[MEMOIRS OF A RUSSIAN ACTRESS]. Goresti i skitania: Zapiski. 1854-1877 [i.e. Sorrows and Tribulations: Notes From 1854 To 1877]
Leningrad: Academia, 1927. FIRST EDITION. Softcover. Small 8vo (150 x 110 mm). , 218,  pp. With a portrait of the author. Original Constructivist styled wrapper designed by Valentina Khodasevich (small tears of the overlapped wrappers, Soviet bookshops' stamps on the recto of the back cover, a few spots on the back cover and extremities of the pages, few pages slightly loose, shadow on the first and last pages). Overall a very good copy, preserved in a fine fitted protective case. TOGETHER WITH: "Zaslužennaja artistka Imperatorskoj russkoj dramatičeskoj Gruppy M.G. Savina: 9 aprělja 1874-9 aprělja 1909" (i.e. Meritorious Artist of the Imperial Russian Drama Group M.G. Savina, April 9, 1874 - April 9, 1909), n.d. (ca. 1910). Oblong folio (160 x 250 mm). Unpaginated. With title-page portrait vignette and 47 plates reproducing more than 100 photographs of Maria Savina, interleaved with original tissue guards (some creased). Original wrappers. Very good. Item #2316
TOGETHER THESE TWO VOLUMES FORM THE DEFINITIVE CONTEMPORARY PORTRAIT OF THIS IMPORTANT RUSSIAN ACTRESS.
Ad 1). Maria Savina's memoirs present the story of a young provincial actress and her life, told simply and without embellishment, with fascinating details about life in the Russian theater during the 19th century.
Maria Gavrilovna Savina (1854-1915) became one of the most renowned actresses in Russia. Born Maria Podramentsova into a family of stage actors, she debuted in Minsk in 1869, then joined the Mikhail Leontovsky troupe in Kharkov. While there, she married the actor N. N. Slavich who used the stage name Savin, and has been known as Maria Savina ever since. In 1874 Savina, then the leading actress at the Saratov Theatre, moved to Saint Petersburg to join the Alexandrinsky Theatre. It was there that she became celebrated for her parts in Alexander Ostrovsky's plays (including Without a Dowry, Talents and Admirers, A Profitable Position, Hard-Earned Bread, The Last Victim, Vasilisa Melentyeva, Wild Thing), as well as in Nikolai Gogol's Revizor, Ivan Turgenev's A Month in the Country and Leo Tolstoy's The Power of Darkness, among others. Foreign playwrights of the time, such as Ibsen and Zuderman, also found in her an excellent performer. Some of the Russian writers of the time were mainly successful due to her performance.
¶ This is the first edition of "Goresti i skitania" (1927) and was limited to 5100 copies. The significance of the text is such that it has been reprinted three times (1961, 1983 and 2004), and of course none of the reprints feature the original impression of the justly famous Constructivist wrappers designed by Valentina Khodasevich (1894-1970), celebrated Soviet theater and graphic artist. This book was the third in the series "Theatrical Memoirs" edited by P.I Novitsky and E. Kuznetsov. Savina's Memoirs are fully printed for the first time from the manuscript in the Museum of Academic Theaters.
Ad 2: Valuable commemorative album celebrating Maria Savina's participation in the Alexandrinsky Theatre from 1874-1909, with more than 100 reproductions of portrait photographs of the actress, many of which are published here for the first time. Worldcat lists only the BSB-Munich copy.