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The Rise, Progress and Present State of the Northern Governments;...

viz. The United Provinces, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, and Poland: or, Observations on the Nature, Constitution, Religion, Laws, Policy, Customs, and Commerce of each Government; the Manners and Dispositions of the People; their Military Forces by Land and Sea; the Revenues and Resources of each Power; and on the Circumstances and Conjectures which have contributed to produce the various Revolutions which have happened in them. The Whole digested from the most authentic records and histories, and from the reflections and remarks made during a tour of five years through these nations.

Availability: In stock

Published: London T. Becket, 1777

Stock Code: 132188

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition of a lengthy survey of the northern countries of Europe. The author acknowledges the assistance he received from various heads of state and dignitaries, not only through conversation, but from access to their libraries and public records.
"Williams, deriding Voltiare for describing a country he had never visited, seems to have been in Russia in 1770. He refers to his interviews in St Petersburg and Moscow, consulting manuscripts (in German) in the Kremlin, and travelling '1700 versts in the Russian dominions to form some idea of the character of the mass of the people in this state'. He provides an overview of the geography and history of Russia, dwelling in particular on the reign of Peter I and the overthrow of Peter III. There is little evidence of his own observations, even when writing on 'manners and customs'" (Cross).

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2 volumes, quarto (265 x 203 mm). Contemporary mottled calf, spines elaborately decorated gilt, red morocco labels, yellow edges.


Engraved armorial bookplates of John Wilkinson to front pastedowns, stencilled 19th-century ownership stamp of James Bannantyne to free endpapers, joints starting to crack but still very firm, corners and extremities worn, some surface scrapes and wear to boards, occasional spotting and the odd stain; generally still a very good copy.


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