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Red Princess: A Revolutionary Life by Sofka…
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Red Princess: A Revolutionary Life

by Sofka Zinovieff

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Recently added byprivate library, jgtarwater, shop20q, cctesttc1, In.Other.Words, wealhtheowwylfing, bhowell

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Princess Sophy Dolgorouky (called Sofka) was born in 1907 into an ancient family of nobility. She grew up in an atmosphere of incredible privilege and cossetting, raised by her stiff grandmother and, intermittently, her rebellious surgeon mother and diletante father. Her family fled to Europe during the Bolshevik revolution, and lived nomadic lives while their prestige and money slowly dribbled away. Sofka, strong-willed, intellectual, sensual, charismatic, and with a fire for social justice, shocked her family throughout her life. She divorced her suitable first husband, spent little time or energy on her children, and by her thirties was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party. Despite desperate situations (she nearly starved several different times, lost the love of her life after only a few years of marriage, was interned in a Nazi camp, her mother committed suicide while she was in the house, etc), Sofka refused to do anything less than what she wanted and felt was needed. From a jeweled upbringing to a homey little cottage in Cornwall, Sofka's journey is a riveting one. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
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Book description
From a privileged childhood in Tsarist St Petersburg to dedicated member of the British Communist Party, the life of Sofka Dolgorouky resembles a seismograph of the great upheavals of the twentieth century. In this deeply personal biography, Sofka Zinovoeff explores the turbulent, often scandalous life of her grandmother.
An old Russian diary provides the initial inspiration. Written when Sofka was a beautiful young woman trapped in Nazi-occupied Paris, it turns out to be a series of passionate letters to the great love of her life. It is only after Sofka's death that her granddaughter reads these pages and decides to dig deeper by following in her grandmother's footsteps. Zinovieff travels to Sofka's birthplace, St Petersburg, and to the Crimea, where she fled after the 1917 Revolution. She uncovers hidden MI5 files and returns to the Nazi camp at Vittel where Sofka was interned and worked with the French Resistance, where she uncovers various secrets.
Even more outrageous in its day than her conversion from princess to communist was Sofka's private life. She not only believed in sexual freedom, but often placed love, literature, and adventure before her children. Sofka'a story is much more than that of a princess in exile. She was someone whose existence was dislocated by revolution yet who believed in revolution as a way of making the world a better place and who produced her own revolutions throughout her life.
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From a privileged childhood in Tsarist St Petersburg to dedicated member of the British Communist Party, the life of Sofka Dolgorouky resembles a seismograph of the great upheavals of the 20th century. In this deeply personal biography, Zinovieff explores the turbulent, often scandalous life of her grandmother. Originally published: 2007.… (more)

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