With the exception of a translation of Rambaud’s somewhat disjointed work, there is no detailed history of Russia in the English language at all approaching modern standards. The reigns of Petr the Great and of some of his successors down to the present day—a period covering only 200 years—have been minutely dealt with, but the earlier history of a nation with whom we are coming ever closer into contact is to the English reader almost a blank. Whether the work now submitted will adequately fill the gap remains to be seen; such is its object.
The rule observed with regard to the rendering of names of places and persons has been to follow the spelling of the country to which they belong as closely as possible. The spelling of Russian words employed, and curiously distorted, by English and other historians, has been brought back to its native forms. There is no satisfactory reason, for instance, why the two final letters of boyarin should be dropped, or why they should reappear tacked on to the equally Russian word Kreml. Moskva is scarcely recognisable in its Anglicised form, and Kiev can only be rendered Kieff on a system which would radically disturb the spelling of most English towns.
A list of works consulted is appended, arranged somewhat in the order in which they have been found useful, precedence being given to those which have been most largely drawn upon.
HECTOR H. MUNRO, 1899.