May-June 2022 Online Course at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies: Peter the Great & the Building of Saint Petersburg

ABOUT THIS COURSE

When Peter became czar in 1682, Europe was foreign to Russia, an insular and tradition-bound nation.  The West fascinated Peter, and he was determined to transform Russia into a great European power. Discover the traditional Russia of Peter’s childhood, his Grand Tour of Europe and his subsequent dream of building St. Petersburg, a new city to match his vision of the country. With images of the city and accounts of his cruel drive to create it, we’ll see how the city emerged as a symbol of his power and of Russia’s hopes. 

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

  • Explore the rise of Russia as a world power in the 18th century.
  • Understand the impact of Peter the Great on Russia’s past and present.
  • Follow the founding of St. Petersburg as the capital of Imperial Russia.
  • Examine the role of St. Petersburg in Russia’s relationship with the West.
  • Appreciate its influence on Russian culture and society.

Click here for more information and to register

New Book Review in H-Russia: Harris on Bushkovitch, ‘Succession to the Throne in Early Modern Russia: The Transfer of Power 1450-1725’

I reviewed the new book Succession to the Throne in Early Modern Russia: The Transfer of Power 1450-1725 by Paul Bushkovitch for H-Russia

Click here to read Harris on Bushkovitch, ‘Succession to the Throne in Early Modern Russia: The Transfer of Power 1450-1725’ at H-Russia

New Canadian Encyclopedia Article: Joseph Whiteside Boyle

My latest article in the Historica Canada Canadian Encyclopedia is about Joseph Whiteside Boyle.

Nicknamed Klondike Joe, Boyle founded a gold mining company and became a millionaire in the aftermath of the Klondike gold rush. During the First World War, he equipped a machine gun unit and was a spy with the British secret service in Russia and Romania. He also reorganized the Russian military supply network, rescued Romanian prisoners of war and became the confidant and possibly lover of Queen Marie of Romania.

Click here to read my article about Joseph Whiteside Boyle in the Canadian Encyclopedia

New Reader’s Digest Article: The 10 Most Controversial Royal Memoirs Ever Published

Prince Harry won’t be the first royal family member to rock the boat with a tell-all autobiography. Here are 10 royal memoirs that changed the way we think about these famous families—and history itself.

Click here to read The 10 Most Controversial Royal Memoirs Ever Published in Reader’s Digest

New Online Courses at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies

I will be teaching two online courses at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies in the Fall of 2021: The Nordic Nations: From Vikings to Modernity on Tuesday afternoons and The Romanovs and the Russian Revolution on Thursday afternoons.

3595-002 The Nordic Nations: From Vikings to Modernity (Click here for more information and to register)

About this course: The Nordic nations – Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Norway – are consistently among the top 15 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index. Their societies and culture are admired around the world. But prior to this success is a long, turbulent history. Learn about the history of the Nordic nations, including Vikings, warrior monarchs, the Second World War and immigration to North America. We’ll explore how the countries of northern Europe emerged from poverty and political upheaval to become some of the most successful countries of the 21st century.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Explore the cultural influence of the Nordic countries around the world.
  • Learn about the unique histories of the Nordic nations.
  • Discuss how successful societies can emerge from a difficult past.

Course Details: October 5, 2021 – November 23, 2021 Online with Real Time Meetings on Tuesdays, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (Click here for more information and to register)

3467-003 The Romanovs and the Russian Revolution (Click here for more information and to register)

About this Course: The consequences of the Russian Revolution continue to influence Russia’s politics and society, and indeed the whole world’s. In 2017, Russia quietly marked the 100th anniversary of the turning points: the abdication of Czar Nicholas II and Lenin’s seizure of power for the Bolshevik party.  Follow the quick succession of crises: the collapse of the Romanov dynasty, the end of Russia’s participation in the First World War, the emergence of the Provisional Government, and the fateful rise of Lenin and the Soviet Union.

