The Russian Shores of the Black Sea in the Autumn of 1852
The British diplomat and writer Laurence Oliphant (1829-88) was the author of travel diaries and novels, including the very successful Piccadilly (1870). A keen traveller, he worked as a correspondent for The Times during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1) and served as Secretary to British Diplomat Lord Elgin in Canada, China and Japan. This book is a narrative of the journey Oliphant made to Russia as a young man, with his friend Oswald Smith. Its publication in 1853 coincided with the beginning of the Crimean War, turning the book into an immediate success. From the splendour of mid-nineteenth-century St Petersburg, to the annexation of the Crimea, and the international consequences of Russian foreign policy for Europe, this illustrated book is also full of witty anecdotes and captivating descriptions. Very influential in its time, it remains an important resource for cultural and political historians.