Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2012 Issue

Books You Never Knew You Wanted from Simon Beattie

Mbochkareva

Maria Bochkareva of the Women's Battalion of Death.

Here is the story of a woman far braver than Rev. Dodd, but who ultimately suffered a similar fate. Maria Bochkareva was a Russian peasant woman who managed to convince the Tsar to allow her to serve in the military. She fought bravely, was wounded, and next was permitted to form a women's unit, the Russian Women's Battalion of Death (what a great name!). The unit served in battle during the First World War, but this was also the period of the Russian Revolution and the abdication of the Tsar. Botchkareva served the White Russian government that came to power, only to be captured by the Bolsheviks on returning from the front lines. She would have been executed except for a friendly soldier securing her release. She left Russia, arriving in the U.S. in 1918. Miss Bochkerova was evidently a convincing woman, securing an audience with President Wilson, and gaining sympathy for the White Russian Cause. It was while in the U.S. that she secured the assistance of American writer Isaac Don Levine, and they cooperated to write this book: My Life as Peasant, Exile and Soldier. By Maria Botchkerova, Commander of the Russian Women's Battalion of Death... She next traveled to England, where she got further support from the King, and then returned to Russia, to fight for the Whites. Once again, she was captured by the Bolsheviks, and this time they were not as understanding. Maria Bochkareva was put to the firing squad in 1920. Item 5 is a first British edition of her story, published in 1919. $280.

Item 27 is a manuscript, an anonymous, unfinished, unpublished poem. It has been waiting at least two and one-half centuries for someone to complete it. This is an extraordinary opportunity for one with a good knowledge of early 18th century Russia. The poem is titled La Russiade. It is one of those epic poems you no longer see. There are 178 pages, including a 28-page outline and a first canto of over 500 lines. The poem celebrates Peter the Great's victory over Sweden in 1709. Most people are not aware that Sweden was once a great military power, but that is because its power ended at Peter's hands three centuries ago. It hasn't been the same since. This homage to Peter and Russia was to be “France's tribute” to the Empress Elizabeth on the marriage of her son, Peter, to Catherine (that occurred in 1745). Peter would reign for but a few months as Peter III, but his wife would rule for 34 years as Catherine the Great. $12,000.

Item 21 is an odd broadside printed in three languages, English, Italian and Greek. It announced an odd sort of monument in a proclamation by Tsar Alexander I. It came after the French invasion of Russia in 1812. Napoleon drove his troops all the way to Moscow, the Russians in constant retreat. Finally, with the French ready to take over the city, the Russians outsmarted their foes. Rather than surrendering and being forced to provide food and shelter for their captors, the Russians torched and abandoned their city. The French had Moscow, but they lacked sufficient food and shelter, and it being September, the Russian winter was coming soon. Napoleon was forced to abandon Moscow and enter full scale retreat. This broadside includes quotes from the Tsar, and announces that a column will be constructed from the 1,131 canons the French abandoned in their retreat. It certainly would have made an amazing sight, but the column was never built, and Beattie was only able to find one other reference to the idea. $1,900.

