BRLSI’s Suchar Christmas Lecture examines Tolstoy and the Russian Mind

Each year BRLSI holds a Christmas Lecture in memory of Victor Suchar, one of the founders of the modern BRLSI and a pivotal figure in its development from the 1990s until his death in 2007. This year’s lecture, on Monday 13th December, is Leo Tolstoy and the Russian Mind by Dr Ruth Coates of Bristol University, a specialist in Russian literature and intellectual history.
In her lecture Dr. Coates will challenge the assumption that Tolstoy represents the quintessential embodiment of the Russian idea, and ask where Tolstoy actually fits into the intellectual and spiritual landscape of 19th century Russia. Dr. Coates lived in Russia under a Laming Junior Fellowship from Queen’s College, Oxford from 1992-1995, and has been in the Russian Department at Bristol University since 1999. Her book, Christianity in Bakhtin: God and the Exiled Author, was published in 1998 by Cambridge University Press.
Victor Suchar initiated the BRLSI Christmas Lecture in 1998, and following his death the lecture was named in his honour. Previous speakers such as last year’s, eminent evolutionist and author Prof Steve Jones, have focused on science, and this is the first lecture in the humanities.
The talk begins at 7:30pm at 16 Queen Square, Bath with a reception starting at 6:30pm. Advance tickets are available from Bath Box Office at £6 (£4 for BRLSI members and students) – ring the box office on 01225 463362 or visit to book online (full-price tickets only).