From 1852 to 1854, Ivan Goncharov, a successful Russian writer, held a government commission as secretary to Admiral Yevfimy Putiatin. Goncharov accompanied Putiatin on a mission to establish diplomatic relations with Japan, with stops in England, the British Cape Colony, Singapore, and China. In 1855, Goncharov returned to St. Petersburg and penned an influential travelogue, which he titled The Frigate Pallada, after their ship. Deftly employing literary criticism and historical analysis, Edyta M. Bojanowska's A World of Empires: The Russian Voyage of the Frigate Pallada interrogates Goncharov's fantastically popular work as “a rich document of the Russian imperial worldview that broadly resonated with the tsarist-era Russian public” (p. 4). The chief strength of Bojanowska's approach is her global focus. “The Russians in this book,” she writes, “face outward, looking beyond their own empire. They orient themselves on the global stage among their imperial peers” and encounter “global frontiers and...
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Book Review| May 01 2020
A World of Empires: The Russian Voyage of the Frigate Pallada
A World of Empires: The Russian Voyage of the Frigate Pallada. By Edyta M. Bojanowska.
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press,
2018. viii, 373 pp. ISBN: 9780674976405 (cloth).
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Journal of Asian Studies (2020) 79 (2): 553–555.
Viktor Shmagin; A World of Empires: The Russian Voyage of the Frigate Pallada. Journal of Asian Studies 1 May 2020; 79 (2): 553–555. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021911820000698
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