey above. But you don't have to approve of every aspect of someone's behaviour to find them a fascinating study. In fact, I'd feel inclined to assert the opposite.

As well as a well-thought-of novelist, he was also a pioneering publisher and editor: co-founder of the Nonesuch Press with Frances Meynell in 1922, and editor of some of its most intriguing volumes of contemporary writing - such as D. H. Lawrence's Love Among the Haystacks & Other Pieces: With a Reminiscence by David Garnett (1930):

D. H. Lawrence: Love Among the Haystacks (1930)

Among his other achievements as an editor, the following all deserve a mention:

    David Garnett, ed. The Letters of T. E. Lawrence of Arabia (1938)

  1. The Letters of T. E. Lawrence. London: Jonathan Cape Ltd., 1938.

  2. David Garnett, ed.: The Novels of Thomas Love Peacock (1948)

  3. The Novels of Thomas Love Peacock. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1948.

  4. David Garnett, ed.: The Essential T. E. Lawrence (1951)

  5. The Essential T. E. Lawrence: A Selection of His Finest Writings. 1951. Introduction by Malcolm Brown. Oxford Paperbacks. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

  6. David Garnett, ed.: The White / Garnett Letters (1968)

  7. The White / Garnett Letters. London: Jonathan Cape Ltd., 1968.

  8. Garnett, David, ed. Carrington: Letters and Extracts from Her Diaries. Biographical Note by Noel Carrington. 1970. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979.

  9. Thomas Love Peacock: The Complete Novels I (1948 / 1963)

These are all substantial books, in use to this day, and witness to his wide range of friends and acquaintances - as well as to a set of scholarly skills presumably inherited from his grandfather (who preceded him as an editor of Peacock).

Here's a list of his works (the ones which I myself own - a mere 18 out of 44 - are marked in bold, so you can see that I have a long way to go before I can boast a really comprehensive collection):

David Garnett: Lady into Fox & A Man in the Zoo (1922 / 1944)

David ('Bunny') Garnett


  1. [as 'Leda Burke'] Dope Darling (1919)

