Jonathan Miles



St. Petersburg - Three Centuries of Murderous Desire
recreates the drama of this absurd and brilliant city, beginning with the homicidal megalomania of its founder
and the sadism of its early rulers.
It will follow its tyrants, subjects, subversives, artists, lovers and entrepreneurs as St Petersburg first turns itself into a vast work of art and then into the crucible for revolution, forming a backdrop to the great conflicts and upheavals of the twentieth century.
The story will continue to the present day, when, once more, the city's fate hangs in the balance.


'Of all cities St Petersburg is most like a novel … Miles tells the tale magnificently'
(Peter Pomerantsev author of 'Nothing is True and Everything is Possible')

‘This extraordinary book brings to life an astonishing place. Beautiful prose renders it brutaly vivid’ … ‘delightful style and an acute sense of absurdity’
Gerard DeGroot The Times - BOOK OF THE WEEK

'Recently there has been a plethora of new books on Russian history in all its guises … so why more? Jonathan Miles’ narrative is a lot of more, … His history has a substantial foundation, but what makes it special is the sheer inescapable momentum of Miles’s prose, powered by the captivating intensity of his attachment to his subject. This is a story told by a writer enthralled … His overwhelming concatenation of fact, observation and opinion is a dazzling history of a dazzling city’
Marina Vaizey - The Arts Desk

‘lively and entertaining biography … full of sparkling storytelling and well drawn characters … a delight’
Victor Sebestyen- The Sunday Times