This chapter investigates David Magarshack's ‘social identity’, exploring his position in the field of translation both as a practitioner and, latterly, as a theorist. Magarshack elicits particular interest as the only Russian translator of the early Penguin Classics corps to have recorded extensively his thoughts and observations regarding translation and the way in which the translator exists and functions in the literary field. The catalyst for Magarshack to document his views on translation theory was a commission from Victor Gollancz, in the late 1960s, to produce a book entitled The Principles of Translation. For N. Liubimov, the translator, unlike the original author, has a dual responsibility: to the source author and the target reader. Like T. Savory and R. Brower, Magarshack made an assessment in ‘General Principles' of the modern state of translation in the United Kingdom and the United States, likening the Russian literary translator to ‘the poet at the beginning of the Elizabethan age’.