Laurence Kelly - Little, Brown Book Group

Laurence Kelly



Laurence Kelly, a regular visitor to Moscow, is the son of a former British Ambassador to Russia and Ankara. Born in Brussels, Kelly was educated at New College, Oxford.
Books currently available by this author

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Robinson

St Petersburg

Laurence Kelly
Authors:
Laurence Kelly

Featuring a vivid selection from biographies, novels, letters, poems, diaries and memoirs, this volume traces the story of St Petersburg from earliest times. Through these pieces, readers can observe the city's foundation by Peter the Great on the marshy shores of the Gulf of Finland; see how literature and the other arts flowered during the nineteenth century; and observe the often violent turning points of its later history.First-hand accounts tell of the 1825 Decembrists standing in the snow in Senate Square, refusing to accept Nicholas I as Tsar, being shot down where they stood; of the imprisonment of Dostoevsky and the duel that killed Pushkin; of the last moments of the mad Emperor Paul; and of the storming of the Winter Palace by the crowd in 1917. Many more historic scenes are witnessed by such diverse characters as Tolstoy, Catherine the Great and a voluble maid-servant of Irish descent. Designed for on-the-spot use by visitors to the city, and as a highly readable anthology for the armchair traveller, this Traveller's Reader includes maps, engravings and notes on history, art, architecture and city life.

Robinson

Istanbul

Laurence Kelly
Authors:
Laurence Kelly

Istanbul, A Traveller's Reader is an wide-ranging and carefully chosen selection of writings, offering a richly layered view of Byzantine Constantinople and Turkish Istanbul. During the thousand-year Byzantine empire that followed its founding by Constantine the Great, Istanbul became a city of fabled riches; after falling to the Turks in 1453, its glories continued, maintained by the strength and wealth of the Ottomans.Drawing on diaries, letters, biographies, travelogues and poems from the sixth century AD onwards, this evocative anthology recreates for contemporary visitors the vanished glories of Constantinople. It provides vivid eyewitness accounts of the coronation of a Byzantine emperor; the funeral of a sultan; the triumphal entry of Mehmet the Conqueror; the building of the Süleymaniye, the most magnificent of the city's moques; and the death of Atatürk in 1938.It also describes the rampant sexual exploits of the Byzantine empress-to-be Theodora; the public execution of a Turkish wife and her young, Christian lover; the near execution of an envoy given the unenviable task of transporting a large organ from England to Constantinople in 1599, a gift from Queen Elizabeth to Sultan Mehmet III, who was caught admiring the sultan's personal harem; and the unfortunate Frenchman caught drinking wine and eating a pork sausage while sketching in Hagia Sophia in the 1680s.

Robinson

Moscow

Laurence Kelly
Authors:
Laurence Kelly

Founded in 1147, Moscow was for much of its early history in thrall to other nations - to the Khans, the Tartars and the Poles. The city was devastated by fire time and again, but with each rebuilding, it grew ever more magnificent. For every church that was destroyed, it seemed that two more were built. In this evocative and fascinating anthology, Moscow's turbulent growth is recorded through the voices of visitors and residents: Peter the Great's bloody reprisals after the revolt of the streltsy in 1698; a visit to the city's brothels by medical students in the 1890s; Kutuzov abandoning Moscow to Napoleon in 1812, and Napoleon's ignominious retreat from the burning city; Pushkin railing against the mindlessness of 1830 society; the flowering of literary greatness in the ninenteenth century and of the Moscow Art Theatre in the twentieth; and the dazzling profusion of jewels in the Treasury of the Kremlin.These and many other milestones in over seven hundred years of history are brought vividly to life.