London Through Russian Eyes, 1896-1914
Title Details

380 Pages

24.4 x 15 cm

4 colour and 55 b/w illus.

Series: London Record Society

Series Vol. Number: 57

Imprint: London Record Society

London Through Russian Eyes, 1896-1914

An Anthology of Foreign Correspondence

Edited and translated by Anna Vaninskaya

Translated by Maria Artamonova

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
Translated anthology of 'London Letters' written by Russian foreign correspondents which makes available for the first time in English the Russian perspective on early twentieth-century London life.

This anthology provides a unique window onto Britain's capital city as it existed more than a century ago in the minds of the Russian reading public. Russian foreign correspondents produced a substantial body of writing documenting London life in all its infinite variety, but their articles, published in Russian journals and newspapers, have not been accessible to English speakers until today. These articles, instrumental in forging Russian perceptions of London before the First World War, have now acquired a new interest as monuments of a vanished era and as records of the city's history in their own right.

The selections in this anthology from Isaak Shklovsky, Korney Chukovsky, Samuil Marshak and Semyon Rapoport give just a taste of the riches that still lie hidden in the pages of old periodicals. The anthology is divided into four sections: 'Foreigners in London', focusing on the plight of immigrants in the city; 'London Labour and the London Poor', documenting the experiences of working-class Londoners; 'London at Home and at Leisure', depicting the domestic life and amusements of Londoners of all classes and ages; and 'London Streets and Public Life', covering elections, religious meetings, famous trials, jingoist celebrations and the funeral of Queen Victoria. The articles are accompanied by an in-depth introduction, illustrations and extensive annotations.

This anthology will appeal to anyone interested in London history or in Anglo-Russian relations, as well as to scholars of Russian literature. Chukovsky and Marshak both became famous writers later in life, and many of Shklovsky's sketches have a distinct literary as well as historical value.
List of Illustrations
Note on the Text
Note on Monetary Values
List of Abbreviations


I. Foreigners in London

Korney Chukovsky, 'On Foreigners'
Korney Chukovsky, 'The British Museum'
Korney Chukovsky, [Anti-Alien Sentiment]
Korney Chukovsky, 'The Union of Peoples'
Korney Chukovsky, 'Whitechapel'
Isaak Shklovsky, 'In the Russian Quarter'

II. London Labour and the London Poor

Korney Chukovsky, 'Beggars in London'
Korney Chukovsky, 'Sandwich Men'
Korney Chukovsky, 'The College Anniversary'
Korney Chukovsky, 'The College Anniversary (Continued)'
Isaak Shklovsky, from 'Whitechapel'
Isaak Shklovsky, from 'The Working Quarter'
Isaak Shklovsky, from 'Richard Kelly'

III. London at Home and at Leisure

Semyon Rapoport, Summary of 'English Workmen at Leisure: A Sketch of Working-class Amusements in London'
Semyon Rapoport, Summary of 'The Story of One Street: The Domestic Life of the Poorest Stratum of the London Population'
Isaak Shklovsky, from 'Frankie'
Isaak Shklovsky, from 'Father Christmas'
Isaak Shklovsky, from 'Mr Muir'
Samuil Marshak, 'At the Children's Exhibition'
Samuil Marshak, 'Under the Railway Bridge'

IV. London Streets and Public Life

Korney Chukovsky, 'The Dog Trial'
Korney Chukovsky, 'Barrack-room Philanthropy'
Korney Chukovsky, 'Spiritualism in England'
Korney Chukovsky, 'Public Meetings in Hyde Park'
Isaak Shklovsky, from 'Sects'
Isaak Shklovsky, from 'Imperialism'
Isaak Shklovsky, from 'An Election'
Isaak Shklovsky, from 'Queen Victoria'
Isaak Shklovsky, from 'The Beck Case'



Anna Vaninskaya is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. She is the author of William Morris and the Idea of Community: Romance, History and Propaganda, 1880-1914 (2010), Fantasies of Time and Death: Dunsany, Eddison, Tolkien (2020) and over forty articles and book chapters on topics ranging from Anglo-Russian cultural relations to socialist, speculative and fantasy literature, to the history of immigration, education, popular reading and historical writing.

Maria Artamonova is a graduate of St Petersburg State University and holds a doctorate in Old English from the University of Oxford. She is an Oxfordshire-based translator and also teaches medieval and fantasy literature.

"The selections are excellent and the translations so smooth that one rarely remembers that these are indeed translations. And the editor's footnotes fully justify their positioning at the foot of the relevant page, rather than corralled as endnotes. Even the production of the book itself (by Boydell and Brewer for the London Record Society) is first class. Full marks to all concerned." EAST-WEST REVIEW
"Anna Vaninskaya's London through Russian Eyes is a valuable anthology of early twentieth-century Russian foreign correspondence that documented a broad range of London life for the curious Russian reader. Until this anthology, no one had translated this wealth of material into English." LABOUR HISTORY REVIEW



November 2022


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Title Details

380 Pages

2.44 x 1.5 cm

4 colour and 55 b/w illus.

Series: London Record Society

Series Vol. Number: 57

Imprint: London Record Society