Creating a feigned commonwealth
Fletcher’s response to Russia
in Exploring Russia in the Elizabethan commonwealth
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Giles Fletcher's ambition in the early 1590s to write a Latin history of the queen's reign may also have been guided by a deep-seated belief in the role of the poet to counsel the monarch and commonwealth. Richard Pipes surmises that Richard Hakluyt must have had access to an early draft of Fletcher's text, which was still in the process of being created when Hakluyt was collating his work for publication in the autumn of 1589. The most obvious changes to the text as it developed over the period 1589 to 1591 are represented by the additions of geographical and historical information. Fletcher was acutely aware of the literary style of the popular generic mode of cosmography. A significant difference between the printed edition of 1591 and the earlier manuscript versions of the text was Fletcher's treatment of the subject of the Tartars, the nomadic tribes on Russia's borders.

Exploring Russia in the Elizabethan commonwealth

The Muscovy Company and Giles Fletcher, the elder (1546–1611)

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