Item #1956 [FIRST APPEARANCE OF UNCLE TOM'S CABIN IN UKRAINIAN] Diad'ko Foma. Povist' yz zhyt'ia nevil'nykiv v Amerytsi, poslia Bycher-Stou dlia russkoho naroda napysav Orest A. Avdykovskiy [Uncle Foma. A story about the life of slaves in America. After Beecher-Stowe. Prepared for the Russians by Orest A. Avdykovskiy]. O. Avdykovs'kyi.
[FIRST APPEARANCE OF UNCLE TOM'S CABIN IN UKRAINIAN] Diad'ko Foma. Povist' yz zhyt'ia nevil'nykiv v Amerytsi, poslia Bycher-Stou dlia russkoho naroda napysav Orest A. Avdykovskiy [Uncle Foma. A story about the life of slaves in America. After Beecher-Stowe. Prepared for the Russians by Orest A. Avdykovskiy]
[FIRST APPEARANCE OF UNCLE TOM'S CABIN IN UKRAINIAN] Diad'ko Foma. Povist' yz zhyt'ia nevil'nykiv v Amerytsi, poslia Bycher-Stou dlia russkoho naroda napysav Orest A. Avdykovskiy [Uncle Foma. A story about the life of slaves in America. After Beecher-Stowe. Prepared for the Russians by Orest A. Avdykovskiy]
[FIRST APPEARANCE OF UNCLE TOM'S CABIN IN UKRAINIAN] Diad'ko Foma. Povist' yz zhyt'ia nevil'nykiv v Amerytsi, poslia Bycher-Stou dlia russkoho naroda napysav Orest A. Avdykovskiy [Uncle Foma. A story about the life of slaves in America. After Beecher-Stowe. Prepared for the Russians by Orest A. Avdykovskiy]
[FIRST APPEARANCE OF UNCLE TOM'S CABIN IN UKRAINIAN] Diad'ko Foma. Povist' yz zhyt'ia nevil'nykiv v Amerytsi, poslia Bycher-Stou dlia russkoho naroda napysav Orest A. Avdykovskiy [Uncle Foma. A story about the life of slaves in America. After Beecher-Stowe. Prepared for the Russians by Orest A. Avdykovskiy]
[FIRST APPEARANCE OF UNCLE TOM'S CABIN IN UKRAINIAN] Diad'ko Foma. Povist' yz zhyt'ia nevil'nykiv v Amerytsi, poslia Bycher-Stou dlia russkoho naroda napysav Orest A. Avdykovskiy [Uncle Foma. A story about the life of slaves in America. After Beecher-Stowe. Prepared for the Russians by Orest A. Avdykovskiy]

[FIRST APPEARANCE OF UNCLE TOM'S CABIN IN UKRAINIAN] Diad'ko Foma. Povist' yz zhyt'ia nevil'nykiv v Amerytsi, poslia Bycher-Stou dlia russkoho naroda napysav Orest A. Avdykovskiy [Uncle Foma. A story about the life of slaves in America. After Beecher-Stowe. Prepared for the Russians by Orest A. Avdykovskiy]

Lviv: Pechatnia Stavropyhyiskoho Instytuta pod upravlenyem Stefana Huchkovskoho for Obshchestvo ym. Mykhayla Kachkovskoho vo L'vove, 1877. Item #1956

62 pp., ill. 21 x 14 cm. Publisher’s cover. In Iazychie language, printed using accented Cyrillic letters. Beecher-Stowe's lifetime edition. First and only edition. Good condition. Cover slightly soiled, damage to the spine, 3 cm tear to the right margin, minor cover paper loss at the extremities. Tovarystvo Prosvita round stamp on the front cover and title page. Numerical stamp and numbers in ink on the cover. A library sticker is pasted on the inside of the front cover - attributing the book coming from pre-1917 Tovarystvo Prosvita Lviv library. Additional Tsentral'na Vasyliians'ka Biblioteka u L'vovi round stamp on the title. Minor foxing and dirt, pencil and ink marks on the title. Pencil mark on the back cover.
Ink inscription on the first page stating: “In the library of Obshchestvo ym. Kachkovskoho this novel was printed [illegible] 1877”. Insides good & clean.

