Ivan Chernyshev

Distrust and resentment have plagued Anglo-Russian relations for centuries

Has a book ever been more bizarrely mis-titled than this one? The First Cold War: Anglo-Russian Relations in the 19th Century has nothing whatever to do with the actual Cold War, nor is it for the most part concerned with the 19th century. Rather, Barbara Emerson has written a thorough and often diverting diplomatic history of Anglo-Russian relations from the 16th to the early 20th century. This period encompasses at least 14 wars in which British and Russian troops found themselves embroiled, sometimes on the same side, sometimes on opposite sides. None of these wars was remotely ‘cold’. Nor does Emerson attempt to make any argument that the shifting great