St. Petersburg: E.I. Blek, 1912. Item #1182
96 pp. 20x12 cm. Original illustrated wrappers. Spine is chipped, couple of small pieces of the spine lost, otherwise in very good condition. The versos of both wrappers contain information on another editions of the publisher.
First and only edition. Rare.
Supplied with 30 illustrations, of which many are printed from original photographs.
The book came out in the series ‘The land description of our homeland in popular essays’, in which 17 books were printed, covering ‘further’ areas of Far East, Central Asia and Eastern Siberia.
The book is divided into following sections: Climate, flora and fauna; the history of the land; ethnography of the local population; the trades and everyday life of the locals; the roads; sights.
The author of this book Porfiriy Infantiev (1860-1913) was professional ethnographer and revolutionary. He has published around 40 works on the ethnography of Buryats, Chuvashes, Gilyaks, Kamchadals. He is also well-known for his revolutionary activities. He has studied abroad, in Zurich University. In 1887 he was sent out of Switzerland "for communication with Russian state criminals", and was arrested at the border station. He spent a year in the Warsaw Fortress accusing him of "making bombs in Zurich." In the summer, he was sent to St. Petersburg, sentenced to a year in solitary confinement in the Kresty prison (he published the book Kresty in 1907 about this stage of his life), with subsequent exile to the Urals under the public supervision of the police. Spending 12 years in Siberia and Ural allowed him to study the local people and become an ethnographer. In 1901 Infantiev has published in Novgorod the novel ‘On Another Planet: A Story from the Life of the Inhabitants of Mars’ with the detailed map of the planet, that became the first sci-fi of this kind in Russian.
This edition contains very interesting photogtaphic images of the locals and the land, which were taken from unknown source (not mentioned in the edition). On p.16 we could see the sculpture, done by Koryak people from mammoth bone, also the pipe done from the same material (p.96), several images of embroidered purses, the panoramic view of Petropavlovsk under snow, and several images of the locals.
3 copies in US libraries, according to the Worldcat (University of Chicago, University of Washington and Columbia University).