Orlando Figes’ magnificent new book The Europeans is a richly enthralling, panoramic cultural history of nineteenth century Europe, told through the intertwined lives and loves of three people: Pauline Viardot, a great singer, her husband the connoisseur Louis Viardot and Ivan Turgenev. Their strange love triangle and their wider circle were part of events central to European high culture at the time and through their salons and lives we see the emergence of a new cosmopolitan age.
Philippe Sands, whose wonderful book East West Street continues to be one of our favourites, joins Orlando in conversation.
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