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Britain and Russia: Attitudes to Decipherment in Foreign Affairs in the 19th and 20th Centuries

A talk byBarbara Emerson

Language: In English

There was mounting evidence that Russia was successfully decoding the British government’s enciphered telegrams throughout the second half of the 19 th century. But it is only with the opening of the Russian archives that the full extent of Russian cipher breaking has become clear. By reading the dispatches of British diplomats, Russia secured an invaluable tool in pursuing its ambitions in Europe and in Central Asia.

Barbara will give us a fascinating insight into her work done in Russian archives to throw light on this story of espionage and diplomacy.

Barbara read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St Hilda’s College, Oxford and later did a year at Harvard. She has written three books and many articles for journals, magazines and television. At the moment she is completing a book on Anglo-Russian Relations in the 19 th century. She had access to the archives of the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Empire in the 1990s, previously not possible for non-Soviet citizens, so she is able to present the Russian view of events, such as the Great Game.


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Earlier Event: March 21
4.3 Kilometres to Utopia Junction