Leningrad: Lenizdat, 1944. Item #1043
181,  pp.: ill., 15 ills. 25,5x18 cm. In original full cloth with colored lettering and design. Some foxing of plates, ink inscription on the verso of front flyleaf, otherwise very good.
First edition. Very rare wartime edition printed as soon as the blockade was lifted.
Despite the date of publication and general deficit of materials, this edition was printed on high-quality level. Design was co-produced by a group of artists and designers who survived the Siege. Illustrations on the separate leaves were drawn by several artists under direction of graphic artist Vladimir Serov (1910-1968) who headed the Leningrad Union of Artists. The endpapers feature the 1943 cityscape by Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva (1871-1955). Cover and title-page designs were produced by Valerian Dvorakovskii (1904-1979). Head- and tail pieces were designed by industrial designer Patvakan Grigor’iants (1899-1986) who was a member of wartime association Fighting Pencil and created caricatures.
A large number of publishing houses and presses were evacuated from Moscow and West cities to Povolzhye and Siberia, but Lenizdat, along with most printing enterprises, stayed in Leningrad and continued to work. The siege lasted 872 days until January 27, 1944. The edition was printed in February 1944, after the siege ended, but the war wasn’t over.
The publication is dedicated to women who replaced men in all occupations: they became woodcutters, blacksmiths, miners, diggers, builders, etc. They did miles of earthworks, took care of exhausted and frozen people, worked at factories, etc. The edition includes stories, memories, photographs of letters sent from the siege, as well as translation of letters from the UK women’s societies and replies to them written by Leningrad women.
Worldcat shows copies located in the Library of Congress, Stanford University, Harvard College and NYPL.