Maurice Baring’s Insights on the Russian Character

How might a deeply reflective book of almost four hundred pages written by a Catholic Englishman some seven years before the 1917 Communist Revolution in Russia — and thus also seven years before Our Lady of Fatima’s own 1917 sustained appearances in Portugal — help us to understand “the errors of Russia” and well as Russia’s distinctive religious and moral strengths? To include Russia’s persevering resistance to the alien and staining migrations out of Asia and often up from the south. (And maybe even so still today? That is, in a largely northern-northwestern demographic advance: a twofold Islamic and Sinitic movement, and a gradual implantation and effective occupation, pressing up along and beyond a certain frontier-threshold, to be visualized by a line drawn on a map from Gibraltar (or Granada) in the far west to Vladivostok on the far east. A Strategic Threshold, too?)

For, in 1911 Maurice Baring dedicated his book The Russian People1 to “Gilbert K. Chesterton,” having himself already published other works on Russian history and culture, to include his Landmarks in Russian Literature (1910), Russian Essays and Stories (1908, 1909), and A Year in Russia: 1905-1906 (1907), as well as his earlier and memorable writings on the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), entitled With the Russians in Manchuria (1906).

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