Author: Jennifer Antill

Funding the Moscow Foundling Home, early savings and loans banks in Russia

Recently I have been researching the background to the Moscow Foundling Home, a place which is destined to play a major role in my current work in progress,  ‘In the Shadow of the Flames’ (working title). The action of the novel will be set against the background of  Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812, and […]

‘Keep my words forever’ a film about Osip Mandelstam

In May members of the GB-Russia Society enjoyed the opportunity to watch the extraordinary film by filmmaker, music producer and director, Roma Liberov:  Сохрани мою речь навсегда.  The film, the title of which can be translated as  ‘Keep my words forever,’ was created in memory of the life and work of the Russian poet Osip […]

Controlling the corpse: the autocratic reaction to death

Berlin, demonstration after the murder of Alexey Navalny. 18th February 2024. Photograph: A Savin, Wikipedia Following the murder of the opposition leader, Alexey NavaIny, the Russian security services have, until yesterday, been attempting not only to retain control of his body but also to dictate the nature of his funeral. Such evidence of official paranoia […]

Book Review: A Ransomed Dissident by Igor Golomstock

When I studied  20th century Russian literature some years ago the name of the Russian art historian Igor Golomstock (1929 -2017 ) came up from time to time, but I confess my recollection of him was rather hazy. So I was pleased when his autobiographical work, A Ransomed Dissident, translated by Sara Jolly and Boris […]

Two people in one

Alexander Mikhailovich Murav’ev (1802-1853) Lithograph. (1822) Piotr Feodorovich Sokolov (1791- 1848) There can be problems when a writer tries to combine an engaging plot with historical truth. This can be particularly true when it comes to depicting characters who are ‘real’ people. Historical novels vary widely in their historical accuracy, ranging from books that are […]

Kossoff and Soutine at the Seaside.

T There are a couple of months still left for art enthusiasts to get down to Hastings Contemporary to spend quality time with two 20th Century artists of note, one originally from Belarus, the other from Ukraine. The current exhibition,  ‘Soutine/Kossoff’, juxtaposes the work of Chaim Soutine (1893-1943) with that of  Leo Kossoff (1926 – […]

Sphinxes on the Neva

Standing on University Embankment on  the right bank of the Great Neva river,  among some of the oldest buildings of Saint Petersburg, tourists, particularly those passing on the river in boats, are often surprised to encounter two large Egyptian sphinxes.  Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign at the turn of the Nineteenth century stimulated an interest in all […]