Saturday, 10 February 2018

Tolstoy Frontispieces in The Vineyard, 1911

In Volume 1 of The Vineyard, two of the frontispieces illustrations on January 1911 and February 1911, a photographs of Tolstoy.  The photos are both credited as having been taken by V. Tchertkoff.  In my previous posts I had written about the links between Tchertkoff and Godfrey Blount (here), and Greville MacDonald (here).

Autographed specially for the Editor of The Vineyard,
Frontispiece, The Vineyard,
 January 1911
In the January 1911 frontispiece the signed photograph of Leo Tolstoy is described as specially written for the editor, it is dated over two years earlier, August 1908.  I had first assumed that this meant Maude Egerton King who is described as being the editor of The Vineyard, but I think that Maude was not the editor of The Vineyard at this point.  The November 1910 issue (also in Volume 1)  for example has the editorial 'The Withered Hand', the editorials are not attributed, but 'The Withered Hand' by Greville MacDonald is No.4 of the Peasant Arts Guild Papers.

In the January 1911 issue of The Vineyard MacDonald has an article titled 'Tolstoy', to commemorate the life of Tolstoy after his death in November 1910.  MacDonald  writes:

"In The Slavery of our Times Tolstoy puts the truth about industrialism with a power that not even Ruskin has reached..But what has Tolstoy done for the World?  Neither reformer nor specialist, philosopher nor theologian, he has yet stirred the world's heart to know itself and to seek more life.  He has pleaded, as no man we can recall ever pleaded before, for submission the ancient sources of life: Love which brought it to pass, which teaches it through joy and sorrow; and Truth which fed it from the breasts of inspiration that it might wax strong into manhood and come back home.  Man's home is the Kingdom of Heaven; joy in life in his inheritance.  Not by politics or riches or conquests will that kingdom come.  It lies waiting within; for Love and Truth alone hold man to man and all to God.

"The Prophet is taken from us."

The loss of Tolstoy continues to be marked in the February 1911 edition of The Vineyard as Tolstoy again has the frontispiece and the quote below states "If I say, really meaning it in my heart: 'Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth,' i.e. both in the temporal life and in the life everlasting, I need neither confirmation nor any proofs of immortality.  Live by that part of your soul which is conscious of being immortal, not fearing death.  This part of the soul is Love.'"

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