Russia and Euro-Centric Geography During the British Enlightenment

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In this article, I shall examine the European part of the Russian Empire, Russian culture and Russians in eighteenth century handbooks of geography when “the Newtonian turn” took place in that discipline. Thanks to travel literature and history writing, we are used to thinking of the Russians as representing “otherness” in Europe. Still, in handbooks of geography, Russia was the gate between Asia and Europe. This article will explicate the stereotype(s) of the British characterisations of the Russian national character and the European part of the Russian Empire (excluding ethnic minorities in Russia), in order to reconstruct the idea of Russia in the British (and Irish) geography books.

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