PUSHKIN, Aleksandr Sergeevich, and others -- Poeticheskii al'bom. [Poetical Commonplace Book.] St. Petersburg: c.1828.

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PUSHKIN, Aleksandr Sergeevich, and others -- Poeticheskii al'bom. [Poetical Commonplace Book.] St. Petersburg: c.1828.

Small oblong 8° (95 x 125mm). 64 leaves including endpapers, containing 52 manuscript transcriptions in different hands of contemporary poetry, including 2 by Pushkin, one attributed to Pushkin, among others including Zhukovskii, Ivan Kozlov, P. Teriaev, and Bariatinskii, and translations of Byron and Goethe, and 'To the Ataman Regiment from its Ataman' with subscription 'Naslednik Aleksandr', with 11 engraved plates, 4 coloured by hand, many from almanacs of the period, including the portrait of Pushkin after Kiprenskii, 4 of Bakhchiserai Fountain, one of the Captive of the Caucasus, and one plate of cut paper. (Some leaves slightly soiled, a few slightly loose.) Original Russian blindstamped calf, the upper cover applied with a gilt shaped rectangular centrepiece, gilt clasp and catch, gilt edges (rubbed, head of spine slightly worn). Provenance: Varvara Posnikova (inscriptions).

A FINE EXAMPLE OF AN EARLY 19TH-CENTURY RUSSIAN COMMONPLACE BOOK, or livre d'amitié, containing poems and poetic extracts from various sources, written by friends of the owner. Some entries end with the Cyrillic initials 'ZI'. The volume possibly belonged to Varvara Posnikova whose signature appears in Cyrillic and in Latin on the last two pages. On the penultimate leaf is 'Egyptian Melody (from Byron) by I. Kozlov' which appeared in the almanac Northern Flowers for 1826, with Posnikova's Cyrillic signature at the foot.

Pushkin's poem 'Burned Letter' appears on f.35 verso and 36 which was printed in his Stikhotvoreniia of 1826. On f.58 appear the stansas 'V nadezhde slavoi i dobra' which were published in Moscow News, 1828, no.1, here with approximately 10 variants, all recorded, to the original published text, with 'Aleksandr Pushkin' at the foot. On f.44v-45 appears the verses 'Svecha, chut teplias, dogarala' with the subscription 'A: Pushkin'. This is a variant of a popular song from the late 18th century which had been used by various writers in different forms. This version is similar in style to Pushkin, but is not included in his collected works. Another such variation of the poem appeared as 'Son russkago na chuzhbine' by Fedor Nikolaevich Glinka written in 1825.

The poem attributed to Tsarevich Aleksandr (later Alexander II) on f39v-40 applies to the Ataman Cossack Life-Guards Regiment of H.I.H. the Tsarevich, which might have been composed by the Tsarevich's tutor, V.A. Zhukovskii, but it does not appear in the latter's collected works. His poem 'Lamentation' (Nad prozrachnymi vodami), written in 1811 and published in Vestnik Evropy in 1812, no.7-8, appears in a different hand on the previous leaf. On f.54-55 are 'Verses on the death of young Vain. Written on the southern side of the Fortress of Varna in September 1828', the only date in the album. Most of the other entries appeared in print before this date.

Varvara Posnikova may have been related to the brothers Zakhar and Feodor Nikolaevich Posnikov, the former (1765-1833) was a State Councillor and senator, the latter (1784-1841), major-general and commander of the 2nd Grenadier Division.