[ARCTIC] God na severe [i.e. A Year in the North]

St. Petersburg: Typ. of A. Transhel, 1871. Item #313

3rd enlarged edition. [2], v, [2], 690 pp. 22x16 cm. Contemporary Russian boards rebacked with brown leather, spine with gilt lettered title in Russian. Few library markings and some mild foxing, otherwise a very good copy.

Very rare Russian imprint. The first book by Sergey Maksimov (1831-1901), famous Russian ethnographer and traveller, honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. This is the account of an ethnographic expedition to the Russian Arctic, organized in 1855 by Russian Naval Minister Great Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich. Maksimov travelled along the coast of the White Sea to the Arctic Ocean, visiting Arkhangelsk, Mezen, Kanin Peninsula, Onega, Kem, Kola, Solovetsky archipelago with its famous monastery; sailed along the shores of Karelia, from the Tersky coast of the Kola Peninsula to the Murman Coast.The second part of the book is dedicated to his travel to the Pechora River, and describes the famous exile site Pustozersk, Novaya Zemlya walrus and beluga hunting, life in tundra, Kolguev Island, Kholmogory, local monasteries et al. The book includes ethnographic sketches of colourful locals, old believers, and memoirs about the recent events of the Crimean War when English ships attacked Solovetsky monastery, Kola and Kem. Maksimov’s captivating sketches about Northern Russia and the Arctic were published in several Russian magazines before being published as a separate sedition in 1859; the book became highly successful and was reissued three more times (1864, 1871, 1890).

In 1860-61 Maksimov participated in the next expedition organized by the Naval Ministry to the just annexed Amur River territories, and also published an account of his travel (1864). His most famous works were related to travel to the Siberian katorga (system of prisons). His book Exiles and Prisons was published in 1862 for state officials only, with stamp ‘Confidentially’ and a print run of only 500 copies. Only several years later a public edition appeared, becoming extremely popular. Maksimov’s books strikingly describing manners and customs of Russians, including beggars, old believers, Cossacks, inhabitants of the Caspian shore, Ural, Amur are still highly popular and are being reissued by modern publishers with enviable permanency.

Only six paper copies found in Worldcat.

Price: $1,300.00

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