Early days

GAMEL, I. [Joseph Christian HAMEL]

Anglichane v Rossii v XVI i XVII stoletiiakh

[Englishmen in Russia in the 16th and 17th centuries]

Publication: Sankt Peterburg, Imper. Akad. Nauk, 1865-9.

GAMEL, I. [Joseph Christian HAMEL], Anglichane v Rossii v XVI i XVII stoletiiakh

A theme rarely researched: the relations between Russia and Great Britain, and here more specifically early English travellers to Russia before Peter the Great. First edition of this scarce study.

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Our Notes & References

Uncommon first edition of this study of Anglo-Russian relations in pre-Petrine Russia, when perhaps most famously Giles Fletcher published his polemic description of the country and its people (in 1591). The subject matter hadn’t been much covered in Russian publications; but this one takes its place among the works of Joseph Christian Hamel (Iosif Gamel’ in Russian; 1788–1862), who published a number of works of Anglo-Russian interest. The present account, posthumously published as a supplement to the transactions of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, appears to be his most extensive and charts the early history of the two countries’ connections.

With, at end of volume 2, a 23-pp. catalogue of books published and sold by the Imperial Academy of Sciences, including a 10-vol. Buffon, and Fischer’s description of Siberia, published almost a century earlier.

Hamel came from the Volga German community of Sarepta. A doctor by training, he soon went into government service, and by 1829 had joined the Imperial Academy of Sciences, on behalf of whom he travelled extensively to both Britain and America. It was on one just such visit, to the Great Exhibition in London, that he died, and is buried in West Norwood cemetery.

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Physical Description

Two volumes large 8vo (24.4 × 16 cm). pp. [2], 179, [1]; [2], [181]–308, 15, [1], 8 (catalogue of books published by the Imperial Academy of Sciences).


In recent wrappers.


Light waterstain in the gutter of the first two leaves in vol. I, and to final leave in vol. II; pages uncut and largely unopened. A very pleasant example, fresh.

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