The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Translated into English from the Russian by Constance Garnett
First American Edition - Published by The Macmillan Company in 1912
Signed Custom Binding by the Bayntun Bindery, Bath, England
Binding Details: Beautiful signed binding by the Bayntun Bindery of full polished morocco leather that features a spine treatment of raised bands with decorative ruling and extensive gold gilt decorations and titling. All borders and transitions ruled in gold gilt. There are gilt ruled boards, leather turn-ins with floral stops, silk head and foot bands, marbled end papers, and gold gilted page edges. The Bayntun Bindery gold gilt stamp appears on the bottom of the inside front cover.
Book Details: This is the first American edition of “The Brothers Karamazov” published by the Macmillan Company, New York in 1912 that was printed from the same sheets of the British Edition published in the same year by Heinemann, London (Volume 1 of “The Novels of Fyodor Dostoevsky” as stated on the half-title page. This edition is widely considered the definitive work on Dostoevsky largely due to the universally acclaimed translation from the Russian by Constance Garnett. In his paper on Russian Literature in England, Dr. Huda Albert Jabboury, Professor of Literature at the University of Sheffield, wrote, “Constance Garnett’s translation of Dostoevsky were the first presentations of the writer’s works in English. Their significance stems from the great enthusiasm they aroused and instigated the “Russian Cult” as a literary phenomena that prevailed in the second decade of the twentieth century. The truth of the matter is that the publication of Garnett’s translation of The Brothers Karamazov in 1912 is regarded as “the starting point of the fever”.
The New York Times in their review of the book wrote, “Dealing with questions of belief and faith in a seemingly ambivalent world, "The Brothers Karamazov" has influenced countless writers and thinkers. Freud called it “the most magnificent novel ever written” and Nietzsche ironically said Dostoyevsky was "the only psychologist ... from whom I had something to learn; he ranks among the most beautiful strokes of fortune in my life." The book took over two years for Dostoyevsky to write – he died months after its publication. “What makes [you] read it too, is sheer breathless interest in the people and the drama… every man, woman, and child introduced in these 840 pages is human - convincingly and horribly human.”
Note on Rarity: There have been very few copies of this edition using the original British sheets that have come to market over the past few decades with the latest being sold by Swann Auction Gallery in 2017 for $10,000.
Condition Report: The binding is in FINE condition with no flaws. Internally, the book is in exceptionally clean condition There are no signs of previous ownership. Overall, this is a beautiful signed Bayntun binding that houses the first American edition of one of the greatest novels ever written.
Photographs of the binding and inner cover treatment appear in the photo section of the listing.