A Very Dangerous Woman: The Lives, Loves and Lies of Russia's Most Seductive Spy

A Very Dangerous Woman: The Lives, Loves and Lies of Russia's Most Seductive Spy

by Deborah McDonald, Jeremy Dronfield

Paperback(First Trade Paper Edition)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Usually ships within 1 week


Moura Budberg: spy, adventurer, charismatic seductress and mistress of two of the century’s greatest writers, the Russian aristocrat Baroness Moura Budberg was born in 1892 to indulgence, pleasure and selfishness. But after she met the British diplomat and secret agent Robert Bruce Lockhart, she sacrificed everything for love, only to be betrayed.

When Lockhart arrived in Revolutionary Russia in 1918, his official mission was Britain’s envoy to the new Bolshevik government, yet his real assignment was to create a network of agents and plot the downfall of Lenin. Lockhart soon got to know Moura and they began a passionate affair, even though Moura was spying on him for the Bolsheviks. But when Lockhart’s plot unravelled, she would forsake everything in an attempt to protect him from Lenin’s secret police. Fleeing to a life of exile in England and taking a string of new lovers, including Maxim Gorky and H. G. Wells, Moura later spied for Stalin and for Britain amidst the web of scandal surrounding the Cambridge spies. Through all this she clung to the hope that Lockhart would finally return to her.

Grippingly narrated, this is the first biography of Moura Budberg to use the full range of previously unexamined letters, diaries and documents. An incredible true story of passion, espionage and double crossing that encircled the globe, A Very Dangerous Woman brings her extraordinary world vividly to life with dramatic resonances to rival the most sensational novel.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781780747972
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Publication date: 02/09/2016
Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 7.70(w) x 5.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Deborah McDonald is the author of Clara Collet 1860-1948: An Educated Working Woman and The Prince, His Tutor and the Ripper: The Evidence Linking James Kenneth Stephen to the Whitechapel Murders. She lives on the Isle of Wight.

Jeremy Dronfield is a writer, biographer and novelist.

Table of Contents

Map vii

Descendants of Ignatiy Zakrevsky viii

Illustration Credits ix

Preface xi

Prologue 1

Part 1 Flouting All Conventions: 1916-1918

1 The Eve of Revolution 5

2 Choosing Sides 17

3 Red Winter 34

4 The British Agent 41

5 'What Children We Were' 53

6 Passion and Intrigue 65

7 Old Enemies, Strange Alliances 79

8 A Hair's Breadth from War 92

9 Across the Border 103

Part 2 Love and Survival: 1918-1919

10 The Lockhart Plot 117

11 The Knock on the Door in the Night 132

12 Sacrificial Offering 143

13 The End of Everything… 160

14 Se Metrre en Quatre 169

Part 3 In Exile: 1919-1924

15 'We're All Iron Now' 185

16 Baroness Budberg 202

17 One Perfect Thing 216

Part 4 England: 1924-1946

18 Love and Anger 227

19 Not Such a Fool 244

20 A Cheat and a Liar 260

21 The Mysterious Death of Maxim Gorky 270

22 A Very Dangerous Woman 281

23 'Secretly Working for the Russians' 290

Part 5 Moura's Salon: 1946-1974

24 The Movie Mogul 305

25 A Russian Patriot 315

26 … The End of Everything 327

Notes 341

Bibliography 384

Index 393

Customer Reviews