This is a bit of a departure for Mackenzie. Later publishers renamed this book 'Folk Tales from Russia,' to make it appear to be a Russian volume in Mackenzie's Mythology series, which is misleading. Instead this is a short book of fiction about pre-revolutionary Russia. It does include some pieces of genuine Russian folklore (particularly 'The Lady of Moscow' and 'How Little Ivan became Tsar'), but most of the stories are simply sentimental vignettes of Russian life.
In 1916 the Russian revolution was imminent. Soon Lenin and Trotsky would be on their way to Petrograd, and the storming of the Winter Palace was just a year away. Possibly Mackenzie (or his publisher) rushed this book into print for this very reason. However, the lost world depicted in this book was about to come crashing down.