George Biddle, “Sin away you little tart, It will ease your heart”
This work is part of Biddle's collaboration on the publication of The Twelve, an allegorical poem about the Russian Revolution written by Alexander Blok. A full set of original prints by Biddle were included in one hundred copies of the book. Blok wrote the poem, considered one of the first literary responses to the revolution, in 1918. In it, twelve soldiers travel through Saint Petersburg in a snowstorm, and their actions—some violent, some mysterious—express the promise, upheaval, and loss associated with the uprising. To the great dismay of Bolshevik intellectuals, Christ becomes the Twelve’s leader at the culmination of the poem.
Blok was an international figure, and he considered The Twelve to be his greatest achievement. On account of the controversy it caused in the young Soviet Union, he sought to leave the country. He died in 1918, waiting for his wife’s exit visa to materialize. Rudge’s luxury publication of the poem with original prints by Biddle was the first translation of The Twelve outside Russia.