BRUCE, Peter Henry. Memoirs of Peter Henry Bruce Esq. a Military Officer, in the Services of Prussia Russia and Great Britain, Containing an Account of His Travels in Germany, Russia, Tartary, Turkey, the West Inides, &c. As also several very interesting private Anecdotes of the Czar, Peter I of Russia. London, Printed for the Author's widow; and sold by T. Payne, 1782.
4to. Near contemporary half-calf over marbled boards, spine with raised bands, ruled and lettered in gilt; pp. xii, 446; light wear to extremities, minimal spotting internally, a very good copy.
Bruce, born in 1692 in Germany but of Scottish descent, had a long military career as engineer in Russian service. He entered the service of Czar Peter the Great in 1711 and acted as courier and then accompanied the Czar on multiple expeditions. 'Bruce's memoirs, which break off in 1745, were originally written in the form of a private journal in his native German. These he translated into a clear and unfussy English in 1755, but they remained unpublished at his death. In 1782 they were published in London 'for his widow' (about whom little is known) and a second edition came out in Dublin the following year. A German edition was issued in 1784 and a modern imprint was published in 1970. The book was favourably reviewed by the Monthly Review and the Gentleman's Magazine in 1782. Bruce's anecdotes of the Russian court were the main point of interest for contemporary reviewers, but they remain an interesting and well-written account of an eventful life - the life of a Scottish military man abroad' (ODNB).