J.G. Sparwenfeld's diary of a journey to Russia 1684-87, Volume 1

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Sparwenfeld's interest in the Russian language and Russian culture began with his journey to Russia in the 1680s. He went there as a member of an embassy, but stayed in Moscow for another two and a half years to study the Russian language and Russian affairs. The diary is written mainly in Swedish and French, but includes a few pages in Italian and a large number of names, terms, etc. in Russian, sometimes in the Latin and sometimes in the Cyrillic alphabet. The edition contains, in addition to Sparwenfeld's original text, a translation into English, an extensive commentary, appendices, indexes, a few of Sparwenfeld's own drawings etc. Apart from a fairly detailed account of the journey itself, the diary provides an eye-witness report from Moscow during a very complicated period in Russian history. This period proved to be the final years of the old Russia, before Peter took power into his hands and a new era began.

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