Hugh George Brennan

Biography of Hugh George Brennan

Brennan was born in 1873 in Stoke Damerel, Devon; his father was in the Royal Navy. He graduated from the University of London with a First in Russian and French and submitted a dissertation in Russian for his MA in 1914 entitled “Baironizm v poezii Lermontova” [Byronism in the Poetry of Lermontov]. First lecturer in Russian at the University from 1917 to 1943.

Brennan spent much of his twenties and thirties in Russia teaching either English or French at a number of institutions, including the elite Imperial Alexander Lyceum where he taught English language and literature. In 1916 King George V granted Brennan licence and authority to wear the insignia of the Third Class of the Order of St Anne which was conferred upon him by the Tsar in recognition of his services to education.

A fluent Russian speaker, he married a Russian wife, Marie Lydie de Berens. When she died in 1942 he left a number of attractive and fascinating Russian artefacts to the University in her memory. These are now housed in the Hunterian. He was much in demand as a public speaker and made a number of radio broadcasts for the BBC on Russian themes.

Alexander Werth, a notable alumnus of the University, came to Glasgow purely because he had been taught by Brennan in St. Petersburg and lived with the Brennans while he was in Glasgow from 1919 to 1925.

His book Sidelights on Russia was published in 1918 and a further volume Russian Fairy Tales was published in 1928. In addition, he contributed articles on economic, political and cultural issues in Russia and other European countries to various national newspapers, including The Times Russian Supplement.

Brennan died in Worthing in 1958.


Hugh George Brennan
Born 1873.
Died 1943.
University Link: Lecturer
GU Degree:
Occupation categories: lecturers
Record last updated: 22nd Aug 2017

University Connections

University Roles

  • Lecturer

There are no comments available.