In the Lands of the Romanovs: An Annotated Bibliography of First-hand English-language Accounts of the Russian Empire (1613-1917)/Reigns of Peter III (1762) and Catherine II (1762-1796)

From Wikiversity
Jump to: navigation, search

4. REIGNS OF PETER III (1762) and CATHERINE II (1762-1796)[edit]

Fig. 37 Great Duke Peter Fedorovich, later Peter III (1758), by Fedor Rokotov. Oil on canvas. Tretiakov Gallery, Moscow.
Fig. 38 Catherine II the Legislatress in the Temple of the Goddess of Justice (1783), by Dmitrii Levitskii. Oil on canvas. Russian Museum, St Petersburg.


See also: C27, C28

D1[edit]

Keith, Robert Murray, [‘Dispatches’]. In Sbornik imperatorskogo russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. XII. St Petersburg: Academy of Sciences, 1873. xxvii+499pp.

Keith (d. 1774) had arrived in St Petersburg in March 1754 and served during the last years of Elizabeth’s reign and the short reign of Peter III. Shortly after Catherine II’s accession, the Russian government requested that a nobleman should occupy the post of British ambassador and Keith was removed in October 1762. It is only his dispatches for the period from 12 July to 7 September (with a few lines from a dispatch of 30 January 1762) that are reproduced here (pp. 1-40), but they include his substantial account of the overthrow of Peter III, “this unhappy prince, who had many excellent qualities” (pp. 2-12).


D2[edit]

Rulhière, Claude Carolman de, A history, or anecdotes of the revolution in Russia, in the year 1762. Translated from the French of m. de Rulhière. London: printed for M. Beauvalet; and sold by Debrett, Clarke, and Boosey, 1797. xxvii+200pp.

Rulhière (1735-91) describes himself as attached to the French minister in Russia, de Breteuil, over a period of fifteen months, encompassing the palace revolution that deposed Peter III and brought his wife Catherine to the Russian throne in June 1762. The dedication of the manuscript to the comtesse d’Egmont, dated February 1768 (pp. vii-xxvii) and the letter to her that concludes the book, dated 25 August 1773 (pp. 176-200) are a defence of the authenticity of his account, which was only published in Paris in 1797, long after his death and soon after Catherine’s.


D3[edit]

*Gilchrist, Paul, A genuine letter from Paul Gilchrist, esq; merchant at Petersburgh, to Mr. Saunders, in London: giving a particular and circumstantial account of the great revolution in Russia, and the death of Peter III the late emperor in which that very extraordinary affair is set in a true light: to which is added a short account of the government, religion, laws and inhabitants of that country. London: printed for J. Williams, 1762. iv+27pp.

Although dated “Petersburgh, August 5 1762”, a genuine letter it certainly was not, being a compilation from newspaper reports. There was, however, a merchant in the Russian capital with the surname of Gilchrist at this period. The appendix (pp. 22-27) was lifted from Charles Whitworth’s Account of Russia as it was in the year 1710, published for the first time only in 1758.


D4[edit]

Buckinghamshire, Hobart, John, Earl of, The despatches and correspondence of John, Second Earl of Buckinghamshire, ambassador to the court of Catherine II of Russia, 1762-1765. Edited, with introduction and notes by Adelaide D’Arcy Collyer. London: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1900-02. 2 vols.

The first British ambassador received by Catherine, Buckinghamshire (1723-93) arrived on 23 September 1762 and remained until January 1765, during which time he wrote voluminous dispatches and memoranda. These volumes contain both outgoing and incoming dispatches (vol. I, pp. 71-238; II, pp. 1-278). Some of his dispatches are also found in Sbornik imperatorskogo russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. XII (1873), pp. 16-193.


D5[edit]

Macartney, George, An account of Russia MDCCLXVII. London: privately printed, 1768. viii+230pp.

Sir George, later Earl of Macartney (1737-1806), arrived in St Petersburg on 27 December 1764 as British envoy extraordinary and left at the end of May 1767, having re-negotiated the commercial agreement in 1766. The work he describes as “a Russian Almanack for the Year 1767” was printed for distribution among friends and government ministers. It consisted of twelve chapters and an appendix (pp. 183-230, not by Macartney but by Rev. J.G. King), covering such subjects as population, revenues, the armed forces, and the church.


D6[edit]

Macartney, George, Some account of the public life, and a selection from the unpublished writings, of the Earl of Macartney. Edited by John Barrow. London: Cadell & Davis, 1807. 2 vols.

Letters from Macartney in St Petersburg (vol. I, pp. 413-27) and extracts from his Account of 1768 (including King’s essay, attributed here to Macartney), printed as an appendix in vol. II, pp. 2-93.


D7[edit]

Macartney, George, [‘Dispatches’]. In Sbornik imperatorskogo russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. XII. St Petersburg: Academy of Sciences, 1873. xxviii+499pp.

Dispatches to and from Macartney during his embassy, 1765-67 (pp. 194-300).


D8[edit]

King, John Glen, The rites and ceremonies of the Greek Church, in Russia; containing an account of its doctrine, worship, and discipline. London: printed for W. Owen; J. Dodsley; J. Rivington; and T. Becket and P.A. de Hondt, 1772. xxii+483pp.

Rev. King (1732-87) was appointed chaplain to the English Church in St Petersburg in 1763 and held the post for eleven years before his return to England in 1774. He indicates that he had been encouraged to study the Russian church by Macartney and his essay ‘The present state of the church of Russia, 1767’, signed “the Rev. Mr. K.”, appeared as an appendix in Macartney’s Account. His great opus appeared during a sojourn in England when he received his Oxford D.D.


D9[edit]

King, John Glen, Letter to the right reverend the Lord Bishop of Durham, containing some observations on the climate of Russia, and the northern countries. London: printed for J. Dodsley, 1778. 23pp.

Most notable for the yard-long engraving of the so-called “flying mountains” that fascinated visitors to Russia, the essay is King’s description of the way extreme cold affected everyday life in Russia.


D10[edit]

Casanova di Seingalt, Giacomo Girolamo, The memoirs of Jacques Casanova, written by himself de Seingalt in London and Moscow. Now for the first time completely translated into English by Arthur Machen. London: privately printed, 1894. 6 vols.

After his meeting with Frederick II in Berlin, Casanova (1725-98) travelled through the Baltic provinces, staying two months early in 1765 in Riga before reaching St Petersburg. In the Russian capital he met many notable Russian aristocrats, bought a peasant mistress (purchased after his departure by the architect Rinaldi), paid a short visit to Moscow, and was introduced to the empress in the Winter Palace, before leaving for Warsaw in October (vol. V, pp. 491-560).


