Charlotte Hobson

A demonstration in Petrograd is broken up in July 1917

Champagne and revolution in Petrograd, 1917

10 September 2016 9:00 am

Helen Rappaport’s new book makes no claim to be a complete account of the Russian revolution. Instead it presents a…

Berthold Lubetkin's Sivill House, East London (Photo: Getty)

Marina Lewycka’s Granny steals the show

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Marina Lewycka’s latest happy-go-lucky tale of migrant folk in Britain takes a remark by the modernist architect Berthold Lubetkin as…

‘We will achieve abundance’ promises a propaganda poster of 1949. But by 1952 most free Soviet citizens shared the same diet as the inhabitants of the Gulag

Uncle Joe is revered in Putin’s Russia as a benevolent dictator

23 May 2015 9:00 am

‘Lately, the paradoxical turns of recent Russian history… have given my research more than scholarly relevance,’ remarks Oleg Khlevniuk in…

Captain Polina Osipenko (co-pilot and commander of the plane), deputy to the supreme soviet of the USSR Valentina Grizodubova (navigator), and senior lieutenant Marina Raskova Photo: Getty

As deadly as the male: female Russian pilots of the second world war were femmes fatales in every sense

11 April 2015 9:00 am

The name Lyuba Vinogradova may not ring any bells, but her ferrety eye for spotting a telling detail may already…

Patrick Gale Photo: Ulf Andersen/Getty

Life after Vera: Patrick Gale’s hero finds happiness towards the end of the Saskatchewan line

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Patrick Gale’s first historical novel is inspired by a non-story, a gap in his own family record. His great-grandfather Harry…

A live broadcast of Russian President Vladimir Putin shown in a restaurant in Moscow Photo: Getty

How Putin turned Russian politics into reality TV

14 February 2015 9:00 am

‘We all know there will be no real politics.’ A prominent Russian TV presenter is speaking off the record at…

Mayonnaise: a key component of Soviet cooking

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, by Anya von Bremzen - review

12 October 2013 9:00 am

The early 1990s in Russia were hungry years. At the time, I was a student, too idle to barter and…

Joy to the world

17 March 2012 10:00 am

Patrick Gale’s new novel could be read as a companion work to his hugely successful Notes from an Exhibition, and…

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The Russian connection

7 May 2011 12:00 am

It’s impossible not to warm to the author of this book, a perky Turkish-American woman with a fascination with Russian literature and an irresistible comic touch.

The sweet smell of danger

22 January 2011 12:00 am

If this novel is ever published with a scratch-and-sniff cover — which incidentally, I think it might be successful enough to warrant — this is what it would smell of: cheap petrol, lust, the ripe, acidic scent of decaying corpse, cat litter, $2,000 suits, Cristal champagne, decaying encyclopaedia, corruption, fumes from the power plant, betrayal, sausage.

Out of time and place

23 October 2010 12:00 am

The misleadingly titled Life of an Unknown Man is in fact the story of two men, and the dualities that their characters embody — fame and anonymity, unhappiness and happiness, West and East.

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The motherland’s tight embrace

4 September 2010 12:00 am

At nursery school, along with her warm milk, little Lena Gorokhova imbibed the essence of survival in the post-war Soviet Union.

Variations on an enigma

25 June 2008 12:00 am

Charlotte Hobson on Jonathan Dimbleby's account of Russia

A genius for living

15 February 2007 9:26 am

Perhaps the only drawback to this highly enjoyable biography is the shadow of utter banality that it throws over one’s…

The heart and stomach of a king

15 April 2006 12:00 am

When Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst arrived at the Russian court in 1744, one of the many daughters of minor German…

A cross-cultural crisis

24 September 2005 12:00 am

If you were a Martian, whiling away the time on an intergalactic beach holiday by reading an account of the…

A tale of January and May

5 March 2005 12:00 am

So you’d like your child to be a successful writer (as the classified ads might say)? Well, the least you…