  2. Lady into Fox (1922)

  3. A Man in the Zoo (1924)

  4. The Sailor's Return (1925)

  5. Go She Must! (1927)

  6. No Love (1929)

  7. The Grasshoppers Come (1931)

  8. A Terrible Day (1932)

  9. Pocahontas, or, the Nonpareil of Virginia (1933)

  10. Beany-Eye (1935)

  11. Aspects of Love (1955)

  12. A Shot in the Dark (1958)

  13. A Net for Venus (1959)

  14. Two by Two: A Story of Survival (1963)

  15. Ulterior Motives (1966)

  16. A Clean Slate (1971)

  17. The Sons of the Falcon (1972)

  18. Plough Over the Bones (1973)

  19. The Master Cat (1974)

  20. Up She Rises (1977)

  21. Short Stories:

  22. The Old Dove Cote (1928)

  23. Purl and Plain (1973)

  24. Autobiography & Memoirs:

  25. Never Be a Bookseller (1929)

  26. The Golden Echo (1953)

  27. The Flowers of the Forest (1955)

  28. The Familiar Faces (1962)

  29. Great Friends: Portraits of Seventeen Writers (1979)

  30. Miscellaneous:

  31. A Rabbit in the Air: Notes from a Diary Kept While Learning to Handle an Aeroplane (1932)

  32. The Battle of Britain (1941)

  33. War in the Air (1941)

  34. The Campaign in Greece and Crete (1942)

  35. The First 'Hippy' Revolution (1970)

  36. The Secret History of PWE: The Political Warfare Executive, 1939–1945 (2002)

  37. Edited:

  38. Letters from John Galsworthy, 1900–1932 (1934)

  39. The Letters of T. E. Lawrence (1938)

  40. The Novels of Thomas Love Peacock (1948)

  41. The Essential T. E. Lawrence (1951)

  42. Selected Letters of T. E. Lawrence (1952)

  43. The White / Garnett Letters (1968)

  44. Carrington: Letters & Extracts From Her Diaries (1970)

  45. Translated:

  46. André Maurois: A Voyage to the Island of the Articoles (1928)

  47. Victoria Ocampo: 338171 T. E. (Lawrence of Arabia) (1963)

  48. Secondary:

  49. David Garnett, C.B.E.: A Writer's Library (1983)

  50. Knights, Sarah. Bloomsbury's Outsider: A Life of David Garnett. London: Bloomsbury Reader, 2015.

I'm conscious, in this Garnett post in particular, of having rather skated over the complex history of the family and their interrelationships. Librarian and bibliographer Donald Kerr has reminded me of the existence of Edward Garnett's bibliophile brother Robert Singleton Garnett (1866-1932), author of - among many other titles - Some Book-Hunting Adventures: A Diversion (1931) and Odd Memories: More Book-Hunting Adventures (1932), whose collection of rare Dumas manuscripts and early editions is now housed in Auckland Public Library, but I have to admit that that's the extent of my knowledge of him.

"How much sex did one writer need?" is the title of one fellow-blogger's review of Sarah Knights' Bloomsbury's Outsider: A Life of David Garnett. Certainly, far more detail on David Garnett's love-life (in particular) than anyone could ever possibly require is included in Knights' very readable book. This is how she sums up his colourful life:
Bunny was not perfect. He espoused honesty but lacked self-awareness. His need for diversion was often destructive. He was cruel to his wife Ray. Perhaps he was selfish in loving Angelica and marrying her. But as an imperfect example of humankind he created courageous stories, wrote beautiful prose, supported his friends, helped other writers, remained true to his convictions and loved his family.
The blogger quoted above ripostes as follows:
I have to disagree. I don’t mind that he was bi-sexual or polyamorous, but I do care that he thought about nobody’s emotional needs except his own. Not his wives, not his children’s and certainly not his lovers. Being a great writer did not make up for his other failings.
So there the matter stands. I like his books, and I propose to keep on collecting them. That's about the size of it - for me, at least. I hope to say some more about Bunny Garnett in a future post on one of his closest friends, that even more fascinating and mercurial character T. E. Lawrence, but for now, enough said.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Russian Foreign Languages Publishing House

Jack & his new bookcases (Bronwyn Lloyd: 30-1-19)

Recently we decided to get some new bookcases. Above you can see the before: how they looked on delivery day. Below you can see after: how they look now I've finished arranging them:

The finished article (BL: 12-2-19)

It's clear that you'll need a bit of context before you can understand how (and why) I got from point A to point B, however. First of all, the room itself:

Anne's Room I (29-1-19)

This was once my sister Anne's bedroom. After that, it was used as an office. But it's always been a slightly awkward space: too cramped for a guest room, and too hot and stuffy to work in comfortably in the afternoons. Accordingly, we took out all the furniture:

Anne's Room II (29-1-19)

The first set of books I transplanted there were my American history books. As you'll know if you read this blog at all, I have a fascination with all aspects of the American civil war, but actually I'm partial to most of the great American narrative historians: Washington Irving, William H. Prescott, Francis Parkman, and their twentieth century counterparts: Robert Caro, Shelby Foote, David McCullough, Barbara Tuchman, and Edmund Wilson:

American History I (10-2-19)

American History II (10-2-19)

This was followed by children's books and Russian books, in each of the remaining bookcases:

Children's & Russian books (10-2-19)

Bronwyn gave me two beautiful bookends for Christmas, a Chinese boy and girl each reading a book. The question was what to put between them?

Chinese Bookends (10-2-19)

My sister had a particular fondness for books published by the Russian Foreign Languages Publishing House, with their distinctive cover designs and charmingly eccentric typefaces:

Foreign Languages Publishing House II (10-2-19)

I therefore decided to put all the volumes I had in this series (including some that used to belong to her), and put them on top of a central pair of bookcases, counterpointing the three placed against the wall:

Film & TV etc. (10-2-19)

The Powys Brothers et al. (10-2-19)

The Moscow-based Foreign Languages Publishing House, founded in 1946, included a series of Classics of Russian Literature, alongside Soviet Literature, Marxist-Leninist Classics, and various others (including the endearingly titled "Soviet Children's Library for Tiny Tots").

The translations were often clumsy and stilted by comparison with the practised smoothness of (say) Constance Garnett's versions, but that just seemed to add to their charms. They seemed so intensely Russian, somehow. Here's a list of the ones I've managed to assemble so far:

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Poor Folk (1950s)

  1. Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. Poor Folk. 1846. Trans. Lev Navrozov. Classics of Russian Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  2. Fyodor Dostoyevsky: White Nights (1950s)

  3. Dostoyevsky, F. White Nights / A Faint Heart / A Christmas Party and a Wedding / The Little Hero. 1848, 1848, 1848 & 1857. Trans. O. N. Shartse. Classics of Russian Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  4. Fyodor Dostoyevsky: The Insulted and Humiliated (1957)

  5. Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. The Insulted and Humiliated. 1861. Ed. Olga Shartse. Classics of Russian Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d. [1957].

  6. Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Notes from a Dead House (1950s)

  7. Dostoyevsky, F. Notes from a Dead House. 1862. Trans. L. Navrozov & Y. Guralsky. Classics of Russian Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  8. Fyodor Dostoyevsky: My Uncle’s Dream (1950s)

  9. Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. My Uncle’s Dream / Most Unfortunate / The Gambler. 1859, 1862 & 1867. Trans. Ivy Litvinova. Classics of Russian Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  10. Fyodor Dostoyevsky: A Funny Man’s Dream (1950s)

  11. Dostoyevsky, F. A Funny Man’s Dream: Our Man Marei / The Meek One: A Fantasy / A Funny Man’s Dream: A Fantasy / Stepanchikovo and Its Inhabitants. 1876, 1876, 1877 & 1859. Trans. Olga Shartse. Ed. Julius Katzer. Classics of Russian Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  12. Nikolai Gogol: Evenings Near the Village of Dikanka (1950s)

  13. Gogol, Nikolai. Evenings Near the Village of Dikanka: Stories Published by Bee-Keeper Rudi Panko. 1831-1832. Ed. Ovid Gorchakov. Illustrated by A. Kanevsky. Classics of Russian Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  14. Nikolai Gogol: Mirgorod (1950s)

  15. Gogol, Nikolai. Mirgorod: Being a Continuation of Evenings in a Village Near Dikanka. 1835. Illustrated by A. Kanevsky. Classics of Russian Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  16. Alexaner Kuprin: The Garnet Bracelet (1950s)

  17. Kuprin, Alexander. The Garnet Bracelet and Other Stories. Trans. Stepan Apresyan. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  18. Mikhail Lermontov: A Hero of Our Time (1956)

  19. Lermontov, Mikhail.A Hero of Our Time. Trans. Martin Parker. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1956.

  20. Alexander Pushkin: The Tales of Ivan Belkin (1954)

  21. Pushkin, A. The Tales of Ivan Belkin. 1830. Trans. Ivy & Tatiana Litvinov. Illustrated by D. A. Shmarinov. Classics of Russian Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954.

  22. Alexander Pushkin: Dubrovsky (1955)

  23. Pushkin, A. S. Dubrovsky. 1833. Trans. Ivy & Tatiana Litvinov. Illustrated by V. Kolganov. Classics of Russian Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1955.

  24. Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin: Judas Golovlyov (1950s)

  25. Saltykov-Shchedrin, Mikhail. Judas Golovlyov. 1880. Trans. Olga Shartse. Classics of Russian Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  26. Lev Tolstoy: Childhood, Boyhood, Youth (1950s)

  27. Tolstoy, Lev. Childhood, Boyhood, Youth. 1852, 1854 & 1857. Ed. D. Bitsi. Classics of Russian Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  28. Lev Tolstoy: Resurrection (1950s)

  29. Tolstoy, Lev. Resurrection: A Novel. 1899. Trans. Louise Maude. Ed. L. Kolesnikov. Illustrated by O. Pasternak. Classics of Russian Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  30. Lev Tolstoy: Short Stories (1950s)

  31. Tolstoy, Lev. Short Stories. Trans. Margaret Wettlin. Illustrated by V. Basov. Classics of Russian Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  32. Reminiscences of Lev Tolstoi by His Contemporaries (1950s)

