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Stolitsa Anglii. Progulki po Londonu [The capital of England. London walks].

Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel’stvo, 1919. Octavo (18 × 13.5 cm). Original decorative wrappers; 141, [1] pp. Light soil and foxing to wrappers; original spine strip lacking and sections of the text beginning to detach; text evenly toned; still good or better.

First edition. This curious mix of the history and ethnography of London was written by Platon Mikhailovich Kerzhentsev (1881–1940), the leading historian of Ireland in the Soviet Union. Focused on London as the seat of British imperialism, this work discusses the customs and mores of the English, visiting all corners of London, rich and poor. Two sections, ‘Worker’s London’ and ‘London Organizations’, paint a picture of the difficulties faced by the working classes in the metropolis. In 1899–1904 Kerzhentsev studied history at the Moscow State University and in 1904 he joined the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP). After numerous arrests in Russia, Kerzhentsev lived in exile in the UK, France, and the United States and was active in the Bolshevik groups abroad. In this period he also studied the history of the Irish struggles for independence and published two books on the subject “The fight for land and freedom in Ireland” (1917) and “Revolutionary Ireland” (1918). Upon his return to Russia, Kerzhentsev went on to write for Izvestia and Pravda, eventually becoming the head of Russian Telegraph Agency (ROSTA) and initiating its ideological bent. Kerzhentsev was also one of the founders of the system of Soviet censorship, and went on to write one of the first histories of Lenin, “The Life of Lenin” (1934). Despite being removed from his post in 1938, Kerzhentsev survived the Stalinist purges and died of natural causes in 1940. KVK and OCLC show copies at Oxford, National Library of Sweden, and the British Library.

Book ID: P6416

Price: $250.00