The Image of Russia
In late 1712 the British engineer John Perry set out on the return journey from the Russian imperial court travelling with the British ambassador Charles Whitworth. He had spent fourteen years in Russia serving Tsar Peter the Great with his expertise in works of canalization and hydraulic engineering. The goal of the vast construction project was a new internal navigation network that would connect the Baltic, Caspian and Black Seas, and the Volga with the Don. This network was to be particularly useful for the new capital, Saint Petersburg, providing it with far better facilities for supplies and defence. It was an immense project, already begun before Perry’s arrival but one that would be interrupted many times, mainly on account of the war with Sweden, in spite of the English engineer’s unfailing commitment and significant contributions.