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Impressions de voyage: En Russie; De Paris à Astrakan: Nouvelles impressions de voyage

Adventures in Czarist Russia

voyage/travel, pub:1860




Liens/Links
    En Russie (PDF)
    The Poet Poushkin (from En Russie)


Oeuvres/Related Works
    Murch, Alma Elizabeth: Adventures in Czarist Russia - Available from amazon.com
    Dumas père, Alexandre: Adventures in Czarist Russia - Available from amazon.com


From Reviews (ADR) by Arthur D. Rypinski:
     In 1858, Alexandre Dumas was invited to accompany the family of an immensely wealthy Russian noble, Count Kouchelef-Bezborodko, on a trip to Russia. Making up his mind on the spot, Dumas departed within the week on a trip lasting, in all nine months, from which came two books of travels En Russie and Le Caucase, and at least two works of fiction: Sultanetta and La Boule de Neige, the latter set in Baku and written while Dumas was there.
     En Russie was an immense book of four volumes, totaling some 300 pages of text, and reportedly has never been completely translated into English. Dumas filled the book not only with an account of his travels, but with sketches of Russian history and literature, translations of Russian poetry, and mini-biographies of some of the people he met. The most common English translation available, the 1960 "Chilton" edition, translated by Alma Murch, is heavily abridged and contains mostly the travelogue segments. There is also a free-standing 1905 translation of some of the historical sketches published under the title "Celebrated Crimes of the Russian Court."
     Dumas traveled with the Kouchelefs and his acquaintance, Daniel Douglas-Home, the celebrated psychic and spirtualist, who was to marry a Kouchelef daughter in St. Petersburg. They traveled by train to Stettin, and by boat to St. Petersburg. Dumas records, with barely disguised glee, that Douglas-Home's psychic powers vanished under the onslaught of severe seasickness. From St. Petersburg, Dumas took an excursion into Finland, and thence by train to Moscow, by coach to the Volga, and by boat to Nizhni-Novgorod, Kazan and ultimately Astrakhan, on the shores of the Caspian Sea, where En Russie ends and Le Caucase begins.
     Dumas' most trenchant observations (to a modern reader) were of the corruption and injustice of the Czarist regime, the brutality of the nobles, and the alienation of the population from their rulers.

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     The first part of Dumas' Russian travels, though only published after the second "Le Caucase" (see page 368).
     In this work Dumas translated a number of pieces of Russian verse, which will be found under 1858-59.
     The first portion was issued in "Le Monte-Cristo" with a few variations from the final text ; next a number of chapters were supplied to "Le Constitutionnel," while the final portions found their issue in "Le Monte-Cristo."
     Original edition : Paris, Librairie Nouvelle, A. Bourdillart et Cie., 3 vols., 12mo., as "De Paris à Astrakan," 1860. (Possibly only a portion—see below.)
     As "Impressions de Voyage : En Russie;" Paris. Lévy Frères. 4 vols., 12mo., 1865. (It is probable that this is the first complete edition, the other being but a portion.)
     Now in four volumes in the Calmann-Lévy standard edition.
     In Le Vasseur's "Alexandre Dumas Illustré" it is in Vol. XXIII.

         References :—
     Parran: " Bibliographic d'Alex. Dumas," page 67.
     Glinel: "A. Dumas et Son Œuvre," pp. 351-53.
     Ferry: " Dernières Années d'A. Dumas." Chapters XVI.-XX.

         English Translation :—
     "Celebrated Crimes of the Russian Court" (extracts only) ; London, Hurst and Blackett, illustrated, 1906.

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