Articles by Members and Books

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New book by member Anna Stepanova
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Click here to buy this book at Amazon

 

Review of 'Love Among the Daughters' by Maureen Osborne - by Bert Gedin

Quoted from Biblical Solomon, "As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters", the title hints at a feminist approach. But this rich blend of early 19th Century romance, escapades and drama is not unsuitable for either gender. Settings exchange, from rural England to Russian landscapes, somewhat in yo-yo fashion. From, for example, Ekaterinburg to the Tsarist Siberian 'gulag'. Yet, apart from a Russian holiday, taken during an altering political scenario (in the wake of Boris Pasternak & others), the author has little Russian background. She makes up for this by intense research/studies. Whilst not aspiring to plumbing the depths of the Russian soul, a la Dostoyevski or Tolstoy, her achievement is quite remarkable. [Read More]

Local Connections with Russian Composer - by John and Elizabeth Way

A little-known fact is that the Russian composer Nicolas Medtner, who died 50 years ago, lived for a number of years in the Midlands. His residence here was due to the interest of the Birmingham-born pianist Edna Amy Iles, who specialised in his music. The first meeting between Medtner and Iles occurred in 1930. When the composer visited London to give a recital, she wrote to tell him of her great interest in his music and asked him to listen to her play his first concerto. Thus began a creative partnership which lasted for the rest of Medtner's life. [Read More]

First Among Equals? - by Bert Gedin

The Eastern/Russian Orthodox Church reaches back to Byzantine times, and, arguably, to the beginnings of Christianity. It has long been deep-rooted, within the Russian Empire, probably as the majority religion. From great arts, to simple peasant communities, Orthodox religion flourished. Then social discontent, having festered for centuries, erupted into violent revolution. Revolutionaries often considered that the overthrown system had harboured a reactionary official Church, at one with despotic rulers. [Read More]

In the steps of the Romanovs in Moscow - by Harry Seabourne

In the last week of August last year my late wife and I spent a fascinating week in the Russian capital. We had joined a specially organised party which had as its aim to visit some of the places in the city and the surrounding area that had special associations with the imperial family. Many might say that one would find such places more likely in St Petersburg than in Moscow and certainly for the years after 1703 this might well be so. Nevertheless the first Romanov tsars and indeed Peter the great himself in his early years all lived and reigned in Moscow and until the very end of the empire every tsar returned to Moscow for his coronation in the Uspensky cathedral. [Read More]

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