The stamps together with ink marks are clearly from the pre-1917 era. Seems like the book left the library shelves even before the Soviet era.
Tsentral'na Vasyliians'ka Biblioteka u L'vovi existed for centuries as a library division within Vasyliians'kyi monastery of St. Onufri. Research mentions that the library together with the manuscript collection was transferred to the Lviv National Library of Ukraine named after V. Stefanyk during 1940’s (Berest, R. Study of the results of the historical and cultural heritage region in 2013 by the researchers at the Lviv Institute of Economics and Tourism // Istoryko-kul'turni pam’yatky Prykarpattya ta Karpat – vazhlyvi ob’yekty v rozvytku turyzmu; Lviv, 2014).
Vseukrains'ke tovarystvo Prosvita im. Tarasa Shevchenka, est. 1868, was a Galician Ukrainophilic organisation that focused on enlightenment, promotion of Ukrainian literacy among together with spreading the ideas of independent nation-centric Ukrainian state. It opposed Russophiles and Westerners and played an important role in providing a stream of Ukrainian-language books during the late XIXth century. During its prime decades Tovarystvo managed to print thousands of titles with over 3 mln copies.
Obschestvo Kachkovskogo [i.e. Mikh. Katchkovsky society], responsible for issuing this book, active 1874-1939, was kind of a rival to Tovarystvo mentioned above. The society was no less politically-inclined than Prosvita but represented a Russophilic way of national development. Russophiles who were interested in preserving the connection with Russia on all levels. Russophiles led anti-alcoholic and educational programs for the village folks - all under the motto “pray, study, work, get sober”. According to Levitsky, the book was priced at 20 Austro-Hungarian kreuzer: undoubtedly, an affordable price of times when only a day of unskilled labour provided over 60 kreuzer in income and 1 kg of pork was around 80 kr, i.e. 4 times as much as the book.

One of their most interesting activities in the light of the book printing was an endeavour to teach the peasants a new language, one that would bridge Rusyn (Ukrainian) and Russian cultures. The language was named Iazychie - an artificial construct that shunned Latin font, but combined Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and Church Slavonic words. This is the language used in the present translation.
Not only the language - the font used is a rare example of printed Iazychie. The font used is known as Maximovich system or maksymovychivka, a transcription system rarely used even for Iazychie books. The version features such rare letters as ë, some circumflex vowels, the letter ѣ. Iazychie had some pronunciation nuances distinguishing it from any other form of Ukrainian. Iazychie never went mainstream and ceased to exist, making books like this a rare and valuable example of skillful, albeit forced and artificial Russification The book is the true first edition of any variant of the iconic Uncle Tom's cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly (1852) by Harriet E. Beecher Stowe (1811-1896). A shortened version of the novel appeared in Ukrainian later in 1918 while the full translation was prepared only by 1960.
This book tells the story of Uncle Foma in twelve chapters, with the first one having a general introduction about America and the circumstances in which the story unfolds. The story is sort of a synopsis of the original book - following all the steps up to Tom’s death. Some dialogues provided help to highlight the tragic tone of the story. No matter the language, such books were especially important for the peasantry of Eastern Ukraine as after the 1861 abolition of serfdom in the Russian Empire the peasantry desperately needed such unsophisticated and emotional material on serf rights, life after the serfdom and national awakening.
Orest Avdykovs'kyi (1842-1913) was a Galician writer and lecturer, influenced by Russophile ideas. He used both Rusyn and Iazychie languages and wrote some novels on his own. He translated A. Dumas, A. Daudet - but most importantly two works: D. Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and this book.
At the end of the book, Avdykovs'kyi left a rhymed epilogue, presenting a rare gem of original lyrics on liberation, equality and freedom - all written in Iazychie.
The book was printed by Pechatnia Stavropyhyiskoho Instytuta, the first printing house in Lviv: one used by pioneer bookprinter Ivan Fedorov.
Overall, a very interesting piece, one combining Ukrainian culture, American culture and an intriguing provenance.

Levitsky, vol. 2, #1631.

Exceptionally rare. N Not in WorldCat, not in KVK. According to key modern Ukrainian bibliographic reference, Natsional'na bibliohrafifiia Ukrainy
(Kyiv, 2019), the book - listed in vol 1., #1695 - is present only in one Ukrainian library, Vasyl Stefanyk National Scientific Library of Ukraine.

Status: On Hold
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