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Mathilde Kschessinska, Prima ballerina of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatre, tells her life story in these moving and dramatic memoirs.
Born in Imperial Russia in 1872, Kschessinska came from a family of dancers and was trained in ballet. Noted as a great talent from youth, Kschessinska?s destiny was shaped by her debut performance: she won the praise of visiting Russian royalty and met the young man who was to become the future Tsar Nicholas II. The two became romantically involved for three years, until the young Grand Duke was betrothed to the future Empress Alexandra.
Perhaps the most dramatic and harrowing passages of this memoir date to the Russian Revolution: the sudden plunge of the nation into chaos and anarchy, and the danger the author was in as a known associate of Russia?s royal family, is told. By sheer fortune, Kschessinska and her husband were able to escape to France, but not after a series of close calls amid the melee of Russia?s devastating civil war.