Wells in Russian
WELLS, H. G. Mashina vremeni. Roman Uelsa, avtora romana "Borba mirov" perevod c angliiskago M. A. Cherniavskoi. Kovno (Kaunas), Tipografiia M. A. Sokolovskago, 1901.
Small 8vo. Somewhat inappropriately bound in the late 20th century in 17th-century style full calf with raised bands; pp. , iv, 259, ; the initial two and final three leaves on stubbs, a few pages with spotting, even light toning; printed on thick card stock with a few ornamental head-pieces.
First Russian edition in book form, extremely rare.
H. G. Wells' sci-fi classic had been published first in 1895 by Heinemann. It first appeared in Russian in the periodical Rossiia in 1900, in a translation by V. I. Tomashevskaia. There were then two further translations in 1901, this one for the book form was done by Ms. Cherniavskaia, who contributed the preface, the other one, by V. I. Shtein, in a volume of short stories (among them, Three Men in a Boat), published in St Petersburg. There was certainly a craze for the Time Machine in Russia, with three different translations in just two years. Wells interviewed Lenin in 1920, and Lenin expressed his admiration for the novel's ideas: "You are right. I understood this myself when I read your novel The Time Machine. All human conceptions are on the scale of our planet. They are based on the pretension that the technical potential, though it will develop, will never exceed the terrestrial limit. If we succeed in establishing interplanetary communications, all our philosophies, moral and social views, will have to be revised. In this case the technical potential, become limitless, will impose the end of the role of violence as a means and method of progress."