London: Methuen, 1918. Twelvemo, original blue cloth lettered in black, original unclipped photographic dust jacket. Issued without front free endpaper, list of Methuen 's Cheap Library titles on front pastedown. Seven pages of publisher's advertisements at rear, extending to the rear pastedown. Shallow chipping and one short closed tear to scarce dust jacket, repaired on the verso; later price label (2/-) affixed over original printed price of 1/6. Text block partially unopened.
Methuen Cheap Library edition of Leo Tolstoy's first two novels, originally published in Russian in 1852 and 1854. The hero Nikolenka's perspective is so convincingly described in these works that for years to come, readers and critics treated the character as a stand-in for the young Tolstoy. “When I looked at the villages and towns which we traversed, in every house of which lived at least one such family as ours; at the women and children who gazed after our carriages with momentary curiosity, and vanished for ever from sight; at the shopkeepers and he peasants, who not only did not salute us as I was accustomed to see them do in Petrovskoe, but did not deign so much as a glance -- the question entered my mind for the first time, what could occupy them if they cared nothing for us?" This ephemeral edition is notable for its striking early dust jacket, a rare survival.