Laurence Kelly

The Trials of the Bear

Russia's Empires: Their Rise and Fall – From Prehistory to Putin


John Murray 398pp £25 order from our bookshop

After his twenty-year absence teaching Russian history at McGill University in Canada, it is good to welcome Professor Philip Longworth back into the ranks of Anglo-Russian scholars in this country. His seven previous books combine original work with a vivid, highly readable style, above all his biography of Peter the Great’s father, Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich, and his trail-blazing life (the only one in English) of Field Marshal Alexander Suvorov, the extraordinary military genius moulded by Catherine the Great’s imperial wars.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,
    • 'A modest and retiring man, Thompson spent his life describing apple varieties and recommending the best – Ribston… ,
    • 'Macfarlane is a poet with the instincts of a thriller writer, an autodidact in botany, mycology, geology and palae… ,
    • 'Some scholars attribute Shakespeare’s pre-eminence to four centuries of propaganda and not to the fact that Hamlet… ,
    • RT : We would appreciate any retweets ,
    • We've just stumbled on a gem from the LR archive. The emoluments page from May 1995, in which one reviewer asked to… ,
    • Unlike Mary Shelley's monstrous creation, Jeanette Winterson's Frankenstein-inspired novel feels 'barely alive', sa… ,