All posts tagged Moscow

Discovering Ivy Litvinov

A post for Women’s History Month A few weeks ago whilst preparing for my final-year undergraduate Dostoevsky class I plucked an old translation from my shelf that I’d bought a couple of years previously at the Amnesty shop in Shoreditch boxpark. I’d barely looked at it before – I tend to collect old Dostoevsky translations […]

Russian thought lecture 10: Utopias in Russian culture: of palaces and panopticons

Reading: Dostoevsky, “Dream of a Ridiculous Man” (1877) So we come to the end of this lecture series, and a slightly different focus than previously, as theoretical works take a back seat, and we look instead at Russian literature and culture to explore the utopian theme. There are clearly strong utopian aspects to the work […]

Four short links: photographs of Russia and Eastern Europe

1. Photographs of Old St Petersburg. A great mapping website with a wonderful collection of old photographs. It’s in Russian only, but easy to use even if you don’t speak the language. 2. Henri Cartier-Bresson. Pictures by one of my favourite photographers, mainly taken during his 1954 visit to Moscow. 3. Vintage Photographs of St […]

Vera, or The Nihilists

My interest in British views of Russians recently led me to read Oscar Wilde’s first play, Vera, or The Nihilists, apparently inspired by Vera Zasulich’s attempted assassination of the Governor of St Petersburg in 1878. It’s spectacularly bad, and I’m surprised neither that its first productions, in London in 1880 and New York in 1882, […]

Russians in London: Pyotr Kropotkin

The geographer and anarchist Prince Pyotr Kropotkin first arrived in England in July 1876, fresh from his legendary escape from the Peter and Paul fortress in St Petersburg. He lived briefly in Edinburgh, and earned a living writing for The Times and the journal Nature, but it would be another ten years before he settled […]

Russians in London: Vladimir Solov’ev

On 11 July 1875, the philosopher and poet Vladimir Solov’ev arrived in London. Having finished his studies (in natural sciences, then history and philology) at Moscow University and at the seminary at Sergiev Posad, Solov’ev was already, at the tender age of 22, teaching philosophy at Moscow University. On the advice of various friends and […]

Russians in London: Alexander Herzen, with a note on Nikolai Ogarev

When researching the history of Russians in London, Alexander Herzen presents a considerable problem. He is without doubt the most significant of all the writers and activists who visited London in the nineteenth century, not only because he settled in the capital for some years (1852-64), but also because many of his compatriots — Turgenev, […]

Russians in London: Peter the Great

For such a famous visit, Peter the Great’s stay in London in 1698 seems to be surrounded by confusion and apocryphal tales (this article from the Torygraph retails its fair share of them), from the misplaced plaque that once adorned 15 Buckingham Street, several streets away from where he actually stayed on his arrival, to […]

Four short links: old Russian photos

I’ve been interested in old photos of Russia since visiting a fabulous exhibition at the Manezh in St Petersburg in late 2004. I still have vivid memories of pictures of the elderly Tolstoy riding his horse with his beard streaming, and a fascinating set of photos of the first trams in Petersburg. My love of […]