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Beyond Holy Russia: The Life and Times of Stephen Graham - cover image


Michael Hughes

Published On





  • English

Print Length

369 pages (xii + 358)


Paperback156 x 19 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.77" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 22 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.88" x 9.21")


Paperback1145g (40.39oz)
Hardback1533g (54.08oz)




  • Scouloudi Foundation, Institute of Historical Research.

OCLC Number





  • BGL
  • WTL
  • 1DVUA


  • BIO007000
  • TRV023000


  • PR6013.R2
  • Z58


  • Stephen Graham
  • travel writing
  • Russia
  • biography
  • religion

Beyond Holy Russia

The Life and Times of Stephen Graham

This biography examines the long life of the traveller and author Stephen Graham. Graham walked across large parts of the Tsarist Empire in the years before 1917, describing his adventures in a series of books and articles that helped to shape attitudes towards Russia in Britain and the United States. In later years he travelled widely across Europe and North America, meeting some of the best known writers of the twentieth century, including H.G.Wells and Ernest Hemingway. Graham also wrote numerous novels and biographies that won him a wide readership on both sides of the Atlantic. This book traces Graham’s career as a world traveller, and provides a rich portrait of English, Russian and American literary life in the first half of the twentieth century. It also examines how many aspects of his life and writing coincide with contemporary concerns, including the development of New Age spirituality and the rise of environmental awareness. Beyond Holy Russia is based on extensive research in archives of private papers in Britain and the USA and on the many works of Graham himself. The author describes with admirable tact and clarity Graham’s heterodox and convoluted spiritual quest. The result is a fascinating portrait of a man who was for many years a significant literary figure on both sides of the Atlantic.


This biography of the travel writer and novelist Stephen Graham is learned, elegantly written and an original and important contribution to the scholarly literature on Anglo-Russian cultural relations, while also maintaining strong appeal for the general reader. [...] 'Beyond Holy Russia' provides a full and deeply considered account of the long and prolific life of Stephen Graham, alive to all its cultural, political and personal paradoxes. At the same time, it gives a rich portrait of English, Russian and American literary life in the first half of the twentieth century and beyond.

Rachel Polonsky


Born in 1884 and dying just short of his ninety-first birthday, Stephen Graham led a rich and multi-faceted life, to which Michael Hughes does full justice in this detailed, annotated and meticulously written biography.

Roger Cockrell

"Beyond Holy Russia: The Life and Times of Stephen Graham by Hughes, Michael.". Slavonic & East European Review (0037-6795), vol. 93, no. 3, 2015. doi:10.5699/slaveasteurorev2.93.3.0558

Full Review


Chasing the Shadow

(pp. 13–52)
  • Michael Hughes
  • Michael Hughes
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The Pilgrim in Uniform

(pp. 133–168)
  • Michael Hughes

Searching for America

(pp. 169–203)
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New Horizons

(pp. 237–267)
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A Time of Strife

(pp. 269–302)
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The Pilgrim Reborn?

(pp. 303–321)
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Final Thoughts

(pp. 323–328)
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(pp. 3–12)
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Michael Hughes

Professor of History at Lancaster University