Edited by Robert W. Dimand and Harald Hagemann
Chapter 3: Lydia Vasilievna Lopokova
Lydia Vasilievna Lopokova was born in St Petersburg and had an illustrious career as a ballerina with the Mariinsky Theatre. She left Russia in 1910 for Paris and then America. She received great acclaim for her dancing, but she had a desire to be an actress and pursued that goal, even though English was not her native tongue. She become very popular in New York and was known for her wit and personality. In 1925 she married John Maynard Keynes and settled in Sussex. Lydia worked for Leonard and Virginia Woolf as an assistant, and also reviewed ballet performances for Vogue and The Nation. She was not comfortable socializing with academics and did not often accompany Keynes to professional functions. Despite their outward differences, the marriage was happy, although they remained childless. Lydia abandoned her own ambitions when Keynes fell ill, and she devoted herself to his care. He died in 1946, a profound loss that took her years to come to terms with. She then travelled less and was content to remain at home. Lydia Lopokova died in 1981 at the age of 89.
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