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Cambridge Professor Emeritus Tony Cross tells us the story of the remarkable Russian career of Robert Scotland Liddell.

The war correspondent had 'emerged', during the Crimean War, when William Howard Russell sent dispatches to The Times that moved a nation.  It was also from the Crimean War that we date the presence of the war photographer in the person of Roger Fenton and his ‘photographic van’.

By the time of WWI the war correspondent was a well-established figure and British newspapers had their correspondents not only on the Western Front but also in Russia, who included such well-known and celebrated figures as Robert Wilton, Stanley Washburn, Hugh Walpole, and Morgan Philip Price. The list could easily be extended but it is unlikely to include the name of the unjustly forgotten Robert Scotland Liddell (1885-1972), author of three books about Russia, correspondent for The Sphere, accomplished photographer, member of the Red Cross, and Russian army officer.

Anthony Cross was Professor of Slavonic Studies at the University of Cambridge from 1985 to 2004. Previously, he was Reader in Russian at the University of East Anglia and Roberts Professor of Russian at the University of Leeds. He was elected to the British Academy in 1989 and to the Russian Academy of the Humanities in 1996. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the Institute of Russian Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Pushkin House) in 2010. He is internationally known for his work on eighteenth-century Russia and Anglo-Russian cultural relations. He founded the Study Group on Eighteenth-Century Russia in 1968 and edited the Group's annual Newsletter from 1973 to 2009. Professor Cross has written and edited some twenty-five books and has published over four hundred articles, notes and reviews. Among his principal publications are: N.M. Karamzin: A Study of His Literary Career 1783-1801 (1971); By the Banks of the Thames: Russians in Eighteenth-Century Britain (1980) (Russian translation 2006); The Russian Theme in English Literature from the Sixteenth Century to 1980 (1985); Anglo-Russica: Aspects of Anglo-Russian Relations in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries (1993); By the Banks of the Neva: Chapters from the Lives and Careers of the British in Eighteenth-Century Russia (1996) (Russian translation 2005); Peter the Great through British Eyes (2000) (Russian translation 2013). By the Banks of the Neva was awarded the 1998 Antsiferov Prize for the best work on St Petersburg published by a foreign author in 1996-1997. His most recent books are A People Passing Rude: British Responses to Russian Culture (2013) ( and In the Lands of the Romanovs: An Annotated Bibliography of English-language First-hand Accounts of Russia, 1613-1917, (, both published by Open Book Publishers of Cambridge.

Tickets for this talk at £7 (£5 for GB Russia members) are only available by email to: