Mathilde Kschessinska, famed as the lover of the future Tsar Nicholas II, was the first Russian Prima Ballerina Assoluta.
Vivacious, beautiful, and lively, she was also the centre of a scandalous ménage à trois with two Grand Dukes, one of whom was Nicholas's cousin. Her close links with the Romanovs ensured her stage success, but also led to the loss of her wealth and her exile to France after the 1917 Revolution.
Coryne Hall’s book Imperial Dancer tells, for the first time, the full story of this intriguing woman and her glittering and tempestuous life.
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