Peter the Great Through British Eyes: Perceptions and Representations of the Tsar Since 1698

Cambridge University Press, 30 nov. 2000 - 172 pages
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Peter the Great's visit to England in the first months of 1698 has been called 'the most picturesque episode in the history of Anglo-Russian relations', and lives on most vividly in popular memory for the devastation caused at Sayes Court, John Evelyn's house and garden in Deptford. Recent celebrations of the tercentenary of that visit have refocused attention on the most famous of Russian tsars, but the story of Britain's love-hate relationship with him over the intervening centuries has never before been told. This study analyses changing British reactions to Peter in an extremely wide variety of printed sources - newspapers and journals, letters and collections of anecdotes, histories and biographies, novels, poems and plays. A final innovative chapter is devoted to images of the tsar as interpreted by British painters from Godfrey Kneller to Daniel Maclise, and by a whole cohort of engravers, illustrating biographies and travel accounts.

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