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The Arctic North
The Russian Empire, 1745
Public DomainThe Russian Empire, 1745 - Credit: Russian Academy of Science

  St Petersburg was the capital of the Russian Empire from the early 18th-century until the revolution of 1917; seat of Catherine the Great during her reign (1762-1796), which saw a great upsurge in Enlightened reform and artistic patronage until checked by the instructive examples of the American and French revolutions.

Walton's long journey along the post road to Arkhangelsk on the northern coast suggests its importance not only as Russia's main trading port, but as a gateway to the Arctic for expeditions seeking a Northeast Passage to the Pacific Ocean (See bookmark to page 6).  Such attempts were frustrated by the shifting surface of the Arctic Ocean; the smallest of the world's oceans, for much of the year it is completely covered by a layer of ice, onto which Frankenstein recklessly pursues his creature. 

Walton has progressed quite far on his voyage when he rescues Victor, most likely at a point north of the sparsely populated wastes of Siberia.

 

Continuously updated scenes of the Arctic are available from the North Pole Environmental Observatory's webcams