Moscow: Izdatel' i knigoprodavets Klavdii Kuz'mich Shamov, 1888. Octavo (25 × 17 cm). Quarter-calf over four raised bands; gilt title to spine; pebbled cloth boards; 996 pp. Frontis portrait. Boards and spine rubbed and sun-tanned; a few small nicks to leather; occasional light foxing, else internally very good.
Denis Fonvizin (1744-1792) was a Russian author, playwright, and translator of the Russian Enlightenment who is best known for his comedic plays, which satirized the Russian gentry. His plays were influenced by the German dramatist Ludvig Holberg, although Fonvizin is often hailed as the "Russian Moliere." Fonvizin's play "The Minor" became a cultural point of reference for many writers, and a number of lines from it entered into common lexicon as proverbs. Fonvizin is credited with influencing Pushkin and the development of Russian realist theater. He is also well-known for his "Letters from France," a travelogue of sorts that criticizes Western Europe in general and pokes fun at the French in particular (and, by extension, upper-class Russians, who at that time copied French mannerisms). Alongside his literary activities, Fonvizin held progressive political views and was close to the political elite; he acted as secretary to Catherine the Great's top diplomatic advisor, Panin, and was tutor to her son, Pavel. While Fonvizin's plays were staged after undergoing revision, much of his literary work was not published during his lifetime due to censorship (particularly after 1782, when he fell out of favor with the Empress). This collected edition of Fonvizin's literary output includes his poetry, prose, plays, translations, personal writings and fragments from his diary.
Book ID: P003928