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Firebird: A Bloomsbury Love Story

4 March 2022

Professor Susan Sellers's new novel tells the story of Russian dancer Lydia Lopokova and her love affair and marriage to the economist John Maynard Keynes.

In Firebird: A Bloomsbury Love Story, Susan Sellers focusses on one of the Bloomsbury Groups most overlooked women artists.

Lydia Lopokova was born in St Petersburg in 1892 and sent to train at the Imperial Ballet School. In 1910 she joined Sergei Diaghilev and his Ballets Russes on their summer tour to Europe where she was quickly promoted to starring roles. She was lured to Broadway by a producer and spent the next ten years on tour, performing in vaudeville alongside flame-throwers and sword-swallowers, as well as continuing to appear with the Ballets Russes where her partners included the legendary Nijinsky. In 1922 she moved in with the Bloomsbury Group and in 1925 married Maynard Keynes – a move that caused considerable consternation among the Group’s other women artists Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell.

Already published in French translation as Un Oiseau de feu by Gallimard/MdF, Firebird: A Bloomsbury Love Story will also appear in German translation as Feuervogel with Random House/btb in December as their top paperback title.

It is published in the original English on March 31st.