This study commences with a simple question: how did Russia matter to England in the age of William Shakespeare?
In order to answer the question, the author studies stories of Lapland survival, diplomatic envoys, merchant transactions, and plays for the public theaters of London.
At the heart of every chapter, Shakespeare and his contemporaries are seen questioning the status of writing in English, what it can and cannot accomplish under the influence of humanism, capitalism, and early modern science.
The phrase 'Writing Russia' stands for the way these English writers attempted to advance themselves by conjuring up versions of Russian life.
Each man wrote out of a joint-stock arrangement, and each man's relative success and failure tells us much about the way Russia mattered to England.