Diary of General Patrick Gordon of Auchleuchries 1635-1699,
Volume IV: 1684-1689, Edited by Dmitry Fedosov, Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 2013, pp.314 + l: ISBN 978-1-906108-27-4 (Hardback)
Geoffrey Parker writes: ‘I started to study the military history of seventeenth-century Europe forty-five years ago, and yet I have never come across a source like the Diary written by Patrick Gordon, a Scottish Catholic who in 1651, at the age of sixteen, fled his native land to become a "soldier of fortune."’ Parker continues: ‘Dmitry Fedosov of the Russian Academy of Sciences is producing a scholarly edition of Gordon’s entire surviving text in both the original and in Russian.... Fedosov includes an excellent apparatus criticus,identifying places, persons, and foreign terms; he provides a detailed index.’ The high standard set in the earlier volumes is continued in the fourth. Considering the years 1684-1689, the diary describes all manner of military activities, in particular two campaigns against the Ottoman Turks culminating in the capture of their fortress at Azov. In addition, Gordon gives an evocative account of a visit to Britain, meetings with King James VII and II in London followed by a reunion with friends and family back home in Aberdeenshire. He also tells us of many contacts with the future Peter the Great before and during the young tsar’s seizure of power from his half-sister the Regent Sophia.