Looking back on their lives, most people have a tale to tell, sad or happy. Mervyn’s first volume of reminiscences, Mervyn’s Lot, covered his troubled boyhood in war-torn Swansea of the thirties and forties, and his second memoir, Mila and Mervusya, recounts the gripping tale of his extraordinary adventures with the KGB in Khrushchev’s Russia during the Cold War – described in the Spectator as ‘absorbing’, and ‘thrilling’.
Here, in a third volume, he tells of his life in Pimlico with a colourful Russian wife Ludmilla, following their marriage under the shadow of Lenin’s statue in the Moscow Palace of Weddings in 1969; his return visits to the new, post-Soviet Russia and the many unusual Russians he met; and a splendid Russian wedding on a beautiful Turkish island in the Marmara Sea.
These events, together with the unexpected ups and downs of life in a mixed, Anglo-Russian family, make captivating reading.
Mervyn Matthews taught Russian and Soviet affairs for many years at the University of Surrey, and is a prolific writer and broadcaster.
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