  33. Wettlin, Margaret, trans. Reminiscences of Lev Tolstoi by His Contemporaries. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  34. Ivan Turgenev: A Hunter’s Sketches (1950s)

  35. Turgenev, Ivan. A Hunter’s Sketches. 1852. Ed. O. Gorchakov. Classics of Russian Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  36. Ivan Turgenev: Three Short Novels (1946-64)

  37. Turgenev, Ivan. Three Short Novels: Asya / First Love / Spring Torrents. 1857, 1860 & 1871. Trans. Ivy & Tatiana Litvinov. Classics of Russian Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

And here's an alphabetically arranged list (by author and title) of some of the other volumes I don't yet own::

    Ivan Bunin: Shadowed Paths (1950s)

  1. Ivan Bunin
    • Shadowed Paths. Translated from the Russian by Olga Shartse, n.d.

  2. Anton Chekhov: Three Years (c.1950)

  3. Anton Chekhov
    • Three Years. c. 1950. 140 pp.

  4. V. M. Garshin: The Scarlet Flower (1959)

  5. V. M. Garshin
    • The Scarlet Flower. 1959. 179 pp. Frontis of author. Illustrated with black & white drawings. Navy blue cloth cover ... with red & gold lettering on its spine and a red flower on its front board.

  6. Nikolai Gogol: Taras Bulba (c.1954)

  7. Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol
    • Taras Bulba. Translated from the Russian by O.A. Gorchakov. Designed by D. Bisti (illustrator). c. 1958. 143 pp.

  8. Nikolai Leskov
    • The Enchanted Wanderer and Other Stories. Translated By George H. Hanna. Frontispiece photo of the author. n.d. 346 pp.

  9. Alexander Pushkin: The Captain's Daughter (1954)

  10. Alexander Pushkin [Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin]
    • The Captain's Daughter. 1954. Beige paper over boards, gilt spine and cover titles.

  11. M. Saltykov-Schedrin
    • Tales from M. Saltykov-Shchedrin. Collection of short stories. Translated by Dorian Rottenberg and edited by John Gibbons. n.d.

  12. Lev Tolstoi: The Cossacks (1965)

  13. Lev Tolstoi [Leo Tolstoy]
    • The Cossacks: A Story of the Caucasus. Edited by R. Daglish. c. 1965.

    • Lev Tolstoi: Tales of Sevastopol (1950)

    • Tales of Sevastopol. Illustrated by Pyotr Pavlinov. Classics of Russian Literature No. 17. 1950. 154 printed pages of text with one tipped-in colour plate and full-page monochrome illustrations throughout. Hard back binding in publisher's original decorated duck egg blue cloth covers. Gilt title and author lettering to the spine and to the upper panel. Quarto size: 10 1/2'' x 8 1/4''.

  14. Ivan Turgenev: Fathers and Sons (1950s)

  15. I. S. Turgenev [Turgenev, Ivan] [Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev]
    • Fathers and Sons. Translated from the Russian by Bernard Isaacs. Illustrated by Konstantin Rudakov. 1951. 214 pp. 9 tipped in plates.

    • Ivan Turgenev: Mumu (1960)

    • MUMU. n.d. 78pp. "Never in the whole of literature has there been a more shattering protest against cruel tyranny."

    • Ivan Turgenev: On the Eve (1950s)

    • On the Eve. 1958. Small purple hardcover with black lettering and design on cover, 179 pp.

    • Rudin. Translated by O. Gorchakov. Illustrated by V. Sveshnikov. Designed by E. Fomina. 1954. 138 pp.

As well as all of these Russian classics, there was the possibly even more characteristic and spirited companion library of Soviet literature:

    Maxim Gorky: Childhood (1950s)

  1. Gorky, Maxim. Childhood. 1913. Trans. Margaret Wettlin. Library of Selected Soviet Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  2. Gorky, Maxim. My Universities. 1923. Trans. Helen Altschuler. Library of Selected Soviet Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  3. Gorky, Maxim. Foma Gordeyev. 1901. Trans. Margaret Wettlin. Library of Selected Soviet Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  4. Gorky, Maxim. The Artamonovs. 1927. Trans. Helen Altschuler. Illustrated by D. Shmarinov. Library of Selected Soviet Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  5. Anatoly Rybakov: The Dirk (1954)

  6. Rybakov, Anatoly. The Dirk: A Story. Trans. David Skvirsky. Illustrated by O. Vereisky. Soviet Literature for Young People. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954.

