Catherine Merridale

Catherine Merridale, a lecturer in history at Bristol University, is the author of Night of Stone: Death and Memory in Russia.

Olga Chekhova was the beautiful and talented niece of Anton Chekhov’s wife, Olga Knipper. Her life spanned Lenin’s Revolution, Stalin’s Terror, and the rise and fall of Hitler’s Reich; her relatives and friends were actors, politicians, millionaires and spies. She liked to dramatise herself, embroidering her anecdotes of childhood and youth with wild jackals, rugged...

Serfs Who Are Snobs: Aleksandr Nikitenko

Catherine Merridale, 29 November 2001

Aleksandr Nikitenko’s memoir is unusual: the fact that it exists is odd enough. Nikitenko was a serf, born in 1804 or 1805 in the village of Alekseevka, in the Ukrainian province of Voronezh. Few people from his background would have been able to write their own names, let alone a full-scale history of their lives. The thirty million serfs of the Russian Empire were little more than...

Diary: Ethnography Time in Russia

Catherine Merridale, 5 April 2001

Elena’s invitation to the hitchhiker was not encouraging. ‘We’ll give you a lift if you want,’ she said. ‘But honestly I wouldn’t get in this car with us. For a start, the thing’s a wreck. The lights aren’t working. We don’t know what’s happened to them. We’ve already had one crash, and it was all my fault because I can’t...

In​ 2007 France’s leading Slavist, Georges Nivat, following the example of Pierre Nora’s Lieux de mémoire, published a similar survey of Russia, Les Sites de la mémoire...

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Rampaging: Stalin’s Infantry

John Connelly, 22 June 2006

What are we to make of the Red Army? On the one hand, it was the force that first stopped and then destroyed the armies of German National Socialism, in achieving which Russian soldiers suffered...

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In her introduction to Night of Stone Catherine Merridale tells us that she began the book with the intention of writing about ‘the disruption and reinvention of ritual’: I had been...

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