Set in Kiev in late 1918 during the civil war, Mikhail Bulgakov’s semi-autobiographical first novel traces the fate of the Turbin family caught up in the conflict. Bulgakov began writing Belaia gvardiia (The White Guard) in 1922 but did not complete it until 1928. While parts of the novel appeared in the Soviet literary journal Rossiia in 1925, it was not re-printed in Russia until 1966. Bulgakov was invited to write a stage version, which went on to initially overshadow the novel. Despite its sympathetic portrayal of the Whites, Stalin was a fan of the play, watching it more than 15 times. The edition shown here was published in Riga in 1927 and is a pirated version of the novel. A complete Russian edition, which was corrected by Bulgakov, was published in Paris in 1927–29 under the revised title Dni Turbinykh (Belaia gvardiia).
The first word of the title (Белая) is written here as Бѣлая (Bielaia), retaining an older orthography altered by this point by the Soviets; sticking with the old orthography was a deliberate move by émigré writers and publishers.
Bielaia gvardiia / Mikh. Bulgakov (1927) 9756.d.1801