- The Mystery of Olga Chekhova by Antony Beevor
Viking, 300 pp, £16.99, May 2004, ISBN 0 670 91520 3
Olga Chekhova was the beautiful and talented niece of Anton Chekhov’s wife, Olga Knipper. Her life spanned Lenin’s Revolution, Stalin’s Terror, and the rise and fall of Hitler’s Reich; her relatives and friends were actors, politicians, millionaires and spies. She liked to dramatise herself, embroidering her anecdotes of childhood and youth with wild jackals, rugged scenery and doting older men.