Orlando Figes on a Gulag love story

Filed under: Non-fiction

A recording of Orlando Figes talking about his 2012 book 'Just Send Me Word' at Somerset House, chaired by Susan Richards.

Since the publication of A People’s Tragedy in 1996, Orlando Figes, Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London, has established himself as one of the leading historians of twentieth-century Russia. In Just Send Me Word, based on 1,246 letters smuggled in and out of the Pechora Labour Camp between 1946 and 1955, he tells the extraordinary story of Lev Mishchenko, a prisoner in the camp, and Svetlana Ivanova, his girlfriend in Moscow. In a talk illustrated with slides and film, Figes describes how he discovered and came to work with the largest known collection of private correspondence from the Gulag, and how he met the authors of the letters at the end of their lives. He discusses his work with Susan Richards, author of Lost and Found in Russia and founder editor of openDemocracy Russia.

We are grateful to Robert Skidelsky for sponsoring this lecture.

Recorded on Monday 3 December 2012.

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