DIVINATION -- BOGDANOV, Grigorii. Bezvrednaia vorozheia, ili Vernoi sposob gadaniia. [The Harmless Fortune-Teller, or the True Method of Divination]. Moscow: V. Okorokov, at the University Press, 1791.

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DIVINATION -- BOGDANOV, Grigorii. Bezvrednaia vorozheia, ili Vernoi sposob gadaniia. [The Harmless Fortune-Teller, or the True Method of Divination]. Moscow: V. Okorokov, at the University Press, 1791.

4° (210 x 170mm). Title within typographic border, tables. (Occasional light spotting.) Contemporary half-calf and blue marbled boards, red morocco spine-label (spine-head chipped, extremities rubbed, sides scuffed and spotted). Provenance: Aleksandr Smirdin (bookplate) -- Rossica (bookplate) -- Diaghilev-Lifar (Lifar's inscription; sold Sotheby's Monaco, November 1975, lot 209).

FIRST EDITION. THE SMIRDIN -- DIAGHILEV-LIFAR COPY. 'Popular divination of one kind or another is referred to or described in many classical Russian works of literature: Zhukovskii, Pushkin, Gogol, Goncharov, Tolstoi, all have passages devoted to it. The two most famous heroines of Russian fiction, Tat'iana in Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, and Natasha in Tolstoi's War and Peace both tried it; in fact an account of popular divination or magic became almost de rigeur in nineteenth-century literary descriptions of life in rural Russia' (Ryan, The Bathhouse at Midnight. An Historical Survey of Magic and Divination in Russia, p.97). A VERY GOOD COPY. SK 619; Smirdin 5512; Sopikov 2641 ('the first and second edition both rare in good condition').