Looking for something else (as usual), I stumbled upon something that startled me considerably: The St. Petersburg English Review of Literature, the Arts and Science (vol. 1, 1842). I knew there was an English colony in the city and it was fashionable for the Russian upper crust to study English, but had no idea there was enough demand to support a journal, even if short-lived (it lasted a little over a year). The first issue opens with a List of Subscribers, which begins (of course) with His Majesty the Emperor and Her Majesty the Empress and continues through a bunch of Highnesses to H.E. the British Ambassador and an alphabetical list starting with Abaza, Mlle. Vera and ending with Zacharevitch, Mr. Neginn; presumably “Tolstoy, the Count” is this guy. And that turns out not to be an isolated phenomenon; checking Google Books further I learned from People, Languages and Cultures in the Third Millennium: Book of Proceedings, 2000 FEELTA International Conference (ed. L. P. Bondarenko) that “In the middle of the 19th century, some magazines in English were being published in St. Petersburg and Moscow, such as The St. Petersburg English Review of Literature: The Art and Science (1848 [sic]); The Nevsky Magazine: A Journal of Literature, Science and Art (1880); English Literary Journal of Moscow, etc.” Who knew?
Incidentally, the first issue of The St. Petersburg English Review (which consists mainly of anodyne reprints from English publications) ends with a Miscellanea section that today might be labeled News of the Weird; I quote two of the entries:
A Yankee Gourmand. — A man returned home one night very late and rather the worse for liquor; and being hungry withal, he stuck his fork in a bowl of something that his wife had left upon the table before retiring. He worked away with his mouthful very patiently for some time; at length, not being able to masticate what he considered was intended for his supper, he sung out to his wife, “I say, old woman, where did you get your cabbages from? they are so ‘nation stringy, I can’t chew them.”
“My gracious!” cried the good lady, “if the stupid filler ain’t eating up all my caps that I put in starch over-night!”
American Artists. — A painter in New Orleans possesses such extraordinary talents, that he can paint a pine-plank, or any other piece of wood, so exactly like marble, that when thrown into the river it will instantly sink to the bottom.
Shades of Zeuxis! (In the first, “‘nation” is short for “tarnation,” a euphemism for “damnation”; I presume “filler” is intended to represent “feller” = “fellow.”)