Read Bloomsbury Ballerina: Lydia Lopokova, Imperial Dancer and Mrs John Maynard Keynes by Judith Mackrell Online


Born in 1891 in St Petersburg, Lydia Lopokova's vivacious personality and charm propelled her to the top of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Through luck, determination and talent, Lydia became a star in Paris, a vaudeville favourite in America and the toast of Britain, and married the economist John Maynard Keynes. This is her story....

Title : Bloomsbury Ballerina: Lydia Lopokova, Imperial Dancer and Mrs John Maynard Keynes
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ISBN : 9780753825785
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 476 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Bloomsbury Ballerina: Lydia Lopokova, Imperial Dancer and Mrs John Maynard Keynes Reviews

  • Madeline
    2019-01-26 14:51

    Well, this is a charming biography, if you are not too attached to your good opinion of Bloomsbury (do you have a good opinion of Bloomsbury - not as artists, I mean, but as people? is it possible?). I pretty much gobbled it down like a . . . well, like not a non-fiction biography. Mackrell is a careful writer - though her copy-editor hung her out to dry - but not a dense one, and the story zips along. Maybe this is helped by the fact that Lopokova didn't keep a diary until she married Keynes, and lost interest in the project after his death. There are significant gaps here, of the kind you're not used to finding in biographies of 20th century personalities, and sometimes Mackrell has to make an educated guess. But usually she admits that she's guessing, which is good.I liked, also, that Mackrell doesn't always take Lopokova's side - that makes for hagiography - although she is certainly . . . mmm, a bit partisan. But that's all right, I think. Lopokova is an incredibly interesting subject, and she's well presented here. Also - it's one of the few biographies with a happy love story.OH but I forgot to mention - the pictures are really not well done!! They're blurry and lo-res and small.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-02-17 10:53

    This is a lovely biography - about an unexpectedly fascinating subject. The book occasionally descends into tedium, as it chronicles the stages of the life, but mostly, Lopokova's personality comes barreling through, and Mackrell is very intelligent about weaving the narrative. The marriage - John Maynard Keynes & Lopokova - grows extremely moving, as a pairing of unlikely partners. And along the way, the reader learns much about general intellectual culture, and some (unfortunate) aspects of the Stevens sisters, Virginia & Vanessa.Very vigorously intelligent version of a dancer biography.

  • Lucinda
    2019-02-02 14:38

    This incontrovertible narrative is truly remarkable, taking centre-stage. Lydia Lopokova. Unpredictable and impulsive, vivacious and charming she is one of the greatest Imperial Russian dancers ever known. This is the story of how a top Ballerina in the Diaghilev Company achieved international fame, starting from the very beginning of her life at the start of a career. Lydia unexpectedly married British economist and Bloomsbury member John Maynard Keynes, thus linking Ballet with the Bloomsbury group including war and revolution. Encounters with Picasso and Virginia Woolf were a part of this dancer’s extraordinary life and her leap to the top. This tale is about a captivating, fascinating woman who was not just eccentric but devoted to her husband and her career. This is an honest, insightful and fascinating account about a remarkable individual who will never be forgotten, for both her talent in the world of dance and her singular life that was full of color and spark. Judith Mackrell brings a much loved and cherished character from out of the wings into centre-stage, with such enthralling vigor that you loose yourself within her story whilst unable to put the book down. Lopokova is an important individual, who should be remembered and revered, and valued for the incredible person that she was. This masterpiece is a delightful biography of truth, well-researched detail and of such a high caliber that you can only commend it for being confidently told. Lopokova’s life was encompassed by the beauty of ballet, the powerful Russian revolution and the Bloomsbury group who all impacted upon her direction in the paths that she chose to take. Skillfully and intricately woven this book combines both art and experiences to produce something so absorbing, that you are unable to turn your eyes from as you take the journey from the very beginning. This is a person who deserves to be under the spotlight once more and as a fan of hers I cannot thank the author enough for doing this. She greatly impacted upon the world of Classical Ballet, being an icon and an inspiration for many. This fantastic book is adorned with photographs of Lydia, those distinctive people who had great impact in her life (such as her husband Maynard, Slavinsky and Woizikovsky and the Ballet Russes) and those photographs of her performing in various ballets and productions. It gives the reader a look at the Russian Ballet from its foundations and Diaghilev’s (1872-1929) company that revolutionised early 20th-century arts and which continues to influence cultural activity today. Fans of dance and of history will love this biography, that should be treasured for years to come.

  • Clare Kane
    2019-02-01 14:59

    I knew nothing about Lydia Lopokova before reading this excellent biography and I'm so glad I was able to learn about her through Mackrell's engaging storytelling. Lopokova's career traces some of the most tumultuous moments of 20th century history, from the Russian Revolution to WWII, and this well-researched and beautifully written book would be of interest to anyone who wants to know more about European history, ballet, the Bloomsbury Group or John Maynard Keynes. Highly recommended.

  • G.G.
    2019-02-19 14:32

    Wonderful: Mackrell's descriptions of the lost world of pre-revolutionary Russian ballet in which Lydia Lopokova (1892-1981) was trained, of the sheer avant-garde energy of early twentieth century ballet, and of that unlikely balletomane Maynard Keynes, are all completely fascinating.

  • Mandy
    2019-02-10 16:37

    Ballet is not an art I enjoy, so I found some of the details about ballet itself a little tedious, but overall this is an excellent biography, encompassing as it does a whole era and some fascinating people.

  • Helen Smith
    2019-01-31 11:42

    Interesting book, though Mackrell does have an odd couple of 'tics' in her writing. I had never heard of this woman before.

  • Creag
    2019-02-08 13:49

    A story for anyone interested in these times, Ballets Russes, Keynes, Bloomsbury not to mention the fascinating central character who I otherwise knew nothing about.