Russian Revolutionaries at the British Museum

London in the early 1900s was seething with spies and suspicion. Whispers in the Russian community suggested that the old order back at home was on the wane.


Tuesday 3 October, 7.00pm

Police forces from around the world – the Russian Tsar’s feared Okhrana, the French Sûreté and of course the British Metropolitan Police – all kept a close eye on the Russian idealists exiled in England. Meanwhile, the revolutionaries shared conspiracy theories in their coffee houses in hushed voices, playing out their cat and mouse games with the police in the Reading Rooms of the British Museum.

Curator and historian Dr Robert Henderson will bring to life the world inhabited by Russian revolutionaries in early twentieth century London, including some of his own discoveries about Lenin while working at the British Library.

Portrait of Joseph Stalin  (1936) by Georgy Rublev

Portrait of Joseph Stalin (1936) by Georgy Rublev

Discover the back-stories of well known Bolsheviks who would later lead the Soviet Union after the Revolution: Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin. You will meet pivotal players such as Alexandra Kollontai, Vladimir Burtsev and Prince Kropotkin, whose names are not known today but without whom the Revolution might not have happened.

In this gripping public lecture, you can step back into a world that would not be out of place in a James Bond film; plots, police surveillance, espionage and counter-espionage, culminating in the escape to Russia to start a revolution. The only difference is that this was real life.