Author(s): Owen Matthews
The Russian Empire once extended deep into America: in 1818 Russia's furthest outposts were in California and Hawaii. The dreamer behind this great Imperial vision was Nikolai Rezanov - diplomat, adventurer, courtier, millionaire and gambler. His quest to plant Russian colonies from Siberia to California led him to San Francisco, where he was captivated by Conchita, the fifteen-year-old daughter of the Spanish Governor, who embodied his dreams of both love and empire. From the glittering court of Catherine the Great to the wilds of the New World, Matthews conjures a brilliantly original portrait of one of Russia's most eccentric Empire-builders.
An untold chapter of America's past, a fascinating insight into a centuries-old love story, Glorious Misadventures is an expansive history of Russian colonisation from Guardian Award-shortlisted author Owen Matthews
Heartbreaking, romantic and utterly compelling ... Here is an astonishing personal history of love, death and betrayal in Russia by a half-Russian writer who really knows the texture of the Motherland Simon Sebag Montefiore on Stalin's Children This wonderful memoir brings to life the human victims of a terrifyingly inhuman system Antony Beevor, Sunday Telegraph Books of the Year ***** Owen Matthews's search through the appalling bureaucratic nightmare all these decades later for what really happened to his grandfather is heroic ... Their struggle to be together is another relic of the Soviet age, less terrifying to read about but no less compulsive Independent on Sunday A superb chronicle of the 20th-century Soviet Union, seen through the eyes of his parents and grandparents: a Russian Wild Swans ... Some of the stories will stay with me forever Christopher Hart, Sunday Times
Owen Matthews was born in London and spent part of his childhood in America. He studied Modern History at Oxford University before beginning his career as a journalist in Bosnia. In 1995 he accepted a job at The Moscow Times, a daily English-language newspaper. He also freelanced for a number of publications including The Times, the Spectator and the Independent. In 1997, he became a correspondent at Newsweek magazine in Moscow where he covered the second Chechen war, as well as politics and society. Owen was also one of the first journalists to witness the start of the US bombing in the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan, 2001, and went on to cover the invasion of Iraq, 2003. His first book on Russian history, Stalin's Children, was published to great critical acclaim in 2008. Owen is currently Newsweek magazine's bureau chief in Moscow, where he lives with his wife and two children.