Date range: c.1905–27.
The life of Alexis Aladin (1873–1927) was inextricably bound up with the turbulent history of Russia in the last years of the nineteenth century and the first two decades of the twentieth.
He arrived in London in 1900, having escaped Russia where he was briefly imprisoned for political agitation. He returned to his native land in 1905 under a political amnesty and rapidly rose to become leader of the Trudoviks, the revolutionary peasants’ party, in the First Russian Duma. When Tsar Nicholas dissolved the Duma in 1906, Aladin found himself exiled in England again.
He returned to Russia in 1917 under the auspices of the British Government and, having being imprisoned by the Bolsheviks, he escaped to fight with the White armies in the Civil War, before returning to London in 1920. His last years were overshadowed by poverty, illness and the bitter frustration of an exile.
The collection contains extensive papers, in both English and Russian, concerning the Russian Revolution and subsequent Civil War, including over six hundred items of correspondence between Aladin and his close friend, the papermaker and philanthropist (Sir) David Russell (1872–1956); over seven hundred letters exchanged with Miss E. Constance Nightingale (1892–1967), a Quaker schoolmistress whom Aladin met while travelling on the Orient Express from Constantinople to London; as well as diaries, official documents, photographs, articles and newspaper cuttings.
- Unpublished handlist of English-language correspondence.
- See also Reginald F. Christian, Alexis Aladin: the Tragedy of Exile (New York, 1999).
- Lorn Macinnes Macintyre, Sir David Russell: a biography (Edinburgh, 1994).