beautiful editions of the world's greatest books
Back to dust-jackets and the most charming I’ve ever come across. This is the Foreign Languages Publishing House of Moscow’s On The Eve by Ivan Turgenev.
Designed by B. M. Basov and published in the 1950s, this edition of Turgenev’s controversial novel set On The Eve of the Crimean War is short of bibliographic detail but long on design. The cover image is tremendous; the colours, artwork, typography and even how it forgoes titling to the spine make it startling beautiful. Inside there are a number of b/w line sketches of Turgenev and scenes from the book.
The Foreign Languages Publishing House was, of course, run by the state and they released a great many books. It is their translations of Russian Literature though that catch the eye. These are modest volumes, usually of lesser known works, yet some of the dust-jacket art is fantastic. These books are not uncommon though getting one you want in very good or better condition may be tricky. It’s fun to wade through the available copies to find something special.