All the Russias: Travels and Studies in Contemporary European Russia, Finland, Siberia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia

All the Russias: Travels and Studies in Contemporary European Russia, Finland, Siberia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia

Read FREE!

All the Russias: Travels and Studies in Contemporary European Russia, Finland, Siberia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia

All the Russias: Travels and Studies in Contemporary European Russia, Finland, Siberia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia

Read FREE!

Excerpt

This volume is the outcome of fifteen years' interest in Russian affairs, culminating in four journeys -- one of nearly 20,000 miles -- in European and Asiatic Russia. In the course of these, besides a residence of some time in St. Petersburg and visits to the principal cities, I travelled in Finland, in Siberia as far as Lake Baikal (I had previously been to Vladivostok), in the Caucasus, and in Central Asia as far as the frontier of Kashgar. During all these journeys I was afforded opportunities of seeing and investigating every matter that interested me, and of making the acquaintance of the chief Russian administrators in every part. Indeed, official courtesy went so far as to convey me, by a special train and a special steamer, to places I could not otherwise have seen, and to provide for my safety on another occasion by an escort of Cossacks.

In case the reader may wonder how, without a mastery of the Russian language, I held the conversations and made the inquiries here described, I may say that during my chief journeys I took with me as interpreter a young Russian gentleman, a student of law at the University of Moscow, whose knowledge and intelligent sympathy were of the greatest service to me. Without such help, or the ability to speak Russian fluently, a journey for any serious purpose in Russia outside the two capitals would be a waste of time.

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