Bernard Pares
Sir Bernard Pares KBE (1 March 1867 – 17 April 1949) was an English historian and academic known for his work on Russia.

Early Life

Pares was educated at Harrow School
Harrow School
Harrow School, commonly known simply as "Harrow", is an English independent school for boys situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London.. The school is of worldwide renown. There is some evidence that there has been a school on the site since 1243 but the Harrow School we know today was...

 and Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Trinity has more members than any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, with around 700 undergraduates, 430 graduates, and over 170 Fellows...

, where he graduated in Classics taking a third. He worked over the next ten years as a school teacher spending his vacations touring the main battlefields of the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...



He first visited Russia in 1898 at about the same time as he was appointed a university extension lecturer in Cambridge. Writing and researching on Russian history and literature, he was appointed in 1906 Reader in Russian History at the newly established University of Liverpool
University of Liverpool
The University of Liverpool is a teaching and research university in the city of Liverpool, England. It is a member of the Russell Group of large research-intensive universities and the N8 Group for research collaboration. Founded in 1881 , it is also one of the six original "red brick" civic...

. In the same year, Pares made close contact with the leading members of the Russian Duma
A Duma is any of various representative assemblies in modern Russia and Russian history. The State Duma in the Russian Empire and Russian Federation corresponds to the lower house of the parliament. Simply it is a form of Russian governmental institution, that was formed during the reign of the...

. His personal acquaintance with many of the foremost Russian liberals informed his subsequent book, Russia and Reform, (1907).

In 1908 Pares was promoted to a chair at Liverpool which he held until 1917. In 1909, he organized the visit to Great Britain of a delegation of the Third Duma on which occasion he was presented with a silver punch bowl and salver with eighteen goblets. Reputed to be the products of the Fabergé workshop, these are currently on display in the foyer of the UCL
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

-SSEES building.

World War 1

With the outbreak of the First World War, Pares was appointed official observer to the Russian army and later seconded to the staff of the British Embassy in Petrograd. Pares set his hopes for Russia with the Provisional Government and, following the Bolshevik revolution, moved to Siberia to support Kolchak's army where he gave frequent lectures to the White troops. He was for his services to British relations with Russia awarded a KBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 in 1919, but was until 1935 banned by the new communist government from re-entering Russia.

Later Life

In 1919, Pares moved to the recently-founded School of Slavonic and East European Studies
School of Slavonic and East European Studies
The UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies is a school of University College London . It is the largest centre for the study and research of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, and Russia in the United Kingdom...

 (SSEES), then a part of King's College London
King's College London
King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and...

, University of London
University of London
-20th century:Shortly after 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated, the University went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841 became an official divinity school of the...

, where he took up the post of Professor of Russian Language, Literature and History, editor of the Slavonic Review (later Slavonic and East European Review) and Director of the School. As Director, Pares successfully negotiated the School's re-establishment as an independent institute of the University and its move to the North Wing of the University's new Senate House in Bloomsbury. Pares continued to write and research on Russian history and literature, publishing most notably his History of Russia (1926 and subsequent editions). In 1939, Pares retired as Director, subsequently acting as an adviser to the wartime government on Russian affairs. He moved to New York in 1942 where, shortly after completing his autobiography, he died.


In 2008, the established chair of Russian history at the (now) UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies was renamed the Sir Bernard Pares Chair in Russian History. The established chair had, after Pares, been held by Hugh Seton-Watson
Hugh Seton-Watson
George Hugh Nicholas Seton-Watson , was a British historian and political scientist specializing in Russia.-Early life:...

 and Geoffrey Hosking
Geoffrey Hosking
Geoffrey Alan Hosking is a historian of Russia and the Soviet Union and formerly Leverhulme Research Professor of Russian History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College, London....

. The first holder of the reinaugurated and newly named chair is Professor Simon Dixon
Simon Dixon
Simon A. Dixon was the founder and prominent member of the community of Snow Camp, North Carolina. He was also one of the founding members of the Cane Creek Friends Meeting, the first Quaker community in the Piedmont region of North Carolina.- Biography :Dixon migrated to the area of Snow Camp,...

, formerly of the University of Leeds
University of Leeds
The University of Leeds is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England...


Published Works

  • Russia and Reform, Constable, London, 1907. from
  • Day by Day with the Russian Army, 1914-15, Constable London, 1915. from
  • The League of Nations and Other Questions of Peace, Hodder and Stoughton, 1919.
  • My Russian Memoirs, Jonathan Cape, 1931.
  • Moscow Admits a Critic, T. Nelson, London and NY, 1936.
  • A History of Russia, Alfred Knopf, NY, 1937.
  • Russia and the Peace, Macmillan, NY, 1945. from
  • A Wandering Student, Syracuse University Press, 1948.
  • The Fall of the Russian Monarchy, Phoenix Press, 2001.

External links

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