  7. Mikhail Sholokhov: And Quiet Flows the Don (1950s)

  8. Sholokhov, Mikhail. And Quiet Flows the Don. 1926-40. 4 vols. Trans. Stephen Garry. 1934. Revised and Completed by Robert Daglish. Library of Soviet Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  9. Sholokhov, Mikhail. Virgin Soil Upturned. 1932. Trans. R. Daglish. 1935. Library of Selected Soviet Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  10. Leonid Solovyov: The Enchanted Prince (1957)

  11. Solovyov, Leonid. The Enchanted Prince: Book Two of the Adventures of Khoja Nasreddin. 1954. Trans. Bernard Isaacs. Library of Soviet Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1957.

  12. Alexei Tolstoy: The Lame Prince (1950s)

  13. Tolstoy, Alexei. The Lame Prince: A Story. 1912. Trans. Leonid Lamm. Library of Soviet Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  14. Tolstoy, Alexei. Nikita’s Childhood. 1920. Ed. K. Y. Vladimirsky & V. A. Zaitsev. Trans. V. Korotky. Russian Readers for Beginners. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  15. Tolstoy, Alexei. Aelita. 1923. Trans. Lucy Flaxman. Ed. V. Shneerson. Library of Soviet Literature. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.

  16. Alexei Tolstoy: Aelita (1950s)

There was a shake-up in 1964, at the end of the Khrushchev era. The original Foreign Languages Publishing House, with its zany, eccentric designs, was split into two separate publishers: Progress and Mir. The former specialised in literature, often reprinting the same texts as its predecessor in a rather more sober and official-looking manner, while the latter handled scientific and technical books.

Here's a list of the "Progress Publishers" books I have:

Fyodor Dostoyevsky: The Insulted and Humiliated (1976)

  1. Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. The Insulted and Humiliated. 1861. Trans. Olga Shartse. 1957. Russian Classics Series. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1976.

  2. Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. The Idiot. 1868. Trans. Julius Katzer. 1971. Russian Classics Series. 2 vols. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975.

  3. Gogol, Nikolai. A Selection, I: from Mirgorod / from St. Petersburg Stories / The Government Inspector. Trans. Christopher English. Russian Classics Series. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1980.

  4. Gogol, Nikolai. A Selection, II: Village Evenings near Dikanka / from Mirgorod. Preface by S. Mashinsky. Trans. Christopher English & Angus Rosburgh. Russian Classics Series. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1981.

  5. Goncharov, Ivan. The Same Old Story: A Novel. 1847. Trans. Ivy Litvinova. Illustrated by Orest Vereisky. 1957. Russian Classics Series. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975.

  6. Gorky, Maxim. Letters. Trans. V. Dutt. Ed. P. Cockerell. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1966.

  7. Lermontov, Mikhail. Selected Works. Trans. Martin Parker, Avril Pyman, Irina Zheleznova, et al. Russian Classics Series. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1976.

  8. Mayakovsky, Vladimir. Poems. Trans. Dorian Rottenberg. Illustrated by Vladimir Ilyushchenko. 1972. Soviet Authors Library. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1976.

  9. Pushkin, Alexander. Selected Works in Two Volumes. Volume One: Poetry. Introduction by A. Tvardovsky. 1974. Russian Classics Series. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1976.

  10. Pushkin, Alexander. Selected Works in Two Volumes. Volume Two: Prose Works. Russian Classics Series. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1974.

Alexander Pushkin: Selected Works: Volume One - Poetry (1976)

Anne Ross (1961-1991): self-portrait

I hope that this new bookroom constitutes a fitting memorial for my wonderful (and sorely missed) sister Anne. It contains many of the children's books and Russian novels she loved, and is meant to remind us of her - as well as existing for purposes of pure entertainment, of course. She wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

The library cat gives her blessing