A Very Dangerous Woman : The Lives,. Loves and Lies of Russia’s Most Seductive Spy
Deborah McDonald, Jeremy Dronfield

A Very Dangerous Woman : The Lives,. Loves and Lies of Russia’s Most Seductive Spy

Baroness Moura Budberg, born in the Ukraine in 1892 was a charismatic schemer who commanded centre stage during her long eventful life. Adventuress, lover to famous men including H G Wells, Maxim Gorky and Robert Bruce Lockhart, British Agent in Russia during the Revolution, she was an inveterate gossip who rarely told the truth and reinvented herself with almost every sentence. Additionally she was under surveillance by MI5 as a possible spy for over thirty years yet they never managed to find her guilty. It seems though with the available evidence that unlike her friend Guy Burgess with whom she socialised, she was too good to be caught. Indeed with the death of Stalin and the exposure of some of his atrocities, she was asked and somewhat disillusioned with the USSR, accepted the invitation to spy for Britain. She was unable to escape the need for the adrenaline rush she apparently obtained from her daring exploits. This book explores the life of this intriguing woman using material not previously available.

Book Details:

  • Author: Deborah McDonald, , Jeremy Dronfield
  • Published Year: 2015
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: OneWorld
    • Russia: Centrepolygraph
    • China: Beijing Zywx Publishing House Co.,

Deborah McDonald,

Deborah McDonald was born in South London but did not stay there for long as her parents dragged her, at a young age, to live in Australia. Her father was a journalist and the writing bug must have been passed down to his daughter as she always had a pen in her hand and a yearning to learn.However, in order to earn a crust, she went to work in Social Housing, which she quickly realised provided only a very small crust but was nonetheless rewarding. At the same time she began to study with the Open University. This was carried on despite moves to Reading, Beaconsfield and Exeter during w...
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Jeremy Dronfield

Jeremy Dronfield is a versatile, multi-faceted writer with four novels to his name. He came to writing via a circuitous route. His first serious stopover in life was as an archaeologist. After a few years in rescue excavation, he did his doctoral research at Cambridge University, on the subject of art and religion in prehistoric Ireland. His thesis was published as a series of papers in international journals including Antiquity and Current Anthropology. While trying to get an academic career in archaeology off the ground, he began dabbling in writing fiction – a pursuit he’d ...
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Book Reviews

  • "a fast-paced story of European intrigue."
    Publishers Weekly
  • "Intriguing."
    Kirkus
  • "Brave and multi-faceted, a mosaic monument to a mistress of deceit."
    Russia Beyond the Headlines
  • "In this richly romantic biography they also create an artistic, novelistic effect in the telling of her story as, perhaps, she might have liked it to be written. It would certainly have amused her as much as it will entertain the reader."
    The Herald
  • "A rollicking good read ."
    Country Life
  • "...a well-researched and well-ordered biography ."
    Spectator
  • "...this richly romantic biography... they also create an artistic, novelistic effect in the telling of her story as, perhaps, she might have liked it to be written. It would certainly have amused her as much as it will entertain the reader."
    Herald
  • "A thrilling new biography.. The authors manage to describe Budberg’s complex motives, promiscuous subterfuge and possible betrayals without forfeiting the readers’ sympathy…. This biography is appropriately brave and multi-faceted, a mosaic monument to a mistress of deceit."
    Russia Beyond the Headlines
  • "The lives, loves and lies of Russia’s most seductive spy come under scrutiny in this spiced-up biography."
    The Guardian
  • "McDonald and Dronfield convincingly capture Moura's perilous sensuality."
    Wall Street Journal
  • "In “A Dangerous Woman,” Ms. McDonald and Mr. Dronfield convincingly capture Moura’s perilous sensuality."
    Wall Street Journal
  • "This often riveting biography "
    Independent
  • "Drawing on extensive new material, including a released file kept by MI5 from 1920-1951, this is an absorbing biography of Russia’s most seductive spy. "
    Daily Mail
  • "An astoundingly unbelievable life well retold in this gripping new biography. Well-written too. The book’s account of the Lockhart Affair is particularly fascinating, recreating the paranoid, anti-Western world that was Soviet Russia in the late 19-teens and early 1920s."
    Russian Life magazine
  • " The authors draw on diaries, correspondence, and newly released files to create a powerful study that attracts sympathy toward their subject. ...This book is in good company with recent works about espionage such as Ben Macintyre’s A Spy Among Friends and Karen Abbott’s Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy. VERDICT Recommended for fans of espionage and strong-willed women as well as biography connoisseurs"
    Library Journal
  • "a fast-paced story of European intrigue, featuring an enigmatic, strong-willed woman who married twice and whose lovers included Alexander Kerensky, Maxim Gorky, and H.G. Wells. "
    Publishers Weekly
  • "A Very Dangerous Woman pulls together all the chimerical threads of Moura’s life into a well-written and carefully annotated biography that often reads like a romantic thriller – with photos of all the key real-life characters. I’d recommend it to anyone, especially those interested in the Russian Revolution, its soiled aftermath, or the elusive Moura.  "
    Historical Novels Review
  • "For anyone intrigued by the mysterious underside of twentieh century history, it will be a valuable read."
    The Wellsian
  • "  In their well-written biography, based on recently released MI5 records, family letters and unpublished memoirs, they present a convincing portrait of a talented survivor…A Very Dangerous Woman reads like a Russian novel, centered on a life whose truth is stranger than fiction. "
    Intelligencer