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Prof Charlotte Alston


Department: Humanities

Charlotte is Professor in History, and Research Lead / Unit of Assessment Lead for History.

Charlotte joined Northumbria University in 2009, having previously held posts as Lecturer in History at the University of Ulster (2006-9) and as Research Assistant to the QEQM Professor of British History at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London (2003-6).

She teaches on the team taught modules Contemporary Europe and the World (at first year) and Debating History (at second year). At final year she teaches one or the other of two specialist modules, Revolution and the Russian Empire 1860-1924, and An End to War? Peacemaking in Paris 1919.

Charlotte Alston

Campus Address

Northumbria University
Room 316, Lipman Building, City Campus
Newcastle upon Tyne


  • Other Courses Certificate January 12 2016
  • Education PGCHE August 13 2009
  • History PhD June 30 2004
  • Senior Fellow (SFHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2014
  • Fellow Royal Historical Society 2009

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Encounters on the Eastern Front: The Royal Naval Armoured Car Division in Russia 1915-1920, Alston, C. 1 Nov 2018, In: War in History
  • News of the Struggle, Alston, C. 14 Dec 2017, The Foreign Political Press in Nineteenth Century London, London, Bloomsbury
  • Leo Tolstoy, The Kreutzer Sonata, Alston, C. 17 Dec 2015, Patriarchal Moments, London, Bloomsbury
  • From steamroller to empty chair, Alston, C. Oct 2014, 28 June : Sarajevo 1914-Versailles 1919 : the war and peace that made the modern world, London, Haus Publishing
  • A Great Host of Sympathisers: The Doukhobor Emigration and its International Supporters, 1895–1905, Alston, C. 14 May 2014, In: Journal of Modern European History
  • Transnational solidarities and the politics of the left, 1890-1990-introduction, Alston, C. 2014, In: European Review of History
  • Tolstoy and his disciples: the history of a radical international movement, Alston, C. 18 Dec 2013
  • Britain and the International Tolstoyan Movement, Alston, C. Sep 2013, Russia in Britain, 1880-1940: From Melodrama to Modernism, Oxford, Oxford University Press
  • Antonius Piip, Zigfrids Meierovics and Augustinas Voldemaras, The Baltic States, Alston, C. 2010
  • The work of the Russian liberation committee in London, 1919-1924, Alston, C. Apr 2008, In: Slavonica

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Charlotte’s research focuses on Russia’s relations, both cultural and diplomatic, with the West. She is the author of books and articles on Russia's revolutions and civil war, the post-First World War peace settlements, and the international influence of Tolstoy's thought.

Her first book, published in 2007, was a biography of the New Zealand journalist, publicist and linguist Harold Williams, who witnessed and reported on the Russian revolutions of 1917. The book explores the worlds of Anglo-Russian relations, wartime cultural diplomacy, early 20th century international news reporting, and lobbying for intervention in Russia’s civil war.  Charlotte continues to publish on the Anglo-Russian alliance in wartime, and on international intervention in Russia’s civil war, with recent articles in War in History (2017) and in the multi-volume project Russia's Great War and Revolution.

Charlotte’s second monograph was a study of the international Tolstoyan movement. The research for this book project was supported by grants from the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Royal Irish Academy and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The resulting monograph Tolstoy and His Disciples: the History of a Radical International Movement (I B Tauris, 2014) examines the operation of international Tolstoyan networks and campaigns, as well as the ways in which Tolstoy’s ideas were developed in different national contexts.

With Daniel Laqua, Charlotte has edited two special issues of journals (Journal of Modern European History, and European History Review) focusing on transnational solidarities and humanitarianism. With philosophers Amber Carpenter (Singapore) and Rachael Wiseman (Liverpool), Charlotte led the British Academy-funded project ‘Portraits of Integrity’. Through a reading group and an international conference, this project focused on historical and fictional characters whose lives tell us something about the challenges of living with integrity. A volume of essays resulting from the project will be published by Bloomsbury in the spring of 2020.

A further strand of Charlotte’s research focuses on the history of Russia’s border states in war and revolution. She has published both articles and a book (Antonius Piip, Zigfrids Meierovics and Augustinas Voldemaras: the Baltic States, in the Haus series 'Makers of the Modern World: The Peace Conferences of 1919-23 and their aftermath) on the representation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania at the post-First World War peace conference in Paris, and in 2018 she took part in an international summer school to mark the centenary of the independence of Georgia.

Charlotte is currently working on a book project that explores the relationship between Russian émigrés, revolutionaries and dissidents and western publics, from the late tsarist era to the present. She is a member of the editorial board of the Royal Historical Society’s New Perspectives book series, and is the Secretary of History UK, the national body promoting history in higher education. She is a member of the British Society for Slavonic and East European Studies; the Study Group on the Russian Revolution; and the Anglo-Russian Reading Group.

PGR Supervision

  • Shaun Pitt Start: 01/10/2018
  • James Robertson-Major Start: 01/10/2019
  • Jasmine Calver The Comité mondial des femmes contre la guerre et le fascisme: Anti-Fascist, Feminist, and Communist Activism in the 1930s Start: 13/11/2015
  • Lara Green Russian Revolutionary Terrorism in Transnational Perspective: Representations and Networks 1881-1926 Start: 07/10/2014

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