Tuesday, 6 January 2009

On the Ninth Day of Christmas my True Love Gave to me...Nine Ladies Dancing.

Nine Ladies dancing makes me think of ballet. Particularly at Christmas I am drawn to images of The Nutcracker or Swan Lake. So I have selected "Bloomsbury Ballerina" by Judith Mackrell for this post. Available already in hardback, it will be published in paperback in April 2009.

Judith Mackrell is a writer and dance critic for the Guardian. She was the ghostwriter for Darcey Bussell's 'Life in Dance'. She lives in London with her husband and two sons.

Born in 1891 in St Petersburg, Lydia Lopokova lived a long and remarkable life. Her vivacious personality and the sheer force of her charm propelled her to the top of Diaghilev's Ballet Russes. Through a combination of luck, determination and talent, Lydia became a star in Paris, a vaudeville favourite in America, the toast of Britain and then married the world-renowned economist, and formerly homosexual, John Maynard Keynes.

Lydia's story links ballet and the Bloomsbury group, war, revolution and the economic policies of the super-powers. She was an immensely captivating, eccentric and irreverent personality: a bolter, a true bohemian and, eventually, an utterly devoted wife.

With what Virginia Woolf termed her "genius of personality", Lydia inspired the character of Rezia in Mrs Dalloway.

"Mackrell shows us exactly what made Lopokova one the last century's 'true originals." said Frances Wilson in the Sunday Times.

Paperback RRP £8.99
496 pages
ISBN-13: 9780753825785
Publication: April 2009

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