D11[edit]

Pallas, Peter Simon, Travels into Siberia and Tartary, provinces of the Russian empire. By S. Pallas, M.D. professor of natural history, &C.; taken by order of the Empress of Russia, under the direction of the Imperial Academy of Sciences at Petersburg, in 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, 1773, and 1774, and now first translated into English [by the Rev. Dr John Trusler]. Included as vols. II-IV of The habitable world described, or the present state of the people in all parts of the globe, from north to south; shewing the situation, extent, climate, productions, animals, &c. of the different kingdoms and states; including all the new discoveries… By John Trusler. London: printed for the author at the literary press, London, 1788-89.

Pallas (1741-1811) was appointed professor of natural history at the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences in 1767. In 1768 he set out on a six-year expedition that was to take him through Siberia to the frontiers of China, recording as he went many new flowers and birds. His epic journey ended on 30 July 1774 with his arrival back in St Petersburg. Reise durch verschiendene Provinzen des Russischen Reichs was published in St Petersburg in 1771-76 and the celebrated French translation began to appear in the same year as Trusler’s generally overlooked, if somewhat truncated and edited version.


D12[edit]

Pallas, Peter Simon, A naturalist in Russia: letters from Peter Simon Pallas to Thomas Pennant. Edited by Carol Urness. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1967. iv+189pp.

The first letter in this collection dates from 1766, when Pallas was still in The Hague, where he had met the English naturalist Pennant (1726-98) the previous year. The remaining sixteen letters, written between 1777 and October 1781, were sent from St Petersburg, subsequent to Pallas’s return from his Siberian expedition. The long letters are full of details about the expedition and its findings in response to questions in Pennant’s non-extant letters (pp. 14-158).


D13[edit]

Cathcart, Charles, and Cathcart, Jane, The beautiful Mrs. Graham and the Cathcart circle. By E. Maxtone Graham. London: Nisbet & Co., 1927. x+322pp.

The 9th Lord Cathcart (1721-76), British ambassador extraordinary, arrived in St Petersburg with his wife and numerous children on 14 August 1768. A further, ninth, child was born in 1770, but Lady Cathcart (née Hamilton, b. 1726) died on 12 November 1771. Lord Cathcart and his children returned to England in August of the following year. Includes letters from Lady Cathcart (pp. 8-15) and three dispatches from Lord Cathcart (pp. 16-18, 20-23), as well as his moving tribute to his wife, ‘Particulars addrest to Lady Cathcart’s friends’ (St Petersburg, 1771) (pp. 24-28).


D14[edit]

Cathcart, Charles, [‘Dispatches’]. In Sbornik imperatorskogo russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vols. XII, XIX. St Petersburg: Academy of Sciences, 1873, 1876. xxviii+499pp; xviii+547pp.

Dispatches to and from Cathcart for the periods from 4 January 1769 to 22 December 1769 (vol. XII, pp. 333-487) and from 26 January 1770 to 19 June 1772 (vol. XIX, pp. 1-276). Also included are dispatches by Henry Shirley, who arrived a few months before Cathcart in May 1767 and remained as his secretary (pp. 300-43).


D15[edit]

Richardson, William, Anecdotes of the Russian Empire: in a series of letters, written, a few years ago, from St. Petersburg. London: printed for W. Strahan, and T. Cadell, 1784. xvi+478pp.

Richardson (1743-1814), tutor to Cathcart’s sons since 1766, travelled with them to St Petersburg in 1768. Soon after their return he became Professor of Humanity at Glasgow University. His fifty-six letters, revised before publication, cover the beginning of the outward voyage to the first days of the return journey as far as Copenhagen in August- September 1772. Includes poetry and other material written from, but of little relevance to, Russia, but also important descriptions of events in the Russian capital and its environs and essays on such topics as serfdom and national character.


D16[edit]

Tóth, Ferenc [Tott, François], Memoirs of the Baron de Tott, on the Turks and the Tartars. Translated from the French, by an English gentleman at Paris, under the immediate inspection of the Baron. London: Printed and sold by J. Jarvis; and also by J. Debrett; T. Becket; and J. Sewell, 1785. 2 vols. [2nd edition with different title and additional material, London: printed for G.G.J. and J. Robinson, 1786, 4 parts in 2 vols.]

Baron de Tóth (1733-93) was a military adviser to the Turks during the Russo-Turkish war of 1768-74. Describes his visit to the Crimea and southern Ukraine (I, 288-532).


D17[edit]

Dimsdale, Thomas, Tracts on inoculation, written and published at St Petersburg in the year 1768, by command of her Imperial Majesty, the Empress of All the Russias: with additional observations on epidemic small-pox, on the nature of that disease, and on the different success of the various modes of inoculation. London: printed by James Phillips for W. Owen, 1781. x+249pp.

Author of Present method of inoculating for the smallpox (1767), Dr Dimsdale (1712-1800) was invited the following year to St Petersburg to inoculate the Empress and her son, the Grand Duke Paul. The inoculation was a complete success and Dimsdale and his accompanying son Nathaniel were made barons of the Russian empire and showered with gifts. He returned early in 1769 to England, where he was elected F.R.S. Chapter I, ‘Some account of a journey to Russia, and of the introduction of inoculation into that country’, describes their momentous journey (pp. 1-91).


D18[edit]

*Marshall, Joseph, Travels through Holland, Flanders, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Lapland, Russia, the Ukraine and Poland, in the years 1768, 1769, and 1770. In which is particularly minuted the present state of those countries, reflecting their agriculture, population, manufactures, commerce, the arts, and useful undertakings. London: printed for J. Almon, 1773. 3 vols.

A product of an “armchair” traveller (cf. D19, D58, D60) Full of absurdities, the work nonetheless has much convincing detail and is often quoted as an authentic record. Marshall states he was in Russia in 1769-70 and left St Petersburg on 3 April 1770 (vol. III, pp. 105-233).


D19[edit]

*Richard, John, A tour from London to Petersburgh, from thence to Moscow, and return to London by way of Courland, Poland, Germany and Holland. London: printed for T. Evans, 1778. viii [7]+222pp.

Greeted as “a catchpenny performance” by Jeremy Bentham, the work provides no evidence, internal or external, that Richard ever visited Russia. His letters, said to have written several years earlier during his tour, are superficial in the extreme and seem to have been inspired by information he received from Russians in England (pp. 7-130).


D20[edit]

[Calvert, Frederick], Gaudia poetica, Latina, Anglica, et Gallica composita ao 1769. [Augsburg]: privately printed, 1770. [ii+] xcviii [+19]pp.

