By Deborah McDonald, Jeremy Dronfield
Secret agent, adventurer, charismatic seductress and mistress of 2 of the century’s maximum writers, the Russian aristocrat Baroness Moura Budberg was once born in 1892 to indulgence, excitement and selfishness. yet after she met the British diplomat and undercover agent Robert Bruce Lockhart, she sacrificed every little thing for romance, purely to be betrayed.
When Lockhart arrived in innovative Russia in 1918, his reputable venture was once Britain’s envoy to the hot Bolshevik govt, but his genuine project was once to create a community of brokers and plot the downfall of Lenin. Lockhart quickly acquired to understand Moura they usually started a passionate affair, even supposing Moura used to be spying on him for the Bolsheviks. but if Lockhart’s plot unravelled, she might forsake every thing in an try to defend him from Lenin’s mystery police. Fleeing to a lifetime of exile in England and taking a string of latest fans, together with Maxim Gorky and H. G. Wells, Moura later spied for Stalin and for Britain amidst the net of scandal surrounding the Cambridge spies. via all this she clung to the desire that Lockhart might ultimately go back to her.
Grippingly narrated, this is often the 1st biography of Moura Budberg to exploit the complete variety of formerly unexamined letters, diaries and files. a tremendous real tale of ardour, espionage and double crossing that encircled the globe, A Very risky Woman brings her amazing international vividly to existence with dramatic resonances to rival the main sensational novel.
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Additional info for A Very Dangerous Woman: The Lives, Loves and Lies of Russia’s Most Seductive Spy
Raine would go on to marry Charles Madge, another communist poet, founder of Mass Observation and a Cambridge contemporary of James Klugmann. Kitty Klugmann and Raine were both active in the Girton and Newnham Joint Debating Society, with Kitty acting as president and Raine secretary during the academic year 1928–9. The college had distinctive feminist origins, and this continued into the 1930s with the likes of Virginia Woolf and Edith Sitwell among visiting speakers. Kitty and Raine were also members of the Girton College Labour Club, which held Sunday teas and study circles, invited outside speakers and cultivated local links with Girton village.
Trinity College, along with King’s, was one of the largest Cambridge colleges, and a symbol of great wealth and privilege. It was large enough, however, to absorb its fair share of outsiders and eccentrics. Klugmann was allocated K2 on the second staircase in Whewell’s Court, the Gothic stone building partly designed by William Whewell, master of Trinity in the mid-nineteenth century. Klugmann was to remain here throughout his time at Trinity. Later, from the autumn of 1933, when he took over the leadership of the communist organisation, his part of Whewell’s Court increasingly became a central meeting point for communist students, and political discussions would be held there until curfew.
16 Nevertheless, he respected their status and deferred to them on normal academic procedure; after all, he remained part of a generation that was still wary of upsetting parents and peers. Kiernan, who went up to Cambridge at the same time to study History, described Cambridge as ‘oppressively genteel and ritualistic. ’ His own room, on the ground floor of Whewell’s Court, below Klugmann, was not an ideal residence. 17 Michael Straight, who moved into Whewell’s Court in 1935, also remarked on the stark surroundings: in order to take a bath in Whewell’s Court you had to march across the cobbled stones of the courtyard in a dressing gown and slippers, carrying a towel and a bar of soap.
A Very Dangerous Woman: The Lives, Loves and Lies of Russia’s Most Seductive Spy by Deborah McDonald, Jeremy Dronfield