The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain: A Study of the Interaction of Policy and Opinion

By John Howes Gleason | Go to book overview

PREFACE

FEW MATTERS can be of greater importance at the present day than the establishment of mutual trust and toleration between the Soviet Union and English-speaking peoples. It is my hope that the present study of the origins and early development of Russophobia in Great Britain may in some slight measure foster such sympathy. The story is one of the disruption of cordiality and the growth of hostility between Russia and the United Kingdom at a time when the basic foreign policies of the two nations were, if not identical, at least complementary. It is to be hoped that relatively trivial disagreements will not again perpetuate a lack of mutual understanding and thus induce insuperable fear and hatred.

In spite of the fact that the period comprehended by the study is only a quarter century, with the heart of the problem falling into little more than a decade, its scope should not appear to be unduly narrow, since it includes a careful survey of AngloRussian relations and of British policy toward Russia between 1815 and 1841, which has nowhere appeared in print, and an analysis of Anglo-Russian commercial relations, as well as a chapter in the intellectual biography of Great Britain.

This study is based upon both manuscript and printed sources. Manuscripts in the Public Record Office included all the correspondence of the foreign office with the British embassy in St. Petersburg and with the Russian embassy in London between 1815 and 1841, other materials, chiefly minutes and memoranda, from the files of the foreign office and the embassy in St. Petersburg, selected portions of the correspondence with the British missions in Paris, Constantinople, and Teheran, and certain private papers particularly those of J. A. D. Bloomfield, Earl Granville, and Stratford Canning. Of the British Museum Additional Manuscripts the Sir Robert Wilson, Macvey Napier, Broughton, and Auckland papers were the most useful. The Urquhart papers now in the library of

-vii-

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