Nicholas Hall


Telephone: N/A 

College: College of Humanities
Discipline: History
Department: Modern Languages
Research Centre/Unit: N/A

My work at Exeter focuses on relationships between Britons and Soviet citizens, between 1928 and 1939, with the theme of 'sincerity' being the linchpin of my thesis. In this period many foreigners visited the USSR, and wrote of their experiences. Taking a cue from numerous British travel accounts that discuss the idea of an 'unofficial Russia', I look at how British travellers perceived their time in the Soviet Union, and sought the truth of that place and system. I am particularly interested in how the traveller’s experience and understanding of Soviet reality relates to Soviet citizens' understanding of the same reality, and how encounters between the two had significance in this respect.

Alongside study at Exeter, I have been working on several academic projects. I am Research Associate to the Isaiah Berlin Literary Trust, Wolfson College, University of Oxford, where I have contributed research and writing to two volumes of Berlin's letters, and provided support for the publication of numerous editions of his essays.

I have also been working on a book, The Shadow of Catastrophe: The Letters and Diaries of Gareth Jones, 1930–35 , which is an edited collection of the best of the diaries and letters of the British journalist, Gareth Jones (1905–35), who visited the USSR and Germany as Stalin and Hitler consolidated their power respectively.

I am also an editor of the Anglo-Russian Research Network website.

You can find me on