The eccentric 6th Lord Baltimore (1731-71) arrived in St Petersburg in July 1769 and left a few weeks later for Germany, where he arranged the publication of his book, a quarto volume, magnificently produced with high-quality engravings to frame his four long Latin poems, two of which are devoted to Peterhof and Tsarskoe selo. Their translation into English prose, “The pleasures of poetry”, explains their inclusion (pp. lix-lxviii).


D21[edit]

Benyovszky, Móricz, Memoirs and travels of Mauritius Augustus Count de Benyowsky, magnate of the kingdoms of Hungary and Poland, one of the chiefs of the Confederation of Poland, &c, &c: consisting of his military operations in Poland, his exile into Kamchatka, his escape and voyage from that peninsular through the northern Pacific Ocean, touching at Japan and Formosa, to Canton in China, with an account of the French settlement he was appointed to form upon the island, written by himself. Translated from the original [French] manuscript [by William Nicholson]. London: printed for G.G.J. and J. Robinson, 1790. 2 vols. [See also as edited by Captain Samuel Pasfield Oliver, London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1893.]

The Hungarian soldier of fortune Count Benyovszky (1746-86), a considerable manipulator of dates and embroiderer of facts in his own biography, provides a journal of his adventures in Russia. Serving with the Polish forces, he was captured by the Russians and arriving in St Petersburg in November 1769, was sent into Siberian exile. In Kamchatka he instigated a revolt among the exiles and eventually sailed away from Kamchatka in May 1771 en route for Japan and China (vol. I, pp. 36-383).


D22[edit]

Williams, John, The rise, progress, and present state of the northern governments; viz. The United Provinces, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, and Poland: or, observations on the nature, constitution, religion, law, policy, customs, and commerce of each country; the manners and dispositions of the people; their military forces by land and sea; the revenues and resources of each power; and on the circumstances and conjunctures which have contributed to produce the various revolutions which have happened to them: the whole digested from the most authentic records and histories, and from the reflections and remarks made during a tour of five years through these nations. London: printed for T. Beckett, 1777. 2 vols.

Williams, deriding Voltaire for describing a country he had never visited, seems to have been in Russia in 1770. He refers to his interviews in St Petersburg and Moscow, consulting manuscripts (in German) in the Kremlin, and travelling “1700 versts in the Russian dominions to form some idea of the character of the mass of the people in this state”. He provides an overview of the geography and history of Russia, dwelling in particular on the reign of Peter I and the overthrow of Peter III. There is little evidence of his own observations, even when writing on “manners and customs” (vol. II, pp. 1-343).


D23[edit]

Gunning, Robert, [‘Dispatches’]. In Sbornik imperatorskogo russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. XIX. St Petersburg: Academy of Sciences, 1876. xviii+547pp.

Sir Robert (1731-1816) replaced Cathcart as envoy extraordinary and plenipotentiary in 1772, arriving in St Petersburg on 18 June and leaving after a stay of some three and a half years in February 1776. Gunning was to enjoy a friendly relationship with the empress, who, at the request of George III, invested him with the order of the Bath on 9 July 1773. Dispatches to and from Gunning for the period 30 June 1772 to 12 January 1776 (pp. 276-510). Also included are dispatches by Richard Oakes, who acted as chargé d’affaires until the arrival of Sir James Harris, 16 February to 22 November 1776 (pp. 510-22).


D24[edit]

Fries, Hans Jakob, A Siberian journey: the journal of Hans Jakob Fries, 1774-1776. Translated from the German and edited with a bibliographical introduction by Walther Kirchner. London: Frank Cass, 1974. xii+183pp.

The young Zurich-born Fries (1749-1801) had arrived in St Petersburg on 1 September 1770 and moved to Moscow, where he began his medical training. In 1773 he became an under-surgeon and the following year he was attached to a regiment of dragoons fighting the Turks. It is in a letter to his parents in August 1779, when he was working in the admiralty hospital in St Petersburg, that he describes his career in the intervening years that took him after the end of the Russo-Turkish war on a journey through south-eastern Russia to Siberia, accompanying a Major Riedel on a mission to find recruits for the Russian army. They travelled from Orenburg to Omsk and on to Irkutsk, crossed Lake Baikal and went as far as Kiakhta before returning by the same route.


D25[edit]

Wraxall, Nathaniel William, Cursory remarks made in a tour through some of the northern parts of Europe, particularly Copenhagen, Stockholm and Petersburgh. London: T. Cadell, 1775. [2nd corrected edition with title A tour through some of the northern parts…, 1775; 4th corrected and augmented edition with title A tour round the Baltic, through the northern countries of Europe..., 1807.]

Sir Nathaniel (1751-1831) set out on his voyage to the north in April 1774 and arrived in St Petersburg in August, staying only a month. The first British “grand tourist” to publish his account of Catherine’s Russia, he describes the city, a visit to Peterhof, where he saw the empress, and conversations with the sculptor Falconet at work on his equestrian statue of Peter (pp. 202-88).


D26[edit]

Henniker, John, A visit to Petersburgh: extracts from a northern tour in the years 1775 & 1776 through Copenhagen and Petersburgh to the river Swir joining the lakes of Onega and Ladoga. Cambridge: Morison Room of the University Library, 1991. 8pp.; Expedition to the river Swir: in a series of letters. Cambridge: Morison Room of the University Library, 1992. 8pp.; I must, I will digress: further ramblings on the river Swir. Cambridge: [Morison Room of the University Library], 1998. 8pp.

These are extracts from the manuscript diary of the 2nd Lord Henniker (1752-1821), which is now held in Cambridge (U.L.C. MS. Add. 8720). Henniker, grandson of a Russia Company merchant, arrived at Cronstadt on 14 July 1775 and returned to Copenhagen six weeks later. After sightseeing in and around the capital, he accompanied a prominent Petersburg merchant Timothy Raikes on a trip up the Neva, across Ladoga, to the river Svir to inspect factories.


D27[edit]

Harris, James, Diaries and correspondence of James Harris, first Earl of Malmesbury; containing an account of his missions to the courts of Madrid, Frederick the Great, Catherine the Second, and The Hague; and his special missions to Berlin, Brunswick, and the French Republic. Edited by his grandson, the Third Earl [James Howard Harris]. London: Richard Bentley, 1844. 4 vols.

Sir James, later 1st Earl of Malmesbury (1746-1820), arrived in St Petersburg on 2 January 1778 as British envoy extraordinary and plenipotentiary and left on 8 September 1783. He was knighted in 1779. He enjoyed the benevolence of Catherine and Potemkin during a difficult five-year period that covered the end of the American War of Independence and Russia’s Declaration of Armed Neutrality in 1780 (vol. I, pp. 155-542; II, pp. 1-58).


D28[edit]

Coxe, William, Travels into Poland, Russia, Sweden, and Denmark, interspersed with historical relations and political inquiries. London: printed by J. Nichols for T. Cadell, 1784. 2 vols.

