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Maurice Baring Biography

(1874–1945), Landscapes in Russian Literature, An Outline of Russian Literature, The Oxford Book of Russian Verse

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British writer, born in London, educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. After the crash of his family's bank (Baring's Bank) in 1890 he worked as a diplomat in Europe, forming a close association with Russia, where he went to live in 1904, reporting on the Russo-Japanese war. He is credited with having discovered Chekhov's work in Moscow and introducing it to the West. His nonfiction works include Landscapes in Russian Literature (1910), An Outline of Russian Literature (1914), and The Oxford Book of Russian Verse (1924). Among his many novels are C (1924), Cat's Cradle (1925), Daphne Adeane (1926), and The Coat without Seam (1929). His conversion to Roman Catholicism was a turning point in his life, and with Hilaire Belloc and G. K. Chesterton he was regarded as a ‘Catholic’ writer; his two historical novels, Robert Peckham (1930) and In My End Is My Beginning (1931, on Mary, Queen of Scots), are on Catholic subjects. His wit is apparent in his autobiography The Puppet Show of Memory (1922), and in Dead Letters (1910) and Lost Diaries (1913) which gather imaginary communications from historical and literary characters. Have You Anything To Declare? (1937) was a personal anthology.

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