Diary of General Patrick Gordon of Auchleuchries 1635-1699, Volume VI: 1696-1699. Edited by Dmitry Fedosov. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 2016: pp 230 + xliv, ISBN 978-1-85752-037-8 (Paperback)
Professor Robert Frost writes: the sixth and final volume of The Diary of General Patrick Gordon of Auchleuchries is in some ways the most significant of all. It covers the vital period in which Peter the Great launched his challenge to the traditional Russian system and set Russia on the path to great power status. Gordon played a central role in two of the great dramas of these years: the successful siege and defence of Azov, which firmly established Russian power on the Caspian Sea, and the crushing of the Revolt of the Streltsy, the most dangerous early challenge to Peter’s reforms. Gordon’s diary gives unparalleled insight into these dramatic events and adds much to our knowledge of one of the most significant and charismatic rulers in Russian history. Gordon tells the story with characteristic detachment and a wealthof detail. As a diarist he ranks with Samuel Pepys, and the publication of Volume VI marks the completion of a project for which Dmitry Fedosov and Paul Dukes deserve to be congratulated. After three centuries, the original text of a hugely important historical work, and what can also be seen to be a significant literary achievement, is fully available for the first time.