Posted by: Sam Carson | 26 March, 2007

Russia’s Grand Embassy

My dad hs just finished his first novel. Quite a remarkable achievement and I’m very proud of him. Its called Grand Embassy, and he says:

Some time ago, I had an urge to write a book about what I thought was a fascinating historical event. It is now finished and self-published. Called Grand Embassy, it is historical fiction, softback, 504 pages and costs $24CAD.

You can order a copy by going to and plugging in Tony Carson in the search field at the top. In a couple of months, it will also be available on Amazon and Chapters.

What’s it about? Here is the blurb from the novel’s back cover.

Russia’s journey from an antiquated backwater to a modern state began
late in the 17th century when the country’s 6’7”, 25 year old Tsar, Peter Romanov, left Moscow at the head of a Grand Embassy of 250 nobles, workers, servants and soldiers. Peter’s ambition was to discover the ways of the West that would help Russia to shake off the ignorance and superstitions of its traditions and become a competitive country in an increasing competitive world.

But not one of the hard drinking, tradition-bound Russians on the Grand Embassy wanted to ride through the Moscow gates for the 15-month journey to the unknown lands of Prussia, Holland and England. Every one resented their young Tsar’s demand that Russia replace its honoured traditions with foreign ways. Except two.

While Peter looked for innovations and inventions to modernize his country, Anatoli Berifkin and Nataiya Larianova searched for opportunities that would allow them to rise above their station; to join the business class — their only route to wealth and influence. Beyond everyone else, they understood what Peter had etched onto the coin: ‘I am a pupil; I need to be taught.’

The Grand Embassy is the story of an ambitious, passionate leader’s intent to cajole his unruly, unwilling subjects, described in Europe as little more than baptized bears, to embrace the more progressive ways of the West so he could pull his country, kicking and screaming, into the future.

And it is a story about his two ambitious workers. If Anatoli Berifkin and Nataiya Larianova could succeed, Russia herself had a chance.

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