Rev. Coxe (1747-1828), Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, was tutor to George, Lord Herbert, later 11th Earl of Pembroke (1759-1827) on an extensive Grand Tour that took them eventually via Poland to Moscow, where they arrived in August 1778. They left St Petersburg for Stockholm, via Vyborg, on 3 February 1779 (vol. I, pp 240-588; II, pp. 3-311). Coxe visited Russia again in 1784-85 as tutor to Samuel Whitbread Jr. (1764-1815), son of the famous brewer. The materials he garnered on this occasion were incorporated into a third volume in 1790, completing the first edition. The second and third editions had appeared in the meantime and it is the fourth and fifth editions (5 vols., 1792 and 1802) that offer expanded and re-arranged versions. A sumptuous three-volume set in fifty copies was published in 1803 as Coxe’s final statement on Russia.


D29[edit]

Coxe, William, Henry, Elizabeth and George (1734-80): letters and diaries of Henry, Tenth Earl of Pembroke and his circle. Edited by Lord Herbert. London: Jonathan Cape, 1939. 576pp.

Contains three letters from Coxe from Russia in 1778 to the 10th Earl and his wife (pp. 125-26, 137-38, 145-46).


D30[edit]

Coxe, William, Account of the prisons and hospitals in Russia, Sweden, and Denmark: with occasional remarks on the different modes of punishments in those countries. London: printed for T. Cadell, 1781. viii+55pp.

Dedicated to the famed prison reformer and philanthropist John Howard (pp. v-vi), it supplies detailed descriptions of prisons and hospitals in Moscow, Tver, Vyshnii Volochek, St Petersburg and Cronstadt visited by Coxe in 1778-79 (pp.1-30).


D31[edit]

[Rickman, John], Journal of Captain Cook’s last voyage to the Pacific Ocean, on Discovery; performed in the years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779. London: Edward Newberry, 1781. xlvi+396pp.

The first, anonymously published, account of Cook’s fateful third and last voyage is now attributed to Rickman, who was a lieutenant on the Discovery. The Discovery, commanded by Captain Charles Clerke (1743-79), and Cook’s Resolution set sail in July 1776 and passed through the Bering Strait past Kamchatka in the summer of 1778. After Cook’s death in Hawaii in February 1779, the expedition, now under the command of Captain Clerke, returned to Kamchatka, where they spent two months from late April to June and a further six weeks from late August to early October, during which time Clerke died and was buried at Petropavlovsk (pp. 337-75).


D32[edit]

Ledyard, John, A journal of Captain Cook’s last voyage to the Pacific Ocean, and in quest of a north-west passage, between Asia & America; performed in the years 1776, 1777, 1778, and 1779. Hartford, Conn.: Nathaniel Patten, 1783. 208pp. [See John Ledyard’s journal of Captain Cook’s last voyage. Edited by James Kenneth Munford. With an introduction by Sinclair H. Hitchings. Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 1963. l+264pp.]

The American Ledyard (1751-89) joined Cook’s ship, the Resolution, as corporal of marines in Plymouth in July 1776. When compiling his own account of the expedition, he was undoubtedly aware of Rickman and, indeed, the Kamchatka section reproduces Rickman’s (pp. 163-91).


D33[edit]

Gilbert, George, Captain Cook’s final voyage: the journal of Midshipman George Gilbert. Introduced and edited by Christine Holmes. Horsham, Sussex: Caliban Books, 1982. 158pp.

Gilbert (d. 1783?) was a midshipman on the Resolution, transferring to the Discovery in August 1779. His journal contains interesting notes on their time in Kamchatka, April-October 1779 (pp. 129-49).


D34[edit]

Reineggs, Jacob, and Bieberstein, Friedrich August, A general, historical, and topographical description of Mount Caucasus. With a catalogue of plants indigenous to the country. Translated from the works of Dr Reineggs and Marshall Bieberstein by Charles Wilkinson. London: C. Taylor; W. Miller, A. Collins, Darton and Harvey, 1807. 2 vols.

A curious compilation, said to be appropriate for the contemporary political situation following Tilsit, from Allegemaine historische-topographische Beschreibung des Kaukasus (1796-97) by Dr Reineggs (1744-93) and Tableau des provinces situées sur la côte occidentale de la Mer Caspienne entre les fleuves Terek et Kour (1798) by Bieberstein (1768-1826). The Saxon adventurer Reineggs, real name Ehlich, arrived in Georgia in 1779, in 1781 travelled to St Petersburg, and accompanied Potemkin to Moldavia in 1789. His narrative ends at vol. II, p. 62, when without any break, Bieberstein’s, referring to 1795-99 when he was with the Russian army in the Caucasus, begins. The catalogue of plants is found in vol. II, pp. 175-240.


D35[edit]

Bentham, Samuel, and Bentham, Jeremy, The works of Jeremy Bentham. Published under the superintendence of his executor, John Bowring. Edinburgh: William Tait, and London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co., 1843. 11 vols.

Samuel (1757-1831), the younger brother of the more famous Jeremy (1748-1832), left London to seek his fortune in Russia in August 1779, travelling via Riga to Moscow and down to New Russia. Early in 1781 he undertook an ambitious itinerary through Russia, travelling to Archangelsk before crossing the Urals and travelling to the Chinese border at Kiakhta, before returning to St Petersburg in October 1782. In March 1784 he entered the service of Potemkin to organize a model farm, shipyard, etc. on the prince’s estates at Krichev in Belorussia. He was joined there in February 1786 by Jeremy, who remained until November of the following year. Samuel subsequently took part in the Russo-Turkish war, travelled again to Siberia, before returning to the south. He left Jassy in January 1791, after eleven years in Russia. (See vol. X, pp. 147-79).


D36[edit]

Bentham, Samuel, and Bentham, Jeremy, The correspondence of Jeremy Bentham. Vol. III (January 1781 to October 1788). Edited by Ian R. Christie. London: University of London Athlone Press, 1971. xxxiv+647pp; vol. IV (October 1788 to December 1793). Edited by Alexander Taylor Milne. London: Athlone Press, 1981. xlii+506pp.

These volumes contain long excerpts from Samuel’s voluminous letters to his brother from Russia as well as Jeremy’s letters from Ukraine (vol. III, and IV, pp. 1-223 passim). For Samuel’s visit to Russia during Alexander I’s reign see F10.


D37[edit]

Ligne, Charles Joseph, de, The Prince de Ligne: his memoirs, letters, and miscellaneous papers. Selected and translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley. With introduction and preface by C.-A. Sainte-Beuve and Madame de Staël-Holstein. London: William Heinemann, 1899. 2 vols.

