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Showing posts from March, 2009

Where Will Books Take You?

Strumpet recently posed these questions: "Is there a place that you have always dreamed of visiting specifically because of a book you read? It can be any kind of book: fiction, non-fiction, travelogue, you name it. If you have been to the place, did it live up to your expectations? If you haven't been, do you think you'll ever make it there?" (It was really last month's question but I couldn't resist!)

Dreaming of Russia

At first it was ballet books with their gorgeous photos of the Bolshoi Ballet. Then I read the incredibly sad story of the last Tsar and the Imperial Russian Family so I wanted to visit the palaces and The Golden Ring Soon afterwards I read War and Peace (not properly) and admired Natasha, a rather frivolous girl whose character became forged by the hardship of war. Will I ever see the splendour of the Hermitage and Tsarskoe Selo, let alone feel the haunting presence of Tsar Nicholas, Alexai and his four daughters in the isolated Golden Ring…

March Reads

Anna Pavlova: Her Art and Life by Victor Dandre.

This reminded me of the saying that: "There's gold in them there hills if you're willing to look for it." This book by the great ballerina's husband was written in an excessively old-fashioned and rather dull way but he does include lots of interesting details about her tours, the people that Anna Pavlova met, and the work involved in running a ballet company. Pavlova liked Australia - even Brisbane's ghastly heat and humidity was preferable for her dancing than the cold, apparently. She took home bulbs of a purple bell-like flower to grow in her greenhouse.

This isn't a chronological biography. It is composed of chapters about different aspects of Anna Pavlova's life.

Luckily I got this through Inter-Library Loan because it is very expensive! If you are a big fan of the wonderful Anna, however, it is worth buying if only for the beautiful photos. (For a bit more on Anna see my Edwardian Promenade blog