Letters to an Actress: Story of Ivan Turgenev and Marya Gavrilovna Savina - Ivan TurgenevLondon: Allison & Busby, 1973, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper which is much faded at the spine. Edges of the text block lightly tanned. Text complete, clean and tight.
From the cover: “In 1879, at the age of sixty-one, Ivan Turgenev watched an exciting twenty-five-year-old actress, Marya Gavrilovna Savina, perform in his play A Month in the Country, and the great Russian writer fell in love for the last time.
Their remarkable relationship continued until his death in 1883 — a mere four years, but years which meant much to the ailing Turgenev, who could not live or create without the experience of love. For forty years he had maintained a passionate attachment to the singer Pauline Viardot, but those feelings had begun to wane. In Savina, he saw the type of woman he had always venerated, the epitome of what he valued most in life: youth, beauty, and art.
The significance of Turgenev’s affinity with Savina has never been fully explored by his biographers. His correspondence with important men of his time fills volumes, but it is his letters to Savina that are the most intimate and revealing. All those letters are printed in this book, amplified by Savina’s reminiscences and her letters to and from friends (notably the brilliant litterateur Koni and the poet Polonsky).
For the first time, the story of Turgenev and Savina unfolds in all its emotional richness and complexity — a poignant, exhil-arating love story, evocative of one of Turgenev’s own novels, which shows in a new light two outstanding creative artists and the period in which they lived.”