Sunday, February 5, 2012

Count Witte

Anders Björnsson’s review of Francis W. Wcislo’s biography of HPB’s nephew Count Witte, Tales of Imperial Russia, in volume 4 ( 2011) of Baltic World, the quarterly journal and news magazine from the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) Södertörn University, Stockholm, is now online. Headed “On the desirability of industrial capitalism and autocracy. A Russian road to modernization,” it gives a succinct overview of Witte’s professional accomplishments in Russian politics. The review notes

he had obvious intellectual inclinations — an aunt of his had written noted novels in the first half of the 19th century and Elena Blavatskaia, later active abroad as the famous theosophical guru (“Madame Blavatsky”) who could make the spirits talk and tables dance, was his cousin. In other words: he knew how to behave in the drawing room.

Our notice of the book from last year can be read here.

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