Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden

During The Years 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808.

PORTER, Robert Ker

MISADVENTURES THROUGH RUSSIA AND EUROPE

PORTER, Robert Ker Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden During The Years 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808.

Richard Phillips, 1809.

First edition. Two volumes. 4to. Contemporary half russia over linen boards, gilt titles to spines, marbled endpapers with the label of a Moscow bookshop. All edges yellow. Folding hand-coloured aquatint frontispieces to each volume, 26 further hand-coloured aquatint plates of national costume, twelve aquatint plates of scenes (one folding) and one engraved portrait. A very good set, with a little wear to the spine ends and corners. Occasional light foxing, but contents generally clean.

Porter's remarkable account of his eccentric misadventures through Russia and Europe in the early nineteenth century.
Porter was invited to Russia to join the tsar's court as historical painter in 1805, being employed in decorating Admiralty Hall, St Petersburg with vast historical paintings. While in St Petersburg, he wooed the Russian princess Mary de Scherbatoff, daughter of Prince Theodor.
The prospects of this courtship and of Porter's personal safety were scuppered by the 1807 Treaty of Tilsit, which aligned Russia with Napoleon Bonaparte and therefore against Britain. Porter was therefore forced to leave St Petersburg and cross the border into Finland on 10th December 1807.
Before his return to Britain he was knighted in Sweden by the eccentric Gustavus IV, became a knight of St Joachim of W├╝rttemberg, and accompanied Sir John Moore to Spain for the Peninsular War.
The resulting account is a sumptuous production in two quarto volumes with over forty of Porter's illustrations accompanying the text.

Stock ID: 34636

£1,500.00

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