One recent "Come Here To Me" blog revisited the longstanding rumor that Lenin spoke English with an Irish accent.
This subject briefly surfaced in the Irish media last year when an "Irish Times" newspaper column made a passing reference to Lenin's supposed Hibernian brogue.
The source the column cited for this claim was none other than Roddy Connolly, the son of the legendary Scottish-born Irish socialist James Connolly.
The article noted that the younger Connolly, who was himself a prominent socialist, met with Lenin on a visit to St. Petersburg in the 1920s:
Picking up the story almost a year later, the "Come Here To Me" blog got great mileage out of the fact that Lenin, the archetypal hero of the working class, apparently spoke "with the mincing, effeminate speech" used by denizens of the leafy Dublin suburb of Rathmines, home to one of the poshest accents in Ireland.
Over the years, this accent has been the source of many jokes in the Irish capital.
It has been claimed, for instance, that the law of torts first saw the light of day as legislation aimed at regulating prostitution in Rathmines.
Many Dubliners will also tell you that the word "creche" was originally used to describe a collision between two cars in the same fashionable south-Dublin district.
Back in the 1920s, the internationally renowned, left-wing Irish dramatist Sean O'Casey even fiercely lampooned the Rathmines accent in his play about Ireland's 1916 uprising, "The Plough and The Stars."
The accent is used to great comic effect in the play, when a "fashionably, middle-aged, stout woman" finds herself caught up in the middle of Dublin's violent insurrection:
Fluther: I’m afraid, ma’am, one way is as safe as another.
Woman: And what am I gowing to do? Oh, isn’t this awful? ... I’m so different from others...The mowment I hear a shot, my legs give way from under me -- I cawn’t stir, I’m paralysed -- isn’t it awful?
Sadly, no recording exists of Lenin speaking English, so we will never know if the seminal Marxist revolutionary did indeed talk with a snooty Rathmines accent.
Then again, it would not come as a surprise if Lenin had perhaps deliberately suppressed any evidence of his English way of speaking.
Given that one of the world's most famous socialist dramatists chose to mercilessly ridicule the very same inflections in his play about the Irish revolution, Lenin may have decided to keep his Rathmines accent a secret, lest it would seriously damage his proletarian credentials!
-- Coilin O'Connor