Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. J. A. Harrison), “Review of Russia and the Russians,” The Complete Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. IX: Literary Criticism - part 02 (1902), pp. 75-76


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[page 75, continued:]

RUSSIA AND THE RUSSIANS; OR, A JOURNEY TO ST. PETERSBURG AND MOSCOW, THROUGH COURLAND AND LIVONIA; WITH CHARACTERISTIC SKETCHES OF THE PEOPLE. BY LEIGH RITCHIE, ESQ. AUTHOR OF “TURNERS ANNUAL TOUR,” “SCHINDLER-HANNES,” &C. PHILADELPHIA: E. L. CAREY AND A. HART.

[Southern Literary Messenger, July, 1836.]

THIS book, as originally published in London, was beautifully gotten up and illustrated with engravings of superior merit, which tended in no little degree to heighten the public interest in its behalf. The present volume is well printed on passable paper — and no more. The name of Leigh Ritchie however, is a host in itself. He has never, to our knowledge, written a bad thing. His Russia and the Russians has all the spirit and glowing vigor of romance. It is full of every species of entertainment, and will prove in [page 76:] America as it has in England, one of the most popular books of the season. In this respect it will differ no less widely from the England of Professor Von Raumer than it differs from it in matter and manner, the vivacious writer of Schinderhannes suffering his own individuality of temperament to color every thing he sees, and giving us under the grave title of Russia and the Russians, a brilliant mass of anecdote, narrative, description and sentiment — the profound historian disdaining embellishment, and busying himself only in laying bare with a master-hand the very anatomy of England. It is amusing, however, although by no means extraordinary, that were we to glean the character of each work from the respective statements of the two writers in their prefaces, we would be forced to arrive at a conclusion precisely the reverse. In this view of the case Leigh Ritchie would be Professor Von Raumer, and Professor Von Raumer Leigh Ritchie. We copy from the book before us the commencement of a sketch of St. Petersburg, in which the artist has done far more in giving a vivid idea of that city than many a wiser man in the sum total of an elaborate painting.

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Notes:

None.


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[S:1 - JAHCW, 1902] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (J. A. Harrison) (Review of Russia and the Russians)