September 01, 2010

Moscow on the Thames

History could have taken a different turn in 1569. In that year, Ivan the Terrible was at the height of his power and yet gravely paranoid about plots against his life. Seeing England as an

ideal ally (and a sanctuary if his rule in Russia were threatened), he offered himself in marriage to Queen Elizabeth I, sending the young Queen of England expensive furs and fine fabrics.

England and Muscovy had established trade relations more than a decade before, after the explorer Richard Chancellor, seeking a northeast passage to Asia, had landed on the White Sea Coast.

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