What You’ll Learn:

  •        Explore the vanished world of the Romanov dynasty, which ruled Russia for 300 years.
  •        Learn about the swift events in Russia in 1917.
  •        Discuss the key figures and moments in the Russian Revolutions.
  •        Explore how the Russian Revolutions were perceived around the world.
  •        Analyze the impact of the Russian Revolutions on the modern world

Course Details: October 7, 2021 – November 25, 2021 Online with Real Time Meetings Thursdays, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (Click here for more information and to register)

New Canadian Encyclopedia Article: Grand Duchess Olga

My latest article in the Historica Canada Canadian Encyclopedia is about Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (1882-1960), watercolour artist, farmer and sister of the last Czar of Russia, Nicholas II. Grand Duchess Olga and her family fled to Denmark following the Russian Revolutions of 1917 and then to Canada after the Second World War. Hundreds of thousands of Russians immigrated to Canada in the first half of the 20th century. They included industrial and agricultural workers and members of the former Russian aristocracy.

Click here to read my article about Grand Duchess Olga in the Canadian Encyclopedia

Mississauga Heritage Interview: Exploring Royal Connections to the City of Mississauga

I discussed Royal Visits to what is now the City of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada in an interview with Matthew Wilkinson at Heritage Mississauga, part of the Ask a Historian series. Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, youngest sister of Czar Nicholas II lived in Cooksville (now part of Mississauga) in the 1950s and I discuss her home and the royal relatives who came to visit including Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent and Lord and Lady Mountbatten.

Click here to watch Ask a Historian: Exploring Royal Connections to the City of Mississauga

New Book Review in Canadian Slavonic Papers: Michael Romanov: brother of the last Tsar, diaries and letters 1916–1918

I reviewed Michael Romanov: brother of the last Tsar, diaries and letters 1916–1918 by by Helen Azar and Nicholas B. A. Nicholson for Canadian Slavonic Papers

Click here to read my review of Michael Romanov: Brother of the Last Tsar in Canadian Slavonic Papers online

Fall 2020 Online Course: The Romanovs and the Russian Revolution

I will be teaching my course about The Romanovs and the Russian Revolution online at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies in October-November 2020. Click here for more information and to register.

3467 – The Romanovs and the Russian Revolution

ABOUT THIS COURSE

The consequences of the Russian Revolution continue to influence Russia’s politics and society, and indeed the whole world’s. In 2017, Russia quietly marked the 100th anniversary of the turning points: the abdication of Czar Nicholas II and Lenin’s seizure of power for the Bolshevik party.  Follow the quick succession of crises: the collapse of the Romanov dynasty, the end of Russia’s participation in the First World War, the emergence of the Provisional Government, and the fateful rise of Lenin and the Soviet Union.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

  •        Explore the vanished world of the Romanov dynasty, which ruled Russia for 300 years.
  •        Learn about the swift events in Russia in 1917.
  •        Discuss the key figures and moments in the Russian Revolutions.
  •        Explore how the Russian Revolutions were perceived around the world.
  •        Analyze the impact of the Russian Revolutions on the modern world

Click here for more information and to register

Spring 2020 Course at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies: Peter the Great and the Building of Saint Petersburg

I will be teaching an eight week Tuesday evening course in March-April 2020 about Peter the Great and the Building of Saint Petersburg at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. Click here for more information and to register.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

When Peter became czar in 1682, Europe was foreign to Russia, an insular and tradition-bound nation.  The West fascinated Peter, and he was determined to transform Russia into a great European power. Discover the traditional Russia of Peter’s childhood, his Grand Tour of Europe and his subsequent dream of building St. Petersburg, a new city to match his vision of the country. With images of the city and accounts of his cruel drive to create it, we’ll see how the city emerged as a symbol of his power and of Russia’s hopes. 

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

  • Explore the rise of Russia as a world power in the 18th century.
  • Understand the impact of Peter the Great on Russia’s past and present.
  • Follow the founding of St. Petersburg as the capital of Imperial Russia.
  • Examine the role of St. Petersburg in Russia’s relationship with the West.
  • Appreciate its influence on Russian culture and society.

Click here for more information and to register