Charleston

Lydia Lopokova

Lydia Lopokova trained as a ballerina at the Imperial School of Ballet in St Petersburg. Her appearance with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1918 took London by storm.

Lydia Lopokova trained as a ballerina at the Imperial School of Ballet in St Petersburg. Her appearance with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1918 took London by storm. Maynard Keynes became captivated by her childlike gaiety and idiosyncratic English, and after the failure of Diaghilev’s company, arranged accommodation for her in Bloomsbury. Four years later, in 1925, she became his wife, an event that upset the equilibrium of Vanessa Bell’s and Duncan Grant’s close friendship with Keynes. Despite this, the couple moved to Tilton, less than a mile from Charleston, where Lydia continued to live after her husband’s death.