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Moura: The Dangerous Life of the Baroness Budberg

by Nina Berberova

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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824333,754 (3.5)1
Baroness Maria Ignatievna Zakrevskaya Benckendorff Budberg hailed from the Russian aristocracy and lived in the lap of luxury--until the Bolshevik Revolution forced her to live by her wits. Thereafter her existence was a story of connivance and stratagem, a succession of unlikely twists and turns. Intimately involved in the mysterious Lockhart affair, a conspiracy which almost brought down the fledgling Soviet state, mistress to Maxim Gorky and then to H.G. Wells, Moura was a woman of enormous energy, intelligence, and charm whose deepest passion was undoubtedly the mythologization of her own life. Recognized as one of the great masters of Russian twentieth-century fiction, Nina Berberova here proves again that she is the unsurpassed chronicler of the lives of Soviet émigrés. In Moura Budberg, a woman who shrouded the facts of her life in fiction, Berberova finds the ideal material from which to craft a triumph of literary portraiture, a book as engaging and as full of life and incident as any one of her celebrated novels.… (more)
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French (2)  English (2)  All languages (4)
Showing 2 of 2
This book reads like a history text book. It hardly delves into the feelings, passions, fears and fumbles of these fascinating people. The history, however, is clearly written and replete with purges, assassinations, successful and unsuccessful spying, much friendship and many lies. I am a big fan of Berberova's fiction and her autobiography, and was not disappointed with this book. If you want to follow a fascinating and troubling life, go for it. You will feel like you are really there with them all. ( )
  almigwin | Jul 4, 2010 |
Fascinating life, but poorly executed biography. Baroness Budberg (1892-1974) was a survivor of the Russian Revolution and an enchanting woman who was successively the mistress/companion of Robert Bruce Lockhart, Maxim Gorky and H.G. Wells. Nina Berberova knew Moura personally, as well as most of the main personages of Russian emigre life, but this book presumes such a wide knowledge of 20th century literature and politics that most readers will be left rather in the dark about several key events and individuals.

There's a great book to be written about this interesting muse and lover, but this isn't it. ( )
  yooperprof | Oct 28, 2008 |
Showing 2 of 2
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nina Berberovaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Schwartz, MarianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Baroness Maria Ignatievna Zakrevskaya Benckendorff Budberg hailed from the Russian aristocracy and lived in the lap of luxury--until the Bolshevik Revolution forced her to live by her wits. Thereafter her existence was a story of connivance and stratagem, a succession of unlikely twists and turns. Intimately involved in the mysterious Lockhart affair, a conspiracy which almost brought down the fledgling Soviet state, mistress to Maxim Gorky and then to H.G. Wells, Moura was a woman of enormous energy, intelligence, and charm whose deepest passion was undoubtedly the mythologization of her own life. Recognized as one of the great masters of Russian twentieth-century fiction, Nina Berberova here proves again that she is the unsurpassed chronicler of the lives of Soviet émigrés. In Moura Budberg, a woman who shrouded the facts of her life in fiction, Berberova finds the ideal material from which to craft a triumph of literary portraiture, a book as engaging and as full of life and incident as any one of her celebrated novels.

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