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Imperial Dancer: Mathilde Kschessinska and the Romanovs [Anglais] [Relié]

Coryne Hall


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Amazon.com: 3.7 étoiles sur 5  6 commentaires
21 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Great addition if you're already knowledgeable on the Romanovs 18 novembre 2006
Par Christine - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I've read every book on the Romanov family itself, and I found that this well-written book full of interesting information and anecdotes about the Romanovs and St Petersburg in the late 19th and early 20th century gives a fresh perspective to a family I already had come to know well and to a city in the midst of grandeur and then turmoil. It also gives lots of information on minor Romanovs who are otherwise merely glossed over by other writers. It also gives a fascinating account of how many of the Romanov relatives fled Russia (and escaped certain death) via the Ukraine. I would highly recommend it to ballet enthusiasts, many of who may not know much about Mathilde, one of Russia's last great ballerinas and only one of two prima ballerinas of the Russian Imperial Ballet, to those interested in Imperial Russia, and as an addition to anyone's large Romanov library.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating look at a woman who danced for the czars 8 janvier 2007
Par Laura K, - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I was completely captivated by this account of Matilda, who's so often mentioned in Romanov histories, but seldom profiled in any depth. Coryne Hall's writing style is fluid, making this a highly readable, fascinating portrait of imperial favor, the attention accorded the arts, and the ultimate triumph of a highly ambitious woman. I was even more delighted when I had the chance to pass by Kschessinska's home in St. Petersburg, and wished I'd been able to stop and go in...as if walking in would illuminate the past and bring the book to life.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Adventures Of An Adventuress 12 mai 2008
Par John D. Cofield - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Mathilde Kschessinska was one of the great ballerinas of the early twentieth century,yet today she is known, if at all, only as the former mistress of Tsar Nicholas II. This biography illuminates Kschessinska's unjustly neglected professional life as well as her sensational private affairs.

To be fair to the public, Kschessinska was such a flamboyant adventuress that it obscured her obvious gifts as a dancer. From a family of actors and dancers, she quickly became one of the stars of the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg. An occupational hazard of that line of work was the tendency to attract the attention of the men of the Romanov Dynasty. Fantastically wealthy and with little or no moral compass, the Grand Dukes were accustomed to seeing ballerinas as little more than a collection of potential mistresses and dalliances. For the ballerinas, attention from a Grand Duke or a Tsarevich was the path to wealth, glamour, and career advancement.

Kschessinska understood this all too well, and she aimed very high indeed, setting out to attract and entrance the Tsarevich Nicholas in the early 1890s. After the Tsarevich became Tsar and married Princess Alix of Hesse-Darmstadt, Kschessinka moved on to become the paramour of Grand Dukes Andrei and Serge. She was able to build a magnificent palace in the smartest section of St. Petersburg and gained an impressive collection of jewelry. She also gained a son, Vladimir, who was never sure which Grand Duke was his father. (Mathilde herself either didn't know or chose never to divulge the secret).

The first section of the book tends to drag a bit, as we read of Kschessinska's climb to personal and romantic heights. The book really becomes interesting when it reaches the Revolution and its aftermath. Kschessinska's palace was taken over by the Bolsheviks in March, 1917 and she herself barely escaped with her life. She showed true courage and heroism over the next couple of years as she fled from revolutionaries and endured real hardship for the first time. After escaping to the West, Kschessinska demonstrated keen business abilities, setting up and running a successful ballet school in Paris and managing to live in an approximation of her pre-revolutionary style (with help from admirers) until her death at age 99 in 1971.

This is an interesting and well written work which does a good job depicting the life of a woman who deserves to be better remembered.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Imperial Dancer: Mathilde Kschessinska and the Romanovs 10 novembre 2013
Par Dylans Mimi - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
A definite must for the collection of anyone interested in the Romanov family. The mistress of Nicolas II before he married Alexandra, Kschessinska then became the simultaneous mistress of his cousins, Grand Duke Andrei and Grand Duke Sergei. She gave birth to a son who never knew for certain which of the grand dukes was his father.

A rare glimpse into the intrigue of both the world of the Imperial Ballet and the world of the Russian court, the book contains interesting anecdotes of both. I found this book hard to put down . The book is well documented and illustrated with photos of both members of the ballet world and the Russian court. A great addition to my library.
1.0 étoiles sur 5 No Good on Kschessinska's early Career, Splendid on her later life 2 février 2006
Par MrLopez2681 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This is a book filled with no primary sources concerning Kschessinskaya's career, and nothing but an over-blown expansion of Kschessinskaya's own memoirs, "Dancing In St. Petersburg". However her life post-Russia is the only reason to obtain this book.

If anyone is turning to this book for an authority on Kschessinskaya's early life, go elsewhere - The passages that were the worst concerned Kschessinskaya's career in Russia, and Coryne Hall's spreading of the usual misconceptions as facts. One in particular is the idea that somehow Kschessinskaya was named "Prima ballerina assoluta" in 1896, something which is only claimed by Kschessinskaya herself and found no where else (except in those sources which also use Kschessinskaya's memoirs for their own source). Hall merely repeats that Kschessinskaya was so named, but under what circumstances? By whom? Certainly not by Petipa, for if Hall had accessed primary sources she would have found that Petipa loathed Kschessinskaya and her obsession to de-throne her great rival, Pierina Legnani, who the sources show was certainly the greater ballerina, though had Legnani been Russian early historians would never have turned her into a foot-note concerning "Swan Lake" and 32 fouettés. Hall would have also found how Kschessinskaya used her affairs with royalty to hog top billing on posters and to get a hold of retired ballets. The worst was how she usurped Legnani's repertoire (and even variations) once the Italian ballerina left Russia in 1901. For historians, dancers and balletomanes interested in Kschessinskaya's early career, this book is NOT recommended.

When it comes to Kschessnskaya's later life (i.e. post revolution), the book is actually excellent, and I really have no criticisms. But where does one go to find an authority on Kschessinskaya in her pre-revolution days of glory? Sadly, one doesn't exist. I cannot forgive Hall for wasting this opportunity. The book is no good in that regard.
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