The Prince de Ligne (1735-1814), born in Belgium and a subject of Austria, first visited Russia in the summer of 1780, when he met the empress. On his return to Vienna he began the correspondence with her that ended only with her death (vol. I, pp. 302-20). In Feb 1786 Ligne accepted Catherine’s invitation to join her entourage on her famous visit to the Crimea and joined her in Kiev early the next year. He describes the journey in letters to the marquise de Coigny in Paris (vol. II, pp. 8-44). After their return to St Petersburg, Ligne soon departed for Russian army under Potemkin in November 1787 and fought against the Turks until December 1788, when he left to join the Austrian army at the siege of Belgrade (vol. II, pp. 46-98).


D38[edit]

Elliot, Gilbert, Life and letters of Sir Gilbert Elliot First Earl of Minto, from 1751 to 1806, when his public life in Europe was closed by his appointment to the vice-royalty of India. Edited by his great-niece the Countess of Minto. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1874. 3 vols.

Sir Gilbert (1751-1814) was Sir James Harris’s brother-in-law and travelled out to St Petersburg in June 1781 in order to escort back to England his ailing sister Harriet, Lady Harris. They left for England in mid-August. Excerpts from letters (vol. I, pp. 62-66).


D39[edit]

Howard, John, The State of prisons in England and Wales, with preliminary observations, and an account of some foreign prisons. Warrington: printed by William Eyres for T. Cadell, J. Johnson, and C. Dilly. 3rd edition 1784. 510pp.

The first edition of this celebrated work appeared in 1777 and a second edition in 1780. It was only in the third edition that Howard (1726-90) was able to incorporate his impressions of the prisons and hospitals in St Petersburg, Cronstadt, Vyshnii Volochek, Tver and Moscow he had visited in the summer of 1781 (pp. 85-95).


D40[edit]

Dimsdale, Elizabeth, An English lady at the court of Catherine the Great: the journal of Baroness Elizabeth Dimsdale, 1781. Edited, with an introduction and notes, by A.G. Cross. Cambridge: Crest, 1989. viii+108pp.

Some twelve years after his first highly successful and lauded visit to St Petersburg to inoculate the empress and her son Paul, Dimsdale was invited again, to inoculate the Grand Dukes Alexander and Constantine. On this occasion he was accompanied by his third wife Elizabeth (1732-1812), whom he had recently married. Travelling overland, they arrived in St Petersburg on 8 August (p. 39). Three weeks later they removed to Tsarskoe selo, where the inoculation was to take place on 7 September. 25 September marked the return to the capital and their departure for England followed on 15 October (pp. 39-87).


D41[edit]

Forster, George, A journey from Bengal to England through the northern part of India, Kashmire, Afghanistan, and Persia and into Russia by the Caspian Sea. London: R. Faulder, 1798. 2 vols.

In 1782-84 Forster (1752?-91) of the Indian civil service, travelling from Calcutta, sailed up the Volga to Moscow and then proceeded to St Petersburg, before returning to England (vol. II, pp. 304-97).


D42[edit]

[Walker, James], Paramythia or mental pastimes being original anecdotes, historical, descriptive, humourous, and witty collected chiefly during a long residence at the court of Russia, by the author. London: printed for Lawler and Quick, 1821. viii+175pp. [reprinted in Engraved in the memory: James Walker, engraver to the Empress Catherine the Great, and his Russian anecdotes. Edited and introduced by Anthony Cross. Oxford: Berg, 1993, pp. 28-152.]

Walker (1748-1822) went to Russia in 1784 with the position of “engraver to her imperial majesty” (which continued under Catherine’s successors, Paul and Alexander). His anonymously published collection of anecdotes contains English as well as Russian material, the latter reflecting what he heard and saw during the eighteen years he spent in St Petersburg.


D43[edit]

Ségur, Louis-Philippe, de, Memoirs and recollections of Count Segur, ambassador from France to the courts of Russia and Prussia, &c., &c. written by himself. London: Henry Colburn, 1825. 3 vols.

Brilliant, witty, friend of the philosophes, the comte de Ségur (1753-1830) was in every way an ideal choice as French minister plenipotentiary to the court of Catherine. Appointed on 16 December 1784, he arrived in St Petersburg on 10 March 1785 and remained until October 1789. He accompanied the empress on her journey to the Crimea in 1787. Russia, vol. II, pp. 152-355; III, pp. 1-445.


D44[edit]

Sauer, Martin, An account of a geographical and astronomical expedition to the northern parts of Russia, for ascertaining the degrees of latitude and longitude of the mouth of the river Kovima; of the whole coast of the Tshutski, to East Cape; and of the islands in the eastern ocean, stretching from there to the American coast; performed, by command of her imperial majesty Catherine the Second, empress of all the Russias, by Commodore Joseph Billings, in the years 1785, &c., to 1794; the whole narrated from the original papers, by Martin Sauer, secretary to the expedition. London: printed by A. Strahan for T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, 1802. xxviii+332+58pp.

The expedition under Captain Joseph Billings (1761-1806) set out from St Petersburg on 25 October 1785, travelling via Moscow and Kazan and reaching Ekaterinburg by 17 January 1786. On 3 July they arrived at the sea at Okhotsk. After some six years of exploration and scientific experiments along the coast, including Kamchatka, they began their return journey in August 1793 and saw St Petersburg again on 10 March 1794. Of the expedition’s secretary Sauer, who had been resident in St Petersburg from at least 1782, nothing more is known; Billings was transferred to the Black Sea fleet and served until his retirement in 1799 with the rank of captain-commander.


D45[edit]

[Masson, Charles-François-Philibert], Secret memoirs of the court of Petersburg; particularly toward the end of the reign of Catherine II, and the commencement of that of Paul I, forming a description of the manners of Petersburg, at the close of the eighteenth century; and containing various anecdotes, collected during a residence of ten years in that capital; together with remarks on the education of the grand-dukes, the manners of the ladies, and the religion of the people; serving as a supplement to the life of Catherine II. Translated from the French. London: printed by C. Whittingham for T.N. Longman and O. Rees, 1800. 2 vols.

Published anonymously, the work enjoyed a succès de scandale for its alleged revelations and was translated into many languages following its appearance in Paris in 1800. Masson (1762-1807) had gone to Russia in 1785 to join his elder brother and soon entered the engineer cadet corps. He enjoyed rapid promotion and became secretary to Grand Duke Alexander in 1796. Accused of sympathy for French victories at the beginning of Paul’s reign, he and his brother were escorted to the Russo-Polish border.


