Diary of General Patrick Gordon of Auchleuchries 1635-1699
Volume 5: 1690-1695, Edited by Dmitry Fedosov, Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 2014, pp.513 + lv1:
ISBN 978-1-85752-006-4 (Paperback £20)
ISBN 978-1-85752-007-1 (Hardback £30)
Paul Dukes writes: The publication of the Diary of Patrick Gordon has by now fully established itself as an invaluable source for Russian, British and European history in the second half of the seventeenth century. Volume V, thoroughly edited like its predecessors by Dmitry Fedosov, comprises a wide range of activities on land and sea from 1690 to 1695, many of them involving the young tsar Peter. Having helped the future Peter the Great to consolidate his hold on the throne, Gordon grew closer to him in ‘large discourse’, being ‘entertained & detained all night’, and so on. On the practice battlefield, the Scottish general played a leading part realistic enough for himself to be shot in the thigh and his son-in-law to be mortally wounded. As Fedosov says, Gordon along with the tsar proceeded from the pastimes of Mars to those of Neptune in naval exercises on the White Sea. Moving south to actual combat, the Russian forces re-engaged the Crimean Khanate and Ottoman Empire in further episodes in the long struggle for the fortress of Azov. Volume V, the longest of the six, contains many letters to and from Gordon and a wide range of his observations on political developments throughout Europe.