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Matilda Kschessinskaya autobiography

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In a book I was reading with a section on Kschessinskaya it was mentioned that she had written an autobiography. I guess it's a rather glossed over view of her life but I still think it would be an interesting read.

Is the book still in print? And if so, is it available in english? Thanks!

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Dancing in Petersburg can sometimes be found on ebay.

An acquaintance of mine purchased a copy that also contained newspaper clippings of Kschessinska's obituary.

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this is the american edition:

Dancing in Petersburg; the memoirs of Kshessinska, H.S.H. the Princess Romanovsky-Krassinsky. Translated by Arnold Haskell. [1st American ed.]

Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1961 [c1960]

there was also a brisith edition.

additionally, da capo press reprinted the book in its dance reprint series, which if one were being sold, might be somewhat less pricey.

as noted it might appear on ebay, tho' it might also be expensive even in this reprint.

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The rehearsal room was linked to the school theatre by a long, broad corridor, where the classrooms were. And so we saw the Imperial Family emerge from the theatre and slowly come towards us. Leading them, towering over the others, came Tsar Alexander III, escorting the Empress Maria Feodorovna, who was smiling. Next came Nicholas Alexandrovitch, the heir to the throne, a young man, with the Emperor's four brothers: the Grand Duke Wladimir Alexandrovitch with his wife, the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, the Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovitch in Admiral of the Fleet's uniform, the Grand Duke Serge Alexandrovitch with his beautiful wife, the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, and the Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovitch with his young wife, the Grand Duchess Alexandra Gueorguievna, who had just married and was expecting her first child, Marie Pavlovna, born on April 16, 1890. Finally behind these could be seen Field-Marshal the Grand Duke Michel Nicolaievitch with his four sons.

Tradition had it that boarders were presented before day pupils. But no sooner had the Tsar entered the room than he asked in his powerful voice: "Where is Kschessinska?"

I was standing on one side, having scarcely foreseen such a blow to tradition. The Headmistress and teachers, who were already about to present the two top pupils, Rychliakova and Skorslouk, seemed put out and did not know what to do. But they soon recovered themselves and brought me to the Emperor. I curtsied according to the custom. The Tsar then held out his hand to me and said, "Be the glory and the adornment of our ballet!"


When all the pupils had been presented in turn to the Emperor and Empress, and warmed by the kindest words, we passed on into the girl's dining-room, where supper was served on three tables arranged as a horseshoe.

"Where are you sitting?" the Tsar asked me as soon as we came in. "I have no special place, Your Majesty," I answered. "I am a day girl."

The Emperor then sat at one of the long side-tables. On his right sat the boarder who was to say grace before the meal. Another boarder was to sit on his left, but the Emperor gently moved her aside and said to me, "Sit next to me."

Then he turned to the Tsarevitch, told him to sit in the next place, adding on our behalf with a smile, "Careful now! Not too much flirting!"

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Glebb you're a sweetie. Thanks for the excerpt. :wink:

I did do an internet search of the book last night and found only one place selling it for $390! Talk about sticker shock. I'll keep looking until I do find it at a reasonable price. I might contact De Capo press that rg mentioned. Thanks everyone for the information.

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Here is an idea - you can try it - cant guarantee success...

Look up web sites in non-English speaking countries - they normally have a list in English as well.

This is what happens: Someone sorts out his parent's library, carts it off to an

antiquarian bookseller who shakes his head at such a totally unsellable item as a ballet book in English and gives it a very low price indeed.

That is how I have found wonderful books in Sweden at a very low cost.

Good hunting!

When I have time I will sweep over the Swedish antiquarians and see if there might be something here. :wink:

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