Peter the Great.

By Sir John Barrow

Printed: Circa 1910

Publisher: W P Nimmo Hay & Mitchell. Edinburgh

Dimensions 14 × 20 × 4 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 14 x 20 x 4

Condition: Very good  (See explanation of ratings)

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Item information


Blue cloth binding with gilt title.

  • F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feeling and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available.

  • (1840). The Life of Peter The Great (1908 ed) written by John Barrow (the second).

Peter I ( 9 June 1672 – 8 February 1725), commonly known as Peter the Great, was Tsar of all Russia from 1682, and the first Emperor of all Russia from 1721 until his death in 1725. He is primarily credited with the modernization of the country, transforming it into a major European power. His methods were often harsh and autocratic.

Through a number of successful wars, he captured ports at Azov and the Baltic Sea, laying the groundwork for the Imperial Russian Navy, ending uncontested Swedish supremacy in the Baltic, and beginning Russia’s expansion into an empire. He led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political systems with ones that were modern, scientific, Westernized, and based on radical Enlightenment. From 1696, Peter was an absolute monarch who remained the ultimate authority. His administrative reforms, creating a Governing Senate and colleges, the Table of Ranks in 1722 had a lasting impact on Russia.

In 1700, he introduced the old-fashioned Julian calendar (at a time most countries had adopted the Gregorian calendar). In 1703, he introduced the first Russian newspaper, Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti, ordered the civil script, designed by himself and became the main contributor. In May 1703, he founded the city of Saint Petersburg on the shore of the Neva as a “window to the West”. Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712. He promoted higher education and industrialization in the Russian Empire.

Peter had a great interest in plants, animals and minerals, in malformed creatures or exceptions to the law of nature for his cabinet of curiosities. He encouraged research of deformities, all along trying to debunk the superstitious fear of monsters. The Russian Academy of Sciences and the Saint Petersburg State University were founded in 1724, a year before his death.

John Barrow married Anna Maria Truter (1777–1857), a botanical artist from the Cape, in South Africa on 26 August 1799.The couple had four sons and two daughters, one of whom, Johanna, married the artist Robert Batty. His son George succeeded to his title. His second son, John Barrow (28 June 1808 – 9 December 1898), was appointed head of the Admiralty Records Office as a reward for developing a system for recording naval correspondence, and for rescuing documents dating back to the Elizabethan period. He published ten volumes of his travels, wrote biographies of Francis Drake and others and edited the voyages of Captain Cook among other works.

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