Dominic Lieven

Dominic Lieven (born 19 January 1952) is a research professor at Cambridge University (Senior Research Fellow, Trinity College) and a Fellow of the British Academy[1][2] and of Trinity College, Cambridge.


Lieven was educated at Downside School, a Benedictine Roman Catholic boarding independent school in Stratton-on-the-Fosse, near Shepton Mallet in Somerset, followed by Christ's College, Cambridge, where he graduated top of the class of 1973 (Double First with Distinction), and was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University in 1973/4.

Professor of Russian and International history

Lieven is a writer on Russian history, on empires and emperors, on the Napoleonic era and the First World War, and on European aristocracy.[3] Lieven is on the Editorial Board of Journal of Intelligence and Terrorism Studies[4]. He was elected in 2001 Fellow of the British Academy, and was Head of the History Department at the London School of Economics from 2009 to 2011; he was appointed Lecturer there in 1978, and Professor in 1993. He was appointed to his current position at the University of Cambridge in 2011.[5][6]

Political views

In May 2016, Lieven was one of 300 prominent historians who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian warning voters that if they chose to leave the European Union in a process called Brexit on 23 June of that year, they would be condemning Britain to irrelevance.[7]


Lieven was historical adviser on the BBC's television adaptation of War and Peace, which added incest to the narrative, and was slated by Downton Abbey advisor Alastair Bruce over its mistaken military costumes.[8] Lieven said:[9]

Personal life and ancestry

Dominic Lieven is the second son and third child (of five children) of Alexander Lieven (of the Baltic German princely family, tracing ancestry to Liv chieftain Kaupo) by his first wife, Irishwoman Veronica Monahan (d. 1979). He is the elder brother of Anatol Lieven and Nathalie Lieven QC, and a brother of Elena Lieven and distantly related to the Christopher Lieven (1774–1839), who was Ambassador to the Court of St James from Imperial Russia over the period 1812 to 1834, and whose wife was Dorothea von Benckendorff, later Princess Lieven (1785–1857), a notable society hostess in Saint Petersburg and influential figure among many of the diplomatic, political, and social circles of 19th-century Europe.

Lieven is "a great-grandson of the Lord Chamberlain of the Imperial Court" of Russia.[10]

Lieven a friend of Simon Sebag Montefiore, and has read at least one of the latter's manuscripts.[11]

Awards and honours

  • 1973-4: Kennedy Scholar, Harvard
  • 1985: Humboldt Fellow
  • 1998-9: British Academy Research Fellow
  • 2005-8: Leverhulme Major Research Fellow
  • 2009: Prix de la Fondation Napoléon
  • 2010: Wolfson History Prize, "Russia Against Napoleon" (Selected by The Economist as one of its "History Books of the Year")
  • 2013: Order of Friendship, Russian Federation
  • 2016: Pushkin House Prize, London, "Towards the Flame"[12]


  • Russia and the Origins of the First World War, Macmillan Press (1983).
  • Russia's Rulers under the Old Regime, Yale U.P (1989).
  • The Aristocracy in Europe 1815/1914, Macmillan/Columbia UP (1992).
  • Nicholas II: Emperor of all the Russias, John Murray/St Martin's Press/Pimlico (1993).
  • "Western scholarship on the rise and fall of the Soviet regime : the view from 1993". Journal of Contemporary History. 29 (2): 195–227. April 1994.
  • Empire. The Russian Empire and its Rivals, John Murray/Yale U.P (2003).
  • Russia Against Napoleon: The Battle for Europe, 1807 to 1814. Allen Lane/Penguin (2009)[13][14]
  • Towards the Flame : Empire, War and the End of Tsarist Russia Allen Lane/Penguin (May 2015)[15][16][17][18]
  • The end of Tsarist Russia : the march to World War I and Revolution. Penguin Random House. 2015.[19]

See also


  1. LSE Research and Expertise
  2. Harvard University
  3. Academia Rossica
  4. "Journal of Intelligence and Terrorism Studies Editorial Board". Veruscript. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  5. "Professor Dominic Lieven FBA" bio page
  6. "Professor Dominic Lieven" bio page
  7. "Historians for Britain IN Europe". Historians for Britain IN Europe. 18 May 2016. Archived from the original on 14 April 2019. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  8. "Downton Abbey historical advisor bemoans 'baffling' War and Peace costume error", 25 January 2016
  9. "BBC under fire for 'ripe' and 'inappropriate' adaptation of War and Peace", 29 November 2015
  10. Martin Fagg, from the Church Times review excerpt published on back cover of Nicholas II
  11. "The Romanovs review: The tragedies and glory of Russia's royal dynasty", 28 January 2016
  12. "New study of Russia on eve of revolution wins Pushkin House Prize", 26 April 2016
  13. The Bear Against The Cockrel Archived 5 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Charles Esdaile, 2009, published in the Literary Review
  14. 'War and Peace': The Fact-Check, Mark Mazower, 2010, published in The New York Times
  15. Excerpted in "Dominic Lieven: Dangers to peace", 26 February 2016
  16. "The end of Tsarist Russia by Dominic Lieven", 26 August 2015 review by Jozef Joffe
  17. "All might have been well had Nicholas II only listened to a tiny cosmopolitan elite", 30 May 2015
  18. "Russia and the first world war: Blindly over the brink", 14 May 2015
  19. Previously published in Britain as Towards the flame : empire, war and the end of Tsarist Russia.
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