John Bell (1691-1780) trained as a physician, but preferred a life of travel and diplomacy. He entered the service of Tsar Peter the Great of Russia, and had already taken part (as the expedition's doctor) in a government mission to Persia in 1715-18 when he was asked to join an embassy to China. This two-volume work, published in 1763, describes both these journeys. The first part of Volume 1 contains the Persian expedition, and the second a narrative of the journey across Siberia to the walls of Beijing. Volume 2 describes the embassy's reception in Beijing and the return journey. It also includes the journal of Lorenz Lange (c.1690-1752), a Swede in Russian service who was an agent at the court of Beijing at the time of Bell's own mission, and short accounts of Bell's later visits to Derbent on the Caspian Sea, and to Constantiple.