Travels through the Southern Provinces of the Russian Empire, in the Years 1793 and 1794, in 2 volumes, complete
By Pallas, Peter S.
Pp. xxiii, (1, errata) 552; xxx, (1, errata), 523; with 51 engraved and aquatint plates (most of which are hand-colored), 4 folding engraved maps, 28 hand-colored aquatint vignettes. Contemporary speckled calf-leather, rebacked preserving original spines with red and black gilt-lettered labels, 4to (275 x 217 mm). This is the first edition in English. It was translated from the original German entitled "Reise durch verschiedene Provinzen des Russischen Reichs in einem ausfuhrlichen Auszuge" published in 1778. There is a scientific flair to Pallas' accounts as the author was trained as a botanist and zoologist. This well-illustrated work documents the author's “travels from St. Petersburg eastwards, along the Volga, to Astrakhan, the Caspian Sea, thence to the Caucasus Mountains, the Crimea, and back to St. Petersburg. Pallas covers the ethnology, costumes, flora, fauna, geology, topography and commerce of the southern provinces of Russia” (Abbey Travel 222). Cox, (volume 1, p. 199) observes that “Pallas left St. Petersburg in 1768 and spent six full years investigating various districts of Siberia such as the Urals, the Caspian, Tobolsk, Lake Baikal and the lower Volga. His reports on the geology, flora, fauna and indigenous inhabitants are of great scientific value.” Finally, Tooley (357, p.289-291) called the work “an extremely charming colour plate book ... It deserves a place in every colour plate collection for its numerous attractive coloured vignettes, an unusual feature.” Armorial bookplate of Margaret D. Stephens. Inscribed to "Joe Frank Payne, M.D." from P.H.P.T. in memory of their safe trip to Russia in May 1879. Joseph Frank Payne was a physician and medical historian who was sent to Russia in 1879 by the British government to investigate an epidemic of bubonic plague. Name stamp of former owner in Chinese on the title page of both volumes.
|Publisher||printed by A. Strahan for Longman and Rees|
|Date Published Estimated||No|
|Number of Volumes||2|
|Condition Description||Occasional marginal spotting or foxing to some text pages, two of the folding maps at the rear show stronger marginal foxing, the fine hand-colored and plain plates are quite bright and clean; the original calf on the front and rear covers shows some rubbing and shading; overall, a tight copy in very good condition.|