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St Petersburg and the British


The City through the Eyes of British Visitors and Residents

Anthony Cross

An anthology of writing about St Petersburg, from its foundation to the present day, by British residents and visitors.

History and the Past, Travel

352 pages
234x156 mm
Add to Cart
Pub. Date:
28th August 2008

The British links with St Petersburg date back to the very year of its foundation and have continued almost unbroken to the present day. Anthony Cross narrates the story of this vibrant and tragic city through the first-hand accounts of its British residents and visitors. A unique anthology of St Petersburg's culture, politics, architecture, commerce, recreation and everyday life, this book includes extracts by Daniel Defoe, Lewis Carroll, W. Somerset Maughan, H.G. Wells, Isaiah Berlin, J.B. Priestley and Alan Sillitoe.

Anthony Cross is Professor Emeritus at the University of Cambridge. Internationally known for his work on eighteenth-century Russia and Anglo-Russian cultural relations, he has written and edited over twenty books. By the Banks of the Neva: Chapters from the Lives and Careers of the British in Eighteenth-Century Russia (1997) was awarded the 1998 Antsiferov Prize for the best work on St Petersburg published by a foreign author in 1996-7. By the Banks of the Neva and the earlier related volume By the Banks of the Thames: Russians in Eighteenth-Century Britain (1980) have both been translated and published in Russia.

The past of the 300 year old city can be savoured in Cross's fine book in all its exotic splendour. Appropriately it is particularly well illustrated and, while much more scholarly than the term generally indicates, will make a splendid vade mecum for future visitors.

Literary Review

A glorious compendium of our love-hate affair with this romantically strange of all European cities.

New Statesman

Traveller or not, Hermitage admirer or not, everyone should find space for this book in their personal library.

Oxford Times

The publication of Cambridge University Professor Anthony Cross's latest book is the first of its kind in over a generation. It provides the latest insight, with a wealth of material gathered from diaries, archives and other sources on the presence and role of British people in the capital over the 300 years since its foundation... British life and influence are laid bare by Professor Cross who makes clear how important the British role was in making St Petersburg one of the world's most magnificent cities.

St Petersburg Times

Some of the accounts produced by these mostly amateur writers are evocative… And there is constant pleasure pleasure not just in reading about vanished delights but in the glimpses of what has remained unchanged.

Times Literary Supplement

A wonderfully entertaining anthology of British experience of the city from its foundation by Peter the Great in 1703 up to the present day.

Scotland-Russia Forum Review

This book has much to recommend it both to an academic and a more general audience. Its material is presented in an engaging and informative manner, with a useful guide to its principle sources for further investigation and two extensive indexes (for places and names) at the rear. The range and scope of its material provide a great deal of information that is not readily accessible for most readers, particulary the lesser-known and unpublished works. There is plenty here to inform and indeed entertain either a specialist on the city or an experienced resident on one hand, and the casual tourist or curious reader on the other,

Journal of European Studies

Many aspects of British life and influence are laid bare by Professor Cross who makes clear how important the British role was in making St. Petersburg one of the world's most magnificent cities.

St Petersburg Times
Frances Lincoln
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