Matthew Romaniello

Aug 24, 2020

Enterprising Empires

Russia and Britain in Eighteenth-Century Eurasia

Cambridge University Press 2019

In his new book Enterprising Empires: Russia and Britain in Eighteenth-Century Eurasia (Cambridge University Press), Matthew Romaniello examines the workings of the British Russia Company and the commercial entanglements of the British and Russian empires in the long eighteenth century.

This innovative and highly readable monograph challenges the long-held views of Russian economic backwardness in the early modern period and stresses the importance of personal histories and individual agency in global economic dynamics. By focusing on diplomatic and commercial careers of a fascinating set of characters, Romaniello charts vibrant knowledge and information-sharing networks that were essential for the success of both empires in the Eurasian economic and geopolitical arenas.

A non-conventional economic history, Enterprising Empires traverses the micro-historical and the macro-economic to reevaluate Russian commercial prowess before 1800 and illuminate an overlooked area of Anglo-Russian cooperation and rivalry.

Matthew Romaniello is an Associate Professor of History at Weber State University and a historian of the Russian empire, commodities, and medicine. He is currently the editor of The Journal of World History and the former editor of Sibirica: Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies.

Vladislav Lilić is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History at Vanderbilt University. His research focuses on the place and persistence of quasi-sovereignty in late Ottoman and post-Ottoman Southeastern Europe. Vladislav’s other fields of interest include the socio-legal history of empire, global history of statehood, and the history of international thought. You can reach him at

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Vladislav Lilic

Vladislav Lilic is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History at Vanderbilt University.

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