The Current Issue

September 2019, Issue 479 Donald Rayfield on Turgenev & cosmopolitan culture * Selina Hastings on the women of Horizon * Costica Bradatan on Christianity's influence everywhere * Stephen Evans on the story of 9/11 * Helen Rappaport on Prince Albert * Joan Smith on Susan Sontag * Allan Massie on Peter Fleming * Munro Price on Marie Antoinette * Christian Goeschel on how to be a dictator * Stuart Ritchie on Malcolm Gladwell * Peter Conrad on Quentin Tarantino * Anne Chisholm on Edna O'Brien * Sam Leith on Robert Harris * Daisy Dunn on Martin Gayford * John Keay on the rise of the East India Company * Piers Brendon on Britain in the early Sixties *  and much, much more…

Donald Rayfield

The Europeans: Three Lives and the Making of a Cosmopolitan Culture

By Orlando Figes

At the heart of The Europeans is an extraordinary ménage à trois. The novelist Ivan Turgenev was for two-thirds of his life in love with the singer and composer Pauline Viardot, wife of the entrepreneur and connoisseur Louis Viardot, who accepted Turgenev as a friend and shooting companion. The relationship (briefly a ménage à quatre when Pauline and Charles Gounod fell in love) was sustained by the emotional intelligence of all three and by the balance of interests. They were voluntary exiles (Louis was French, Pauline was Spanish and Turgenev was Russian) who spent much of their lives... read more

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