Count Aleksei Tolstoi (1882-1945) was already a celebrated author when he emigrated to the West. He returned to the Soviet Union in 1923, became part of the Soviet establishment and officially cut all ties with his former friends within the White emigration. However, this was not the whole story. Both this and the next book on display, both published in the 1930s, after Tolstoi’s return to the USSR, feature affectionate dedications to Salomea Andronnikova and Alexander Halpern, vocal émigré critics of the Soviet regime. Such dedications could have cost Tolstoi his life had they been found at the time.
This dedication is to Salmoeia alone – ‘To the lovely, always beautiful Salomea from her old friend. Aleksei Tolstoi. 1 May 1936. Hi to Sasha [Alexander]’
Zolotoi kliuchik, ili, Prikliucheniia Buratino / Aleksei Tolstoi (1936)