Simon Dixon is Sir Bernard Pares Professor of Russian History at UCL. He is the author of Catherine the Great (Profile Books, 2009) and has written widely about the interplay between politics and religion at the end of the old regime. In 2017, he gave the Royal Historical Society’s Prothero Lecture on the restoration of the Patriarchate in Moscow in 1917.  Between 2015 and 2019 he was Chairman of the Literary Committee for the Russian Booker Prize.