John Bayley

Calm Endurance

Anna of all the Russias: The Life of Anna Akhmatova

By

Weidenfeld & Nicolson 322pp £20 order from our bookshop

Her friend and fellow poet Marina Tsvetaeva coined the phrase for Anna Akhmatova with which Elaine Feinstein titles this admirable and often moving biography. There is a faint touch of malice in the resounding phrase, and perhaps just a hint of comradely cattiness, and yet it fits its subject with a more than imperial respect.

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