Tbilisi: Tipografiia M. Sharadze, 1897. Octavo (20 × 13 cm). Original printed wrappers; 32 pp. Rear wrappers with an extensive list of the author's other published works. Signed and inscribed by the author to the title. Light soiling and wear to wrappers; restoration to spine. Faint trace of a pre-1917 library label to front wrapper. Internally about very good.
First edition of this Georgian nationalist pamphlet, written by the journalist and children’s writer Iakov Gogebashvili (1840-1912). In it, he discusses the complex relationship between Armenians and Georgians in Tiflis (Tbilisi) and calls for greater equality and better balance of power between the two peoples as represented in the Tiflis city council. Both Georgia and Armenia had been a part of the Russian empire for much of the nineteenth century. Although historically a Georgian city, Tiflis had a significant Armenian population nearly outnumbering the Georgians by the turn of the century. With Russian administration at the helm, nationalist tensions were running high and this pamphlet written in Russian must have been an appeal to the governing bodies more than the Armenian or Georgian laypersons. Gogebashvili was in fact deeply concerned with the fate of his nation and the Georgian language, and in 1879 he helped found the Society for the Spread of Literacy among the Georgians. Today he is best remembered for his 1876 Georgian children’s primer “Native Language,” re-released and re-edited many times, by which all Georgians learn to read to this day. We cannot trace this edition in KVK or OCLC, which only show copies of the 1902 second edition at Notre Dame and Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.
Book ID: P6354