You are invited to a talk by Edward Marr to be held following our AGM on 20 November at the London Scottish House (95 Horseferry Road, SW1P 2DX). Doors open at 6.15 for a 6.30 start. Georgian wine and nibbles will be provided. 

Nicholai Marr, Stalin’s Favourite Linguist & his Father’s British Roots Or Who was the Real James Montague Marr?


During the first decades of Soviet Russia the brilliant Georgian linguist, Nicholai Marr, was famed for his Japhetic Theory on the origin of Caucasian languages. He gained many Marxist followers, including Stalin, until his ideas fell out of favour in the 1950’s.

Nicholai Marr was born to a supposedly 86 year old Scottish man, James Montague Marr and 25 year old Georgian mother in Kutaisi in 1865. James Montague Marr had gone out to Georgia in 1822 and to this day there are many of his descendants in the country all, rightly, proud of their unique ancestor.

But who was the real James Montague Marr, what were his roots and why did he emigrate to Georgia?

Through a chance encounter online, amateur family historian Edward Marr connected to his Georgian relatives and found his paternal family history to be far more compelling than he ever expected, uncovering possible answers to an old family myth.

Following on from Prof. Donald Rayfield’s talk in 2015 at the British Georgian Society on Nicholai Marr, Edward Marr has researched the family’s history in order to understand more about the origins of James Montague Marr.

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News

The Rustaveli Day at the Royal Asiatic Society, 11 November 2019

The Rustaveli Day will be held at 6.30pm on the 11 November 2019 at the Royal Asiatic Society (14 Stephenson Way, London, NW1 2HD). This year we continue with the Anglo-Georgian connection series and discover the fascinating stories of Princess Tamara Imeretinsky, a Bagrationi of Imereti in exile; and Michael Aramyants, a prominent Tbilisi industrialist and philanthropist. The event will be followed by Georgian wine and canapes. 

BGS Annual General Meeting, 20 November 2019

British Georgian Society is holding its AGM on 20 November at the London Scottish House (95 Horseferry Road, SW1P 2DX). Doors open at 6.15 for a 6.30 start. After the business part of the meeting our speaker will be Edward Marr who will present a talk on his ancestor and Nicholai Marr and his Scottish roots. Georgian wine and nibbles will be provided. 

The 2019 BGS Annual Georgian Supra, 22 October 2019

The 2019 BGS Annual Georgian Supra will be held at the Tamada Restaurant (122 Boundary Rd, London NW8 0RH) at 7pm on 22nd October 2019. A charge of £25 per person (excluding drinks) will be collected on the evening. You are welcome to order your drinks individually. Please let us know if you are planning to join and register by emailing to info@britishgeorgiansociety.org by 20th October 2019.

Talk and Book Launch of 'Unveiling Vazha Pshavela' on 1 March 2019 @ Asia House

On 1 March 2018 Asia House, the BGS and the Embassy of Georgia to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will host a an evening of events inspired by the late 19th and early 20th century century Georgian poet Vazha Pshavela. This will a book launch of 'Unveiling Vazha Pshavela', poetry readings, talks and Georgian polyphonic singing. 'Unveiling Vazha Pshavela' is the most comprehensive book to date of the poet's works in English. The publication is initiated by Georgian/British artist Andro Semeiko as part of his project investigating notions of self and motherland - through landscape, ethnography, and language of Vazha Pshavela. The poems in the book have been selected to illustrate the poet's powerful, tragic, often Shakespearean force, as well as the development of his ideas and approach to nature, very relevant to ecological politics in the world today. They have been translated by Donald Rayfield OBE. The book includes specially commissioned works by the contemporary Georgian writer Ana Kordzaia-Samadashvili.

2018 Annual Rustaveli Day and AGM - 27th November 6pm at the Royal Asiatic Society

The BGS Rustaveli Day and Annual General Meeting will be held at 6pm on the 27th November 2018 at at the Royal Asiatic Society. The AGM will be followed by a talk 'The British-Georgian actress Miki Iveria – the story of Princess Gayane Mickeladze' by Dr Henry Sanford and a book presentation by Professor Elguja Khintibidze. The event will be followed by Georgian wine & canapes provided by Tamada Restaurant.

British Author Katie Ruth Davies New Book Set In Georgia

According to HE Tamar Beruchashvili Katie Ruth Davies "is a prominent author, journalist and supermum. She’s an expert in many things, including vampires!’’. Editor-in-Cheif of Georgia Today, Katie now lives in Georgia with her partner and 3 children. She is author of the Blood Omen books and is on a publishing tour of the UK (next week she will be in Bristol) promoting her first young adult book set in Georgia Angel (book one of the new Dark Wings series). Robert Edgar was at her London book launches at the Georgian Embassy and Primrose Hill Library and wrote in Georgia Today

Discovering Places: Georgia at Royal Geographical Society

The Royal Geographical Society is having an event on Georgia, on Wednesday 21st February 2018, 7pm - 9pm. It is part of their Discovering Places series and has an expert panel of Donald Rayfield (writer, historian and regular BGS speaker), Olia Hercules (chef and author of Kaukasis), and Marta Hills (a sustainable tourism expert and regular backpacker). Follow this link for further details.

Colour Of Pomegranates Limited Edition Blu-ray And Special Screening At ICA

Sergei Parajanov’s celebrated masterwork The Colour Of Pomegranates paints an astonishing portrait of the 18th century Armenian poet Sayat Nova, the ‘King of Song’ and now arrives on Blu-ray for the first time, presented in a stunning new restoration by Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with the National Cinema Centre of Armenia and Gosfilmofond of Russia.

The film arrives as The Colour Of Pomegranates Limited Edition Box Set, a luxury two-disc collector’s set on Blu-ray complete with a 112-page perfect-bound book, a host of brand new special features, archive material, short film, documentaries and both the Armenian and Russian versions of the film. It arrives on 29 January 2018.

There will be a special screening of the film on January 27th at 4.15pm at the ICA, introduced by Daniel Bird.Please see the link here.

BBC Radio 4 Food Programme on Georgia

Two excellent programmes presented by Dan Saldino are available on BBC iPlayer Radio. Feast Like a Georgian: A Food Guide to the Caucasus., first broadcast on 4th September, features food writer Carla Capalbo, author of Tasting Georgia (published earlier this summer), guiding Dan through a supra. Zero Compromise: A (Georgian) Natural Wine Story., broadcast on 11th September, has Dan Saladino travelling into the Caucasus in search of "zero compromise" natural wine makers. He finds them in Georgia, thought to be the birthplace of wine, and home of the qvevri.

Armand Wang's photos of BGS events available on Facebook

Photographer Armand Wang, a BGS member, wonderfully captures the atmosphere at BGS events in his descriptive photos and regularly posts them on the BGS Facebook page. Here are links to recent events Conversation with the two Ambassadors and Second Annual Charity Festival hosted by Tamada