This copy of Plenck’s book comes from the great Smirdin subscription library. Aleksandr Smirdin (1794–1857) was a ‘pioneering bookseller, publisher, and owner of the famous subscription library on Nevsky Prospect in St Petersburg’ (Terras). He set up on his own in 1823, moving to a fashionable address on Nevsky in 1832. ‘Soon Smirdin’s publishing enterprises—books, journals, miscellanies, library, and press—acquired such a hold over Russian letters that Belinsky called the 1830s the “Smirdin period of Russian literature” … Smirdin lacked the education and taste to interact creatively with his authors. Yet his bookstore–library provided a popular meeting place for them, and its catalogue (1828) was an important bibliographical resource … The annual subscription to his library was too high to attract a mass public, but it did extend the availability of Russian literature [and, of course, Western books in translation] to a broader readership’ (ibid.).