St. Petersburg: Slavyanskaya pechatnya, 1880. Item #163
, XVI, 449, II pp. In quarter leather contemporary binding. Rubbed binding, tears and small losses of the spine, cracks between both pastedown and text block (book is not loose).
First Russian translation.
The first original edition was published in 1875 in London. It was the first book by Edward Dowden (1843-1913), an Irish critic, biographer and poet, professor of oratory and English literature in Dublin University. The book came out as a result of a course of lectures, and basically launched his scholarly career, and was later translated into German and Russian. Moreover, in 1878 the Royal Irish Academy awarded him the Cunningham gold medal "for his literary writings, especially in the field of Shakespearian criticism."
The translator says in her introduction though the translation is made from the first edition here she used author's changes from next three editions. There are even changes which can't be found in the fourth edition but were made after author's request (he consulted the translator via their correspondence).
Shakespeare's Romantic cult in the beginning of the 19th century in Russia was prepared by pre-Romantic influence of European literature. Russian authors like Pushkin, Griboedov, Küchelbecker used Shakespeare's example and created their own original national literature impregnated with spirit of nationality. In the end of 19th c. Russian academic Shakespearean studies appeared some of which were recognized worldwide (e.g. Storozhenko works first appeared in 1860s).