SHAKESPEARE, William. Sonety Shekspira. V perevodakh S. Marshaka. [Moscow], Sovetstkii pisatel, 1948.
8vo. Original cloth-backed cream boards, lettered in red-brown, remnants of illustrated dust-wrappers; pp. 196, , vignettes, head- and tailpieces after wood-engravings, a very good copy.
First edition of this beautifully produced Russian version of Shakespeare's Sonnets, translated by Samuil Yakovlevich Marshak, Russian-Jewish writer, translator and children's poet. Gorki had detected the young man's talent and later proclaimed Marshak to be 'the founder of Russia's (Soviet) children's literature'. For political reasons Marshak had to leave Russia and moved in 1912 to London, where he discoverd English poetry and studied philosophy. His main work in the field of translations are Shapespeare's Sonnets, which have become Russian classics, set to music, both classical and rock.