Lydia and Maynard: The Letters of Lydia Lopokova and John Maynard Keynes

Polly Hill, Editor, Robert Stewart, Editor, Richard Keynes, Editor
Polly Hill, Editor, Robert Stewart, Editor, Richard Keynes, Editor Scribner Book Company $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-19202-4
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Russian ballerina Lopokova and gay British economist Keynes seemed, to his Bloomsbury circle, the proverbial odd couple. She, a box-office draw in London during this century's second and third decades, was compared to ``the wafting and descending of dandelion down'' when dancing with the Ballets Russes company--yet her mischievous merrymaking and apparent lack of intellectualism, in Virginia Woolf's words, ``put us all on edge.'' Keynes, however, found her vivacious, alert and seductive, and gladly fit a passionate romance into the interstices of his influential public life. They married in 1925; the letters collected here by Keynes's niece and nephew span 1922-1925. The appeal of this overly long epistolary affair is almost wholly human interest, not historical; only incidental light is shed on either career. The letters are fond, funny and startlingly undignified, with Lopokova emerging as their star. She signs off as ``Your lively vitamin,'' addresses her gent as ``Maynarochka,'' and indulges in outrageous malapropisms and ticklish misappropriations of English (announcing that, at a performance, ``I am going to show my healthy mechanism to the healthy crowd'' ). Photos not seen by PW . (May)
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