If you grew up in Dublin, chances are you can pick up on what part of the city somebody’s from within a few seconds of starting a conversation. But what if you were talking to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin? This article, which comes from the brilliant Come Here To Me blog, and was spotted by my friend Naomi, raises the intriguing possibility that the Bolshevik leader might have spoken with a bit of a Dublin twang, thanks to his Irish-born teacher of English. More specifically, Lenin is said to have had a ‘Rathmines accent’, a term that’s nicely excavated in the article.
If you were thinking that Lenin’s dulcet tones were the only link between that leafy southside suburb and the Russian revolution, you might be wrong: there’s a story that the imposing Russian Orthodox-style dome of Rathmines’ Church of Mary Immaculate, Refuge of Sinners – visible from miles away – was originally destined for a church in Russia, before the events of 1917 got in the way and led to its being picked up at a knockdown price from a Glasgow foundry which was left, suddenly, without a buyer. Frankly, winter sales pale in comparison.