A New Rival State?

A New Rival State?

Australia in Tsarist Diplomatic Communications

Edited by: Alexander Massov, Marina Pollard, Kevin Windle

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A New Rival State? is a unique collection of dispatches written in 1857–1917 by the Russian consuls in Melbourne to the Imperial Russian Embassy in London and the Russian Foreign Ministry in St Petersburg. Written by eight consuls, they offer a Russian view of the development of the settler colonies in the late nineteenth century and the first years of the federated Commonwealth of Australia. They cover the federalist movement, the changing domestic political situation, labour politics, the treatment of the Indigenous population, the ‘White Australia’ policy, Australia’s defensive capacity and foreign policy as part of the British Empire.

The bulk of the material is drawn from the Russian-language collection The Russian Consular Service in Australia 1857–1917, edited by Alexander Massov and Marina Pollard (2014), using documents from the archive of the Russian Foreign Ministry.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Oct 2018
ANU Press
Arts & Humanities: History; Social Sciences: Military & Defence Studies, Politics & International Studies
Europe: Russia


‘The collection presents both the short biographies and the dispatches of Russian consuls in Australia. Thus, besides the documents, the reader is provided with a vivid portrayal of the authors of the dispatches: their biographical data, as well as their personality and character traits.’
—Natalia Batova, Australian Slavonic and East European Studies Journal, 2019

‘This is a very useful and expertly edited collection of diplomatic sources — complemented by a detailed introduction on the sources, their selection, transliteration and on Russian civil service ranks — that will be of use to anyone studying imperial Russian policy in the Pacific region or Australia’s internal development in the late nineteenth century.’
—T. G. Otte, Slavonic and East European Review (vol. 98, no. 1, January 2020)

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