D46[edit]

Miranda, Sebastián Francisco, de, Fragments from an XVIIIth century diary: the travels and adventures of Don Francisco de Miranda, precursor of the independence of Spanish America, in Spain, Africa, North America, Europe and at the court of Catherine the Great of Russia, 1771-1789. Compiled and translated by Jordan Herbert Stabler, with a preface by R.B. Cunninghame Graham. Caracas: Tipografía ‘La nación’, 1931. 196pp.

The Venezuelan soldier Francisco de Miranda (1750-1816), during extensive European travels, arrived at Kherson from Turkey on 7 October 1786 and remained in Russia until 18 September of the following year. During this time he visited the Crimea and then proceeded to Kiev, where he was presented to Catherine II, and thence to Moscow and St Petersburg. A mere taster from a fascinating diary, the full Spanish text of which is found in Archivo del general Miranda: Viajes, vol. II (Caracas, 1929), pp. 190-470.


D47[edit]

[Ellis, George, attrib.], Memoir of a map of the countries comprehended between the Black Sea and the Caspian; with an account of the Caucasian nations, and vocabularies of their languages. London: printed for J. Edwards, 1788. 80pp.

Ellis (1753-1815), F.S.A. and F.R.S., spent several months in St Petersburg in 1786 and may have travelled south. The memoir is an attempt to classify the inhabitants of the Caucasus according to information supplied by Professor Pallas. The specimens of the various languages were drawn from Pallas’s universal comparative dictionary, compiled with the encouragement of the empress.


D48[edit]

Craven, Elizabeth, A Journey through the Crimea to Constantinople. In a series of letters from the right honourable Elizabeth Lady Craven to his serene highness the Margrave of Brandebourg, Anspach, and Bareith. Written in the year MDCCLXXXVI. London: for H. Chamberlaine, R. Montcrieffe, W. Colles, G. Burnet, W. Wilson, 1789. 8+327pp [With changed title: Letters from the right honourable Lady Craven, to his serene highness the Margrave of Anspach, during her travels through France, Germany, & Russia in 1785 and 1786. 2nd edition, including a variety of letters not before published. London: printed by A.J. Valpy, and sold by H. Colburn, 1814. viii+316pp. Her Memoirs of the Margravine of Anspach, formerly Lady Craven. Written by herself. Paris: A. and W. Galignani, 1826. 2 vols. contain a succinct version of her travels (vol. I, pp. 97-107).]

On a tour that had begun in Paris in mid-June 1785, the “beautiful” Lady Craven (née Berkeley, later Margravine of Anspach, 1750-1828) arrived via Italy, Vienna and Warsaw in February 1786 in St Petersburg, where she was presented to the empress. She soon travelled via Moscow and Ukraine to the Crimea, “a delicious country; and an acquisition to Russia which she should never relinquish”. She stayed at Kherson for a month, before crossing to Constantinople (pp. 164-258).


D49[edit]

[Sinclair, John], General observations regarding the present state of the Russian empire. London: privately printed, 1787. 49pp.

In 1786 Sir John (1754-1835) planned a tour of the northern capitals of Europe which would fit into the seven-month Parliamentary recess between June 1786 and January 1787. Arriving in St Petersburg from Riga in August, he travelled home via Moscow and Kiev to Warsaw. On his return he wrote General observations for circulation among friends.


D50[edit]

Sinclair, John, The correspondence of the right honourable Sir John Sinclair, bart. with reminiscences of the most distinguished characters who have appeared in Great Britain, and in foreign countries, during the last fifty years. London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, 1831. 2 vols.

Sir John included most of the material from General observations into Part XXI, ‘Travels in Russia, and correspondence with the natives of that country’, of his collected correspondence (vol. II, pp. 241-85), although somewhat edited to reflect his later mellowed attitude towards Russia. Elsewhere there is much that is new, such as his description of his audience by Catherine on 25 August 1786 and his visit to Grand Duke Paul at Pavlovsk on 31 August (vol. I, pp. 7-13). See also vol. I, pp. 149-52 (Princess Dashkova), 209-12 (Rumiantsev-Zadunaiskii).


D51[edit]

La Pérouse, Jean-François de Galaup, de, The voyage of La Pérouse round the world in the years 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788, by the ‘Boussole’ and ‘Astrolabe’, under the command of J.F.G. de la Pérouse. Published by order of the National Assembly under the superintendence of L.A. Milet-Mureau. London: printed for J. Johnson, 1798. 3 vols.

The circumnavigation, commanded by the comte de La Pérouse (1741-88), reached Kamchatka and the Sea of Okhotsk in September 1787 (vol. III, pp. 1-37).


D52) La Pérouse, Jean-François de Galaup, de, The journal of Jean-François de Galaup de la Pérouse 1785-1788. Translated and edited by John Dunmore. London: The Hakluyt Society, 1994. 2 vols.

Based on the newly discovered journal of La Pérouse in the French national archives, this edition also includes letters sent from Petropavlovsk. On Sakhalin and Kamchatka, pp. 284-376; letters, pp. 510-34.


D53[edit]

Lesseps, Jean-Baptiste-Barthélemy, de, Travels in Kamtschatka, during the years 1787 and 1788. Translated from the French. London: J. Johnson, 1790. 2 vols. in 1.

De Lesseps (1766-1834), a translator attached to La Pérouse’s expedition, was dispatched on 7 October 1787 from Petropavlovsk to take news of what had been achieved back to France as swiftly as possible. Forced to spend the winter of 1787-88 in Kamchatka, which he describes in detail, he reached Okhotsk only in June 1788. He met Billings in Iakutsk (see D44) and returned via Tomsk, Tobolsk and Ekaterinburg to St Petersburg, where he arrived by the end of September, before proceeding to Versailles to present the papers to the king (vol. I, pp. 1-283; II, pp. 1-382). French original: Journal historique du voyage de m. de Lesseps depuis l’instant où il a quitté les frégates françoises au Port Saint Pierre et Saint Paul du Kamtschatka jusqu’à son arrivée en France le 17 Octobre, 1788 (Paris, 1790). Lesseps was later to serve several terms as French consul in St Petersburg.


D54[edit]

Damas d’Antigney, Joseph Elizabeth Roger, Memoirs of the comte Roger de Damas (1787-1806). Edited and annotated by Jacques Rambaud. Translated by Mrs. Rodolph Stawell. London: Chapman and Hall, 1913. xxxiv+492pp.

In January 1788 the comte de Damas (1765-1823) joined the Russian forces fighting against the Turks and distinguished himself at Ochakov and Izmail and was decorated by the empress. He left Russia in January 1791 at the end of the campaign (pp. 16-145). In the winter of 1792-93 Damas returned to Russia in the suite of the comte d’Artois (pp. 192-95).


