VOLTAIRE. The Life of Peter the Great, Emperor of Russia, Including the History of the Roman Empire During His Reign; with an Historial Sketch of the Most Important Events During That Period. London: Printed by W. Day, 13, Goswell Street, for M. Jones, No. 5, Newgate Street, 1809.
Small 8vo., contemporary diced calf ruled and lettered in gilt to spine; frontispiece portait of Peter the Great after an origional by Sir G. Kneller; pp. [v], iv-xviii, [iii], 26-325 (one or two misnumbered), [iii, ads]; a lovely fresh copy, with the usual associated offsetting to the title; previous ownership name in ink to ffep; some light rubbing to boards but a very fresh, and tight, example.
Voltaire’s interest in Peter the Great was first aroused in 1717, when, as a young man of twenty-two, he saw the Russian monarch strolling informally in the streets of Paris. ‘Neither he nor I,’ recalled Voltaire years later, ‘had any idea that I should one day be his historian.’