Sergei Rudolfovich Mintslov was one of Russia’s most prolific authors. Born and educated in Tsarist Russia, he left his homeland after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 and spent the rest of his life in exile in Riga, Latvia. Faraway Days, penned by Mintslov in 1918, is an autobiography recounting a mischievous childhood and early adulthood. This insight into life on the country estates of the nobility as well as the evolution of a young officer in the military academy in Nizhniy Novgorod and then Moscow is unlike any story previously told.
The original book was translated from Russian into English by his great cousin Igor Boris Labzin. Labzin’s paternal grandmother was a frequent visitor to the country estate near Orel, 350 kilometres south of Moscow, where she used to meet Sergei. Upon discovery of this ageing manuscript, within which a young boy’s story is told, Igor enjoyed a journey of discovery filled with hope, harsh reality and most of all, happiness.