D55[edit]

Jones, John Paul, Memoirs of Rear-Admiral Paul Jones, chevalier of the military order of merit, and of the Russian order of St Anne, &c., &c., now first compiled from his original journals and correspondence: including an account of his service under Prince Potemkin, prepared for publication by himself. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd; London: Simpkin & Marshall, 1830. 2 vols.

After playing a colourful part in the American War of Independence, Jones (1747-92) became a rear-Admiral in the Russian navy. He arrived in St Petersburg early in May 1788, met the empress, and was dispatched to the south to serve under Potemkin. He played a leading role in the battle of the Liman but subsequently offended Potemkin and was recalled to the capital towards the end of 1788 A scandal involving a young girl in St Petersburg led to his leaving Russia in September 1789 (vol. I, pp. 327-31; II, pp. 1-195).


D56[edit]

Ledyard, John, John Ledyard’s journey through Russia and Siberia 1787-1788: the journal and selected letters. Edited by Stephen D. Watrous. Madison, Milwaukee and London: University of Wisconsin Press, 1966. xiv+293pp.

Eight years after his first visit to Kamchatka (see D32), Ledyard returned to Russia. He arrived in St Petersburg in March 1787 and two months later set out on his momentous journey with the intention of traversing the whole of Russia. Travelling through Siberia, he visited Tobolsk, Tomsk and Irkutsk but got only as far as Iakutsk, where he arrived in mid-September. It was there that Ledyard met Billings and Sauer, with whom he returned later to Irkutsk in January 1788, where he was immediately arrested on orders from Catherine (for reasons never satisfactorily explained) and taken back to Moscow and expelled from Russia via Poland in March (pp. 122-232).


D57[edit]

Trevenen, James, A memoir of James Trevenen. Edited by Christopher Lloyd and R.C. Anderson. London: for the Navy Records Society, 1959. xv+247pp.

Trevenen (1760-90), who had been a midshipman on Cook’s last voyage, joined the Russian navy as a captain with a plan approved by the empress for discovery and trade in the North Pacific, but the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish war led to its postponement. He arrived in St Petersburg on 7 October 1787 and was soon involved in the naval war against Sweden, dying in the battle of Vyborg on 9 July 1790 (pp. 97-242).


D58[edit]

*[Chantreau, Pierre Nicholas], Philosophical, political and literary travels in Russia during the years 1788 & 1789. Perth: printed for R. Morison, Junior, for R. Morison and Son, Perth; and Vernor and Hood, London, 1794. 2 vols.

Chantreau (1741-1808), like Marshall and Richard before him and Thomson later, was only in Russia in his mind’s eye and assimilated material from others, such as Coxe. He was “travelling” in Britain as precisely the same period, according to the title of another of his compilations.


D59[edit]

Swinton, Andrew, Travels into Norway, Denmark, and Russia, in the years 1788, 1789, 1790, and 1791. London: printed for G.G.J. and J. Robinson, 1792. xxvii+506pp.

Reaching Riga in October 1788, the Scottish tourist Swinton heard of the recent death of his kinsman admiral Samuel Grieg on board his flagship at Revel, which he then visited. Arriving in St Petersburg in November, he was to spend over two years in the Russian capital, describing his impressions in a series of sentimental letters, before departing in March 1791 (pp. 126-496).


D60[edit]

*[Thomson, William], Letters from Scandinavia, on the past and present state of the northern nations of Europe. London: printed for G.G. and J. Robinson, 1796. 2 vols.

Published anonymously, but Thomson (1746-1817) is recognized as its author. It is, however, a work of plagiarism (principally from Swinton) by an able and prodigiously productive hack. Despite its title, it is presented as letters from and mainly about Russia allegedly written between 1789 and May 1792. Russia, vol. I, pp. 1-471; II, pp. 1-279.


D61[edit]

Howard, John, An account of the principal lazarettos in Europe; with various papers relative to the plague: together with further observations on some foreign prisons and hospitals; and additional remarks on the present state of those in Great Britain and Ireland. London: printed for J. Johnson, C. Dilly, and T. Cadell, 1791. 2nd edition, with additions. vii+272+32pp.

Howard paid a second visit to Russia in 1789, re-visiting many of the institutions he had seen in 1781 (see D39). Interested in questions of quarantine and plague control, he decided to travel to the Crimea and observe “the sickly state of the Russian army on the confines of Turkey”, but in Kherson he contracted fever and died on 20 January 1790. His monument was to be much visited by British travellers in the nineteenth century. The appendix to this posthumous second edition contains the update on prisons in Riga, Cronstadt, St Petersburg, and Moscow and his descriptions of the harrowing scenes he saw in the south, (Kherson, Bogoiavlensk and Nikolaev) (Appendix, pp. 12-21).
D62[edit]

Hawkins (Hawkins-Whitsted), James, Charlotte Sophie Countess Bentinck: her life and times, 1715-1800. By her descendant Mrs. Aubrey Le Blond. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1912. 2 vols.

Captain Hawkins, later Admiral Sir James (1762-1849), and his travelling companion Count William Bentinck (1764-1813), after visiting the latter’s illustrious grandmother in Germany, spent three weeks in St Petersburg in October 1789 and in addition to the social whirl, interested themselves in naval matters at Cronstadt. Extracts from Hawkins’s diary (vol. I, pp. 113-23).


D63[edit]

[Colmore, Lionel], Letters from the Continent, describing the manners and customs of Germany, Poland, Russia, and Switzerland, in the years 1790, 1791, and 1792, to a friend residing in England. London: J. Hatchard, 1812. iv+275pp.

The amusing, satirical letters of Colmore (1765-1807), another young gentry tourist, were published posthumously and describe his social life in the Russian capital between mid-October 1790 and the end of April 1791. Only two letters (nos. IX-X) are, however, extant from his sojourn in St Petersburg (pp. 88-117), the next being date-lined Warsaw, 24 August 1791.


D64[edit]

Storch, Heinrich Friedrich von, The picture of Petersburg. From the German of Henry Storch. [Translated by William Tooke.] London: printed for T.N. Longman & O. Rees, 1801. xviii+591pp.

The most comprehensive account of St Petersburg in the last years of Catherine’s reign (the preface is dated 1792). Gemälde von St Petersburg originally appeared in two volumes in Riga in 1793-94. Heinrich Storch (in his Russian variant, Andrei Karlovich Shtorkh) (1766-1838) was professor of belles-lettres at the Imperial Cadet Corps and a member of the Free Economic Society. There are several passages on the British community inserted by the translator, who had spent many years in Russia (see D69).


D65[edit]

Leveson Gower, Granville, Lord Granville Leveson Gower (First Earl Granville): private correspondence 1781 to 1821. Edited by his daughter-in-law Castalia Countess Granville. London: John Murray, 1916. 2 vols.

