A People Passing Rude: British Responses to Russian Culture - cover image



Published On





  • English

Print Length

347 pages (xvi + 331)


Paperback156 x 18 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.72" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 21 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.81" x 9.21")


Paperback1079g (38.06oz)
Hardback1465g (51.68oz)



OCLC Number





  • 1DVUA
  • DS


  • LIT004240
  • HIS032000
  • ART049000


  • DA47.65


  • Russian literature
  • Russian art
  • Russian history
  • Anglo-Russian relations
  • Russian music
  • Russia
  • United Kingdom
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A People Passing Rude

British Responses to Russian Culture

Described by the sixteenth-century English poet George Turbervile as "a people passing rude, to vices vile inclin’d", the Russians waited some three centuries before their subsequent cultural achievements—in music, art and particularly literature—achieved widespread recognition in Britain. The essays in this stimulating collection attest to the scope and variety of Russia’s influence on British culture. They move from the early nineteenth century—when Byron sent his hero Don Juan to meet Catherine the Great, and an English critic sought to come to terms with the challenge of Pushkin—to a series of Russian-themed exhibitions at venues including the Crystal Palace and Earls Court. The collection looks at British encounters with Russian music, the absorption with Dostoevskii and Chekhov, and finishes by shedding light on Britain’s engagement with Soviet film. Edited by Anthony Cross, one of the world’s foremost authorities on Anglo-Russian relations, A People Passing Rude is essential reading for anyone with an interest in British and Russian cultures and their complex relationship.


A People Passing Rude is essential reading for anyone interested in the relationship between Britain and Russia and the Soviet Union. Anthony Cross, the doyen of this field, here adds to his many previous collections and monographs on this subject with a collection of essays in which new material, new connections and new insights emerge on almost every page.

Rebecca Beasley

Slavonica (1361-7427), vol. 20, no. 1, 2014. doi:10.1179/1361742714Z.00000000028

Full Review

Additional Resources

[website]Anthony Cross's interview on A People Passing Rude(broadcast by The Voice of Russia in June 2013)

N.B. This is an archived webpage -- in order to listen to the recording, click 'download audio file' beneath the embedded media player on the webpage. You can then open the downloaded file using your media player of choice.

Table of Contents

1. By Way of Introduction: British Reception, Perception and Recognition of Russian Culture

Anthony Cross

2. Byron, Don Juan and Russia

Peter Cochran

3. William Henry Leeds and Early British Responses to Russian Literature

Anthony Cross

4. Russian Icons through British Eyes, 1830-1930

Richard Marks

5. The Crystal Palace Exhibition and Britain’s Encounter with Russia

Scott Ruby

6. An 'Extraordinary Engagement': A Russian Opera Company in Victorian Britain

Tamsin Alexander

7. Russian Folk Tales for English Readers: Two Personalities and Two Strategies in British Translation of the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries

Tatiana Bogrdanova

8. 'Wilful Melancholy' or 'A Vigorous and Manly Optimism'?: Rosa Newmarch and the Struggle against Decadence in the British Reception of Russian Music, 1897-1917

Philip Ross Bullock

9. 'Infantine Smudges of Paint… Infantine Rudeness of Soul': British Reception of Russian Art at the Exhibitions of the Allied Artists’ Association, 1908-1911

Louise Hardiman

10. Crime and Publishing: How Dostoevskii Changed the British Murder

Muireann Maguire

11. Stephen Graham and Russian Spirituality: The Pilgrim in Search of Salvation

Michael Hughes

12. Jane Harrison as an Interpreter of Russian Culture in the 1910s-1920s

Alexandra Smith

13. Aleksei Remizov’s English-language Translators: New Material

Marilyn Schwinn Smith

14. Chekhov and the Buried Life of Katherine Mansfield

Rachel Polonsky

15. 'A Gaul who has chosen impeccable Russian as his medium': Ivan Bunin and the English Myth of Russia in the Early Twentieth Century

Svetlana Klimova

16. Russia and Russian Culture in The Criterion, 1922-1939

Olga Ushakova

17. 'Racy of the Soil': Filipp Maliavin’s London Exhibition of 1935

Nicola Kozicharow

18. Mrs Churchill Goes to Russia: The Wartime Gift-Exchange between Britain and the Soviet Union

Claire Knight

19. Unity in Difference: The Representation of Life in the Soviet Union through Isotype

Emma Minns

20. 'Sputniks and Sideboards': Exhibiting the Soviet 'Way of Life' in Cold War Britain, 1961-1979

Verity Clarkson

21. The British Reception of Russian Film, 1960-1990: The Role of Sight and Sound

Julian Graffy