Russia and Euro-Centric Geography During the British Enlightenment

in Transcultural Studies
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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.

Russia and Euro-Centric Geography During the British Enlightenment

in Transcultural Studies

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References

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Figures

  • View in gallery

    A world map in Guthrie’s A New Geographical, Historical and Commercial Grammar. The world was divided into two continents, the Eastern and the Western continents, the latter containing Europe, Asia and Africa. The map illustrates the unity of the Eastern continent and Africa as the centre of the globe.

  • View in gallery

    The map of the Russian Empire in Atlas to Guthrie’s System of Geography (London, 1800). Russia was generally pictured in two separate maps of Russia in Europe and Russia in Asia, but in this map the vast empire is pictured in one map.

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