Adolf Fedorovich Marks

Marks, Adol’f Fedorovich


Born Feb. 2, 1838, in Stettin, present-day Szczecin, Poland; died Oct. 22 (Nov. 4), 1904, in St. Petersburg. Russian publisher.

Marks was of German descent. In 1859 he settled in Russia and in 1869 published the first book under his trademark. In 1870, Marks began publishing Niva (The Field), an illustrated family magazine that continued until 1918. At first, picture albums, oleographs, and small anthologies of literature were sent as free supplements to the journal’s subscribers; beginning in 1891, the collected works of Russian and foreign authors were distributed in this way. The high artistic level of the works published in these supplements, along with the low price of the magazine (five rubles a year), made Niva the most popular Russian periodical, especially in the provinces.

Marks also published illustrated editions of Goethe’s Faust (illustrated by B. Seibertz) and Milton’s Paradise Lost (illustrated by G. Dore). Marks’ Large World Table Atlas, his Universal Geographic and Statistical Pocket Atlas, and his Petrie Atlas became widely known. Despite its commercial orientation, the A. F. Marks Publishing House (after May 1907, the A. F. Marks Publishing and Printing Company) played an important cultural role, making the best works of world literature available to broad segments of the population.