Oliphant began his visit with the aim of going salmon fishing in the rivers running into the White Sea but arriving at St Petersburg changed his plans and hence his narrative provides an account ‘of the magnificent scenery, romantic cities and interesting inhabitants of the Crimea.’ It also tells of the practical problems inherent in travel in a region that had largely been bypassed by European travellers and in which accommodation was ‘execrable’, ‘the means of locomotion barbarous’ and ‘fine arts, literature and social life comparatively unworthy of attention.’
Given the subsequent events in the region this travel guide was lapped up by the public and led to Oliphant becoming the London Times correspondent for the Crimea.
Russian shores of the Black Sea in the autumn of 1852; with a voyage down the volga, and a tour through the country of the don cossacks
Written by Laurence Oliphant – a man who managed to be present at many of the world events occurring at this time in history – this book describes his travels through Russia in the period leading up to the Crimean War. This being the fourth edition, it contains his comments, added in hindsight, as the allied fleets gathered in the Black Sea just before war was declared by Britain.