[BLACK PROPAGANDA / RUSSOPHOBIA / EUROPE] Le testament de Pierre Ier et le traite de 1856 = Rusya Imparatoru Birinci Petro’nun vasiyetnâmesi ile Paris’de akdolunmuş olan ahdnâme

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PETER THE GREAT (1672-1725), Bahçekapusunda Vaki’ Tönbekici Dükkâninda, Rasid Pasa Merhûm Türbesinin Karsisinda Kâin Kiraathâne ve Sultan Beyazid’da Sahaf Sergilerinde Fürûht Olunur, [Istanbul], [AH 1287] = 1870.

Original wrappers. Roy. 8vo. (223 x 16 cm). Bilingual in French and Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). [xi], 1 blank page, 28 p. text in Turkish; [xi], [1 blank page], 36 p. text in French. Slightly foxing on pages, weak hinges of French cover, chipped on the bottom right corner, overall, a very good copy. No printing house, no translator name, though information about the places where the book was exhibited in the period.

First and only bilingual edition in Ottoman Turkish & French languages, of this exceedingly rare book documenting and comparing The Will of Peter 1 of Russia and The Treatment of 1856. After the foreword written in French and Ottoman Turkish, there is a short three-paragraph article about the Russian Tsar Peter and his Will. The book gives 14 articles of the famous Will, followed by 34 articles of the Crimean War Treaty of 1856.

In 1812, Charles-Louis Lesur (1770-1849) wrote, under Napoleon's command, a memoir “Des Progrès de la puissance russe depuis son origine jusqu'au commencement du XIXe siècle” [i.e., Progress of the Russian Power, from Its Origin to the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century], in which a summary of the alleged Will was inserted. The memoir intended to justify Napoleon's war plans against Russia.

Walter K. Kelly in his History of Russia (1854) quotes The Will from Frederic Gaillardet's "Mémoires du Chevalier d'Éon" (1836). Gaillardet claimed that this document was stolen from Russia by d'Éon. While questioning its authenticity, Kelly comments that the document fairly reflects the politics of Russia in the past 100 years. The same was noted by Russian historian Sergey Shubinsky, who commented that the first 11 points of The Will are a fair recapitulation of Russian foreign policy since Peter's death (1725) until 1812. Karl Marx, writing in David Urquhart's The Free Press in 1857 was also in agreement. Marx wrote that "Peter the Great is indeed the inventor of modern Russian policy, but he became so only by divesting the old Muscovite method... generalizing its purpose and exalting its object from the overthrow of certain given limits of power to the aspiration of unlimited power." In a speech in 1867, Marx stated that "the policy of Russia is changeless... the polar star of its policy -world domination- is a fixed star." Marx continued, "Peter the Great touched this weak point when he wrote that in order to conquer the world, the Muscovites needed only souls." In 1912, Polish historian Michel Sokolnicki (Michał Sokolnicki) found in archives of French Ministry of Foreign Affairs a 1797 memorandum "Aperçu sur la Russie of his ancestor, general Michał Sokolnicki and wrote a journal article "Le Testament de Pierre le Grand: Origines d'un prétendu document historique". General Sokolnicki claimed that he glimpsed a plan of Peter I to subjugate Europe in Russian archives and memorized major points. These points bear a remarkable similarity to those presented by Lesur, so it is quite possible that Lesur borrowed from Sokolnicky. Historian Sokolnicki also maintains that his ancestor did not invent The Will himself, but rather wrote down a long-existing Polish tradition.

Özege 17169.; As of September 2023, OCLC locates fifteen copies: (609328750, 948879143, 254639674). Seven institutions holding copies of the book are the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, CTSFW Library, University Libraries at Virginia Tech, Carl B. Ylvisaker Library, Turpin Library, Hawaii Pacific University, and Northeast Lakeview College Library.