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The French Language in Russia

A Social, Political, Cultural, and Literary History

Derek Offord Vladislav Rjéoutski Gesine Argent

702 pages
Amsterdam University Press
-- With support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the UK and the Deutsches Historisches Institut Moskau --

The French Language in Russia provides the fullest examination and discussion to date of the adoption of the French language by the elites of imperial Russia during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is interdisciplinary, approaching its subject from the angles of various kinds of history and historical sociolinguistics. Beyond its bearing on some of the grand narratives of Russian thought and literature, this book may afford more general insight into the social, political, cultural, and literary implications and effects of bilingualism in a speech community over a long period. It should also enlarge understanding of francophonie as a pan-European phenomenon. On the broadest plane, it has significance in an age of unprecedented global connectivity, for it invites us to look beyond the experience of a single nation and the social groups and individuals within it in order to discover how languages and the cultures and narratives associated with them have been shared across national boundaries.
Author Bio
Emeritus Professor Derek Offord, Senior Research Fellow, University of Bristol. Specialist in Russian cultural and intellectual history and the author or editor of books on early Russian liberalism, Russian travel-writing, the history of Russian thought, and the modern Russian language. Dr. Vladislav Rjéoutski, research fellow at the German Historical Institute in Moscow. Co-director of the DFG-funded research project on the languages of diplomacy in the eighteenth-century Russia, co-author (with Derek Offord and Gesine Argent) of: The French Language in Russia. A Social, Political, Cultural, and Literary History (Amsterdam: AUP, 2018). Dr Gesine Argent is Centre Manager and Research Associate at the Princess Dashkova Russian Centre at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on Russian language culture, language ideology, and language purism.