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Valse des Fleurs was written in the dark days following the end of World War II. The author was the English poet, Sacheverell Sitwell. As the war drew to a close and the Russians pushed the Germans from their country, horrible photographs of the destruction of the Romanov palaces outside Leningrad (St. Petersburg) reached London and the West. Yellow and white Peterhof with its golden fountains and the huge sapphire-blue Catherine Palace had been shelled, burned and looted, their rooftops open to the sky. Painted ceilings hung in shreads, broken scupture and gilded furniture littered the snow around the palaces. Woukd the palaces would be resbuilt? No one knew for sure, there was talk of leaving their ruins as a monument to Nazi barbarism. Facing such destruction, the glittering Romanov court and its lavish opulence was a distant memory. Valse des Fleurs covers a lot of ground. It is not just about a ball - it paints a picture of Russia in 1868 focusing on the splendors of St. Petersburg, Tsarskoe Selo and Moscow; court life and society are its focus. I hope you enjoy this book and the lost world it depicts - Bob Atchison
The author of Valse des Fleurs, Sacheverell Sitwell, was a member of the British aristocracy and the younger brother of the famous British poetess, Dame Edith Sitwell and Sir Osbert Sitwell. His sister, Dame Edith, had a relationship with the famous Russian artist Pavel Tchelitchew. Sacheverell was also involved with the Russian exile community after the revolution and he has a specific interest in Diaghilev and the Russian Ballet. He was born in 1897 and lived until 1988. He wrote a number of books and art and architecture - having a specific interest in Baroque architecture.