Professor Simon Dixon began his career in Cambridge, as Research Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, and then moved via Glasgow to the chair of Modern History at the University of Leeds. Since 2008, he has been Sir Bernard Pares Professor of Russian History at UCL. He writes mainly on the eighteenth century and the Russian Orthodox Church. Catherine the Great (Profile Books, 2009) was shortlisted for the Longman-History Today Book of the Year Prize. He makes regular visits to Russia as chairman of the literary committee for the Russian Booker Prize.