Typescript short stories in Russian with accompanying photographs of the writers, together with preface in English written by Meriel Buchanan (1886-1959); compiled c.1915-1935

Scope and Content

The information below has kindly been provided by Emeritus Professor of Russian and Slavonic Studies, Malcolm Jones.

These papers appear to be draft materials for a proposed book of 20 Russian short stories in English translation by Meriel Buchanan. It appears from preliminary searching that this book was never published and the project was interrupted when the Buchanan family had to leave Russia at the time of the revolutions in 1917. The stories are typed in the pre-revolutionary Cyrillic orthography in use at the time. Each story is accompanied by a photograph of the writer (in one case a sketch) and most are signed. Some stories are the work of well known Russian authors at the time but others are less well known. There is a preface written in English by Meriel Buchanan, with a photograph of Meriel in Russian dress which begins: "The following stories will I am sure help to make Russia better known in England. Compiled as they have been by some of the best known writers, they give characteristic sketches of the Russian peasantry and of the home life of these men whose courage and constancy during their long and arduous retirement from the San have been the admiration of Europe". She writes about seeing the soldiers brought back wounded from the front and the suffering the Russians endured during the War, and she imagines the candles lit by those praying for their safety.

The spellings are not always those in use today. In the list below the spelling used in the document is given first and then the modern spelling in brackets.

1. draft preface by Meriel Buchanan typed in English (2pp.)

2. photograph of Meriel Buchanan in Russian costume

3. photograph of A. Remizov

4. typescript in Russian of ‘Nikoliny pritchi. narodnaia legenda’ by Aleksei Remizov (7pp.) [‘Nicholas’s parables, a popular legend’]

5. photograph of I. Yassinsky (Iasinsky)

6. typescript in Russian of ‘Khoziain’ by I. Iasinsky (22pp.) [‘The owner/boss’]

7. photograph of M. Mikhailoff (Mikhailov)

8. typescript in Russian of ‘Orden khrabrykh’ by M. Mikhailov (5pp.) [‘The order of the brave’]

9. photograph of Boris Lazarevsky

10. typescript of ‘Vecher’ by Boris Lazarevsky (7pp) [‘Evening’]

11. photograph of V. Ignatoff (Ignatov)

12. typescript of ‘Litsa ee ia ne vidal’ by V. Ignatov (20pp.) [‘I didn’t see her face’]

13. photograph of N. Ounkowsky (Unkovsky)

14. typescript of ‘Emel’ian Tikhonovich’ by V. Unkovsky (12 pp.) [‘Emelian Tikhonovich’]

15. photograph of Mme Zénaida ?

16. typescript of ‘Ditia solntsa’ by Zinaida V. (9pp) [‘Child of the Sun’]

17. photograph of Vera Rouditch (Rudich)

18. typescript of ‘Agar’’ by Vera Rudich (29pp) [‘Hagar’]

19. photograph of A.Lipetzky (Lipetsky)

20. typescript of ‘Gde zhe geroi?’ a story by A. Lipetsky (6pp.) [‘Where then is the hero?]

21. reproduction of pencil sketch of V. Voinoff (Voinov)

22. typescript of ‘Krut’kovskaia paskha’ by V. Voinov (17pp, of which p. 17 is stapled at the front rather than at the end) [‘Krut’kov Easter]

23. photograph of Theodore Sologub (Fedor Sologub)

24. typescript of ‘Neutomimost’’ by Fedor Sologub (10pp.) [‘Tirelessness’]

25. photograph of Leonid Dobronravoff (Dobronravov)

26. typescript of ‘Chempion Bitiugov’ by Leonid Dobronravov (24pp.) [‘The champion horse’]

27.photograph of M. Mourashoff (Murashev)

28. typescript of ‘’Bez ropota’ by M. Murashev (8pp.) [‘Without a murmur’]

29. photograph photograph of N. Shoulgowsky (Shulgovsky)

30. typescript of ‘O monakhe pravednom i o monakhe nepravdenom’ by N. Shulgovsky (24pp.) [‘On the righteous monk and the unrighteous monk’]

31. photpgraph of Sergei Gorodetzky (Gorodetsky)

32. typescript of ‘Perevozchik Petr’ by Sergei Gorodetsky (5pp.) [‘Peter the boatman’]

33. photograph of I. Lomakin

34. typescript of ‘Khalui’ by I. Lomakin (4pp.) [‘The skivvy’]

35. photograph of A. Couprine (Kuprin)

36. typescript of ‘Slon’ by A Kuprin (14pp.) [The Elephant]

37. photograph of A. Boudishtcheff (Budishchev) bearing date 16 May 1915.

38. typescript of ‘Son posle boia’ by Al. Budishchev (6pp.) [‘The dream after the battle’]

39. photograph of Leonid Andreef (Andreev)

40. typescript of ‘Na severe’ by Leonid Andreev (7pp.) [In the north’]

Administrative / Biographical History

Meriel was the only daughter of Sir George Buchanan, diplomat (1854-1924), and his wife Lady Georgina Meriel Bathurst (d 1922). Her childhood was spent in the various European cities to which her father was posted, including Darmstadt and Sofia. In 1910 Sir George was appointed as ambassador to the Russian imperial court.

The Buchanan family remained in Russia throughout the war and the revolution of March 1917. Lady Georgina took over the organization of a hospital for wounded Russian soldiers in St Petersburg, and Meriel Buchanan worked as a nurse there. Her diary ((Bu B 6) gives a vivid impression of the effect that war had upon diplomatic society in St Petersburg in 1914. The family left Russia in January 1918.

After publishing some stories around the time of the outbreak of the First World War, Meriel turned to non-fiction, and described the last years of imperial Russia in a number of books and articles published in the 1920s and 1930s. In 1958 she published an account of her father's diplomatic career under the title 'Ambassador's Daughter' Reference (Ref D413.B8).


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Custodial History

The papers were offered to the University in June 2015.

Related Material

Buchanan Collection; 1755-1982 (Bu)

Journal of Meriel Buchanan, St Petersburg, Russia; 1910-14 (Bu B 6)

Meriel Buchanan's photograph album and associated items; 1910-1918 (Bu B 8)


Buchanan, Meriel. Ambassador's Daughter. London: Cassell, 1958 (Reference Ref D413.B8)