This book offers a unique and fascinating investigation into the lives and careers of the British in eighteenth-century Russia and, more specifically, into the development of a vibrant British community in St Petersburg during the city's first century of existence as the new capital of an ever-expanding Russian empire. Based on an extremely wide range of primary sources from Britain and Russia, the book concentrates on the activities of the British within various fields such as commerce, the navy, the medical profession, science and technology, and the arts and ends with a broad survey of travellers and of travel literature much of which is nowadays completely unknown. Also included are many attractive and unusual illustrations which help to demonstrate the variety and character of Russia's British community.
'By the Banks of the Neva ... is soundly researched in numerous archives in Russia, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Many of its subjects were previously not just forgotten but even hidden from the eyes of less resourceful researchers than Anthony Cross.' Times Literary Supplement 'The book can be enjoyed as a series of colourful case studies which relate to various aspects of cultural, scientific and economic history, but it also adds to the wider debate about the nature of Russia's relationship to the west, striking a contemporary note in its engagement with questions of the transfer of technical 'know-how' and European integration.' History '... this is a work of prodigious scholarship and unquestioned accomplishment that gives us the first comprehensive study of the lives, careers, and interconnections of a group uniquely important in Russia's development.' Modern Europe