Simon Beattie Rare Books, Manuscripts, Music, Ephemera may be reached at +44 (0) 1494 784954 or simon@simonbeattie.co.uk. Their website is www.simonbeattie.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>A Record Breaking Season</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> <i>The Book of Mormon,</b> first edition, Palmyra, NY, 1830. Sold Sept. 30 — $112,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Vincent Van Gogh, <i>Homme à la Pipe: Portrait du Docteur Gachet, Evening,</i> etching, 1890. Sold Nov. 2 — $161,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Edward Ruscha, <i>Stains,</i> title page, one of 70, signed, 1969. Sold Nov. 9 — $112,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> John James Audubon, <i>Carolina Parrot, Plate 26,</i> hand colored aquatint, 1828. Sold Dec.9 — $137,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Edmund Dulac, <i>The Snow Queen,</i> watercolor, gouache, pen & ink, 1910. Sold Dec. 16 — $125,000.
  • <b><center>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts<br>February 26, 2022</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 26:</b> ALLEN, Ethan. <i>A Narrative of Colonel Ethan Allen’s Captivity from the Time of his Being Taken by the British, near Montreal…,</i> Rare second edition, 1779. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 26:</b> CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne ("Mark Twain"). <i>The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.</i> New York: Charles L. Webster and Company, 1885. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 26:</b> LANE, Edward William, translator. <i>Tales of a Thousand and One Nights; [or], The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments.</i> London, 1838–1841. 32 parts in 33. $7,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 26:</b> GRANT, James, Lieut. <i>The Narrative of a Voyage of Discovery, performed in His Majesty's Vessel The Lady Nelson...</i> London, 1803. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Winter Fine Art, Antique, and Jewelry Auction<br>January 29 & 30, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 29-30:</b> Civil War Archive, including Hospital CDVs. $2,400 to $2,800.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 29-30:</b> W.B. Gosnell's Civil War Era 34 Star Flag w/ Book on Western Expansion. $1,200 to $1,400.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 29-30:</b> 15 Star Parade Flag and Envelope, Framed. $800 to $900.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Winter Fine Art, Antique, and Jewelry Auction<br>January 29 & 30, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 29-30:</b> Partial Civil War Album, incl. Confederate Leaders. $800 to $900.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 29-30:</b> CDV Album incl. Garfield, plus Framed CSA Currency. $800 to $900.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 29-30:</b> Two Geronimo Cabinet Cards, incl. St. Louis World's Fair Signed. $2,800 to $3,200.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Winter Fine Art, Antique, and Jewelry Auction<br>January 29 & 30, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 29-30:</b> Dickens, Charles. <i>A Christmas Carol,</i> 1st Ed. 1843. $1,800 to $2,000.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 29-30:</b> Archive of Col. John Fite, CSA, POW Johnson's Island, first of two lots, 8 Items. $1,200 to $1,400.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 29-30:</b> Kentucky Confederate Call to Arms Broadside, 1862. $1,200 to $1,400.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Winter Fine Art, Antique, and Jewelry Auction<br>January 29 & 30, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 29-30:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. <i>For Whom the Bell Tolls,</i> 1st Ed. $1,000 to $1,200.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 29-30:</b> Autograph Album with Confederate Signatures, incl. Jeff Davis. $800 to $1,000.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 29-30:</b> WWI Navy Posters plus Photo of USS John Hood, 3 pcs. $700 to $750.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br> Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including Americana<br>Online<br>Now through January 25, 2022</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Now to Jan. 25:</b> Audubon, John James. The "Wild Turkey" manuscript — capturing one of the nation's most iconic symbols of unity. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Now to Jan. 25:</b> (Flag) — Commemorative Thirteen-Star Flag. Pre-Civil War, Thirteen-Star Flag of the United States, from the collection of Charles Kuralt. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Now to Jan. 25:</b> Fitzgerald, F. Scott. <i>Tender is the Night</i>. First edition, presentation copy, and a former mystery. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Now to Jan. 25:</b> Audubon, John James. The "Wild Turkey" manuscript — capturing one of the nation's most iconic symbols of unity. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Now to Jan. 25:</b> Salinger, J.D. <i>The Catcher in the Rye.</i> A strikingly fresh first edition of Salinger's essential novel. $20,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Now to Jan. 25:</b> Whitman, Walt. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> “America's second Declaration of Independence” — signed by Whitman. $150,000 to $200,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Now to Jan. 25:</b> [Dylan, Bob]. Some of the earliest known professional portraits. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Now to Jan. 25:</b> Y-Worth [Yarworth], William. <i>Cerevisiarii Comes: Or, the New and True Art of Brewing…</i> A rare and early English work on the art of brewing. $5,000 to $7,000.

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