Customer Review

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressions of Stalin's Russia, 1 Aug. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: I Visit the Soviets: The Provincial Lady in Russia (Paperback)
Miss Delafield is one of the forgotten, feminine feminists of the inter-war years. Her 'Provincial Lady' fictional diaries gave light relief to the more solemn pages of Lady Rhondda's 'Time and Tide' magazine, reminding her readers that it was possible to worry about the hyacinth bulbs as well as the state of female emancipation. In the mid 1930s she accepted a commisssion to travel the Soviet Union. This book tells the tale, from the awfulness of her travelling companions, a collection of idealists, forward thinkers, bores and opportunists, to the truly committed and hard working community she found on a collective farm deep in the Ukraine. She managed to travel surprisingly widely at a time when the 1917 Revolution was still a fresh memory and westerners a source of deep suspicion. Ever wry, about her fellow travellers and about herself, but always confident, Miss Delafield tells a good story, and makes a good case for never leaving home without flea-powder. The publicists will have confused prospective readers with the title and the dustjacket; this is NOT a 'Provincial Lady' fiction but an autobiographical travel book. And the editing, presumably by the 1930s publishers, makes the tale jump from London to collective farm to the start of the journey, but nonetheless this is a little gem. It deserves to be read by students of 1930s social history, by admirers of the light writers of the day, and by anyone who is surprised by the continuing literalness of Russian hotel desk clerks.
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3.7 out of 5 stars (7 customer reviews)
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