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The Church of England clergyman Henry Lansdell (1841-1919) was an energetic traveller, both during his own leisure time and on behalf of the Irish Church Missions. He made many visits to Russia and central Asia, distributing bibles and tracts in the native languages of the many peoples he encountered, and focusing his attention especially on hospitals and prisons. He published this two-volume account in 1882, and it proved extremely popular (this second edition being prepared before the first was published), but it attracted some criticism for its favourable treatment of the Russian government. The anarchist Prince Peter Kropotkin was especially indignant at the accounts of Russian prisons: he alleged that Lansdell was either a dupe of propaganda or was deliberately distorting what he had seen. Volume 1 describes Lansdell's motives for making the journey, his travels across Russia, and his experience of the prison and exile systems of Siberia.