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Writing history in late Imperial Russia: scholarship and the literary canon

Research output: Book/ReportBook



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It is commonly held that a strict divide between literature and history emerged in the nineteenth century, with the latter evolving into a more serious disciple of rigorous science. Yet, in turning to works of historical writing during late Imperial Russia, Frances Nethercott reveals how this was not so; rather, she argues, fiction, lyric poetry, and sometimes even the lives of artists, consistently and significantly shaped historical enquiry.

Grounding her analysis in the works of historians Timofei Granovskii, Vasilii Kliuchevskii, and Ivan Grevs, Writing History in Late Imperial Russia explores how Russian thinkers—being sensitive to the social, cultural, and psychological resonances of creative writing—drew on the literary canon as a valuable resource for understanding the past. The result is a novel and nuanced discussion of the influences of literature on the development of Russian historiography, which shines new light both on late Imperial attitudes to historical investigation and considers the legacy of such historical practice on Russia today.



Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages280
ISBN (Electronic)9781350130418, 9781350130425
ISBN (Print)9781350130401
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2019

Publication series

NameLibrary of modern Russia

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  1. The excursionism project and the study of literary places (1921-1924)

    Nethercott, F. M., 2017, In : Revue des Etudes Slaves. 88, 1/2, p. 221-235

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Reevaluating Russian Historical Culture

    Nethercott, F., 2014, In : Kritika-Explorations in russian and eurasian history. 15, 2, p. 421-439 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  3. Écrire l'histoire de la Russie: Question de paradigmes occidentaux dans l'historiographie nationale

    Nethercott, F. M., 2010, Transferts culturels et comparatisme en Russie. Espagne, M. (ed.). University of Toulouse, p. 227-251 25 p. (Slavica Occitania; vol. 30).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  4. Russia and the West: Russian Histories of the European Other

    Nethercott, F. M., 2010, Europe and its Others: Essays on Interperception and Identity. Gifford, P. & Hauswedell, T. (eds.). Oxford, Bern: Peter Lang, p. 225-244 (Cultural Identity Series; vol. 18).

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