This is the second book dedicated by Aleksei Tolstoi to his friends in London, its dedication reading ‘To my dear old friends, Salomea and Sasha. Aleksei Tolstoi. 8 September 1935.’
Salomea Andronnikova-Halpern (1888-1982) was a famous beauty, socialite and muse of the Russian Silver age, who inspired a number of artists and poets, and a close friend of Anna Akhmatova. Marina Tsvetaeva declared her love for Salomea, while Osip Mandel’shtam dedicated one of his most famous love poems to her (‘Solominka’, 1916). Her portraits were painted by Grigor’ev and Petrov-Vodkin.
Alexander Halpern (1879-1956), a prominent political figure in pre-revolutionary Russia and member of the Menshevik party, was one of the key figures of the Provisional Government headed by Kerenskii and was in emigration a vocal critic of the USSR. He was a close friend of Isaah Berlin, Moura Budberg, and Anthony Blunt, and served in MI6 during the Second World War.
Pokhozhdeniia Nevzorova, ili, Ibikus : Giperboloid inzhenera Garina ; Aelita / Aleksei Tolstoi (1934)