Just down from Oxford, the young tourists Lord Granville, later 1st Earl Granville (1773-1846), and his friend Lord Boringdon arrived in St Petersburg in October 1792, visited Moscow in December, and left for England via Warsaw (vol. I, pp. 55-64). Twelve years later, still only thirty-one, he was back in the Russian capital as British ambassador in October 1804 and negotiated an Anglo-Russian convention, signed on 11 April 1805. He returned to England in August 1806. The following April he was re-appointed ambassador, but was in Russia merely a few months before the treaty of Tilsit and the ensuing Russian declaration of war on 31 October 1807 led to his departure from St Petersburg on 9 November. His correspondence, mainly with Lady Bessborough, during these two periods is memorable for his protracted on-off love affair with the “princesse nocturne”, Princess Evdokiia Golitsyna (vol. I, pp. 485-510; II, pp. 1- 207, 263-312).


D66[edit]

Parkinson, John, A tour of Russia, Siberia and the Crimea 1792-1794. Edited with an introduction by William Collier. London: Frank Cass & Co., 1971. xx+280pp.

Parkinson (1754-1840, Oxford don and travelling tutor par excellence, accompanied Edward Wilbraham-Bootle (1771-1853), later 1st Lord Skelmersdale, on a truly remarkable tour. After some weeks in Scandinavia, they arrived in St Petersburg on 4 November 1792 and stayed until the following March. From Moscow they headed for Kazan, but choosing not to follow the Volga down to Astrakhan, headed for Perm and on into Siberia as far as Tobolsk in mid-April 1793. Their route then took them south to join the Volga and to travel down to Sarepta and Astrakhan, before journeying to Georgievsk and to the Crimea by August. They returned to St Petersburg at the end of December, via Kiev and Moscow. Only in March 1794 did they set off for Warsaw. Edited from his extensive manuscript diaries. Russia, pp. 20-228.


D67[edit]

Pallas, Peter Simon, Travels through the southern provinces of the Russian Empire, in the years 1793 and 1794. Translated from the German, without abridgment [?by A.F.M. Willich and Steven Porter]. London: Longman and O. Rees, T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, John Murray and S. Highley, 1802-03. 2 vols.

Accompanied by his wife and daughter as well as by the Leipzig artist C.G.H. Geissler, who was to illustrate his account, Pallas (see D11-12) left St Petersburg on 1 February 1793. They travelled down the Volga to Astrakhan and then through the Caucasus to the Crimea. He spent the winter of 1793-94 near Simferopol and began the return journey on 18 July 1794, arriving back in the capital on 14 September 1794.


D68[edit]

Kynnersley, Mary, The Baroness de Bode 1775-1803. By William S. Childe-Permberton. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1900. xx+296pp.

Daughter of a Staffordshire squire, Mary (d. 1812) married Charles Auguste Louis Frederick, Baron de Bode (d. 1797) in 1775 and lived in Alsace, then Germany, and finally, fleeing the Revolution, found refuge in Russia, where Catherine granted the Bodes estates in New Russia. The Bodes arrived in St Petersburg in August 1794 and the baroness’s letters to her English relatives chart their subsequent life in Russia until February 1803, when the correspondence abruptly ceased (pp. 182-271). Mary died in Moscow in 1812 and her children remained in Russia.


D69[edit]

Niemcewicz, Julian Ursyn, Notes of my captivity in Russia, in the years 1794, 1795, and 1796. Translated from the original [Polish], by Alexander Laski. Edinburgh: William Tait; London: Simpkin, Marshall, & co. 1844. xxiii+251pp.

The renowned Polish politician and man-of-letters Niemcewicz (1757-1841) was captured, together with Kosciuzsko, at the battle of Macieiowice on 10 October 1794. He spent twenty-six months in captivity in St Petersburg’s Peter and Paul fortress before being released by Paul I. He finished his account in May 1800, while in exile in America, and the Polish original was first published in 1843.
D70[edit]

Guthrie, Maria, A tour, performed in the years 1795-6, through the Taurida, or Crimea, the antient kingdom of Bosphorus, the once-powerful republic of Tauric Cherson, and all the other countries on the north shore of the Euxine, ceded to Russia by the Peace of Kainardgi and Jassy; by Mrs Maria Guthrie, formerly acting directress of the imperial convent for the education of the female nobility of Russia; described in a series of letters to her husband, the editor, Matthew Guthrie, M.D., F.R.S. and F.S.A. of London and Edinburgh, member of the philosophical society of Manchester, &c. &c., physician to the first and second imperial corps of noble cadets in St Petersburgh, and councillor of state to his imperial majesty of all the Russias; the whole illustrated by a map of the tour along the Euxine coast, from the Dniester to the Cuban; with engravings of a great number of ancient coins, medals, monuments, inscriptions, and other curious objects. London: T. Cadell Junior and W. Davies, 1802. xxiv+446pp.

The ninety-three posthumously published letters that Marie Guthrie (née Romaud-Survesnes, d. 1800) sent to her husband Matthew (1743-1807) in St Petersburg (pp. 1-308), were not only translated from French but were swollen under his “editorship” into the major description of the Crimea, present and particularly past and replete with all manner of archaeological and historical material, that was available to British readers at the beginning of the nineteenth century.


D70a[edit]

Vigée-Lebrun, Louise-Elisabeth, Memoirs of Elisabeth Vigée-Le-Brun. Translated from the French by Siân Evans. London: Camden, 1989. 368pp.

Portrait painter to Queen Marie Antoinette and member of the Royal Academy, Mme Vigée-Le-Brun (1755-1842) escaped with her daughter into exile after the French Revolution and after stays in Italy and Vienna, arrived on 25 July 1795 in St Petersburg and met the empress two days later. She was to remain six years, throughout the reign of Paul and leaving soon after the accession of Alexander in 1801 (pp. 157-227). She painted many portraits of members of the Russian imperial family and aristocracy, but not of the empress. Her memoirs or Souvenirs were published in Paris in 1821.


D71[edit]

Tooke, William, A view of the Russian empire during the reign of Catharine the Second and to the close of the eighteenth century. London: printed for T.N. Longman and O. Rees, and J. Debrett, 1799. 3 vols.

Tooke (1744-1820) was appointed chaplain to the British Factory at Cronstadt in March 1771 and in 1774 succeeded King to the Petersburg chaplaincy, where he remained until his final return to England in 1792 and to unceasing literary endeavour over a further three decades. Fellow of the Royal Society and a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, he published many works on Russia, but his 2,000-page View, despite its obvious compilatory nature (which he wore, incidentally, as a badge of honour), gives the fullest expression to his profound and personal knowledge of Catherine’s Russia.


http://dx.doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0042.04


[Back to contents]