The Moscow News explores the lives of the women who devoted those same lives wholeheartedly to the greats of Russian literature:
Sometimes this dependence was even physical. Both Nadezhda Mandelstam and Vera Nabokov could be seen lugging heavy cases, while their husbands strolled around unencumbered.
But some women found this self-immolation too much to bear. Sophia Tolstoy was a spirited painter and writer; her husband took the name of his heroine in "War and Peace" from a youthful novella of hers, "Natasha." But in the midst of her husband's religious conversion, she began to regret her devotion.
"Everyone asks: ‘But why should a worthless woman like you need [...]
Tina Fey and I chose the exact same instant to arrive at the Paley Center for "Hey Dummies: An Evening With the 30 Rock Writers," but she had a much better ride and smoother hair. Lest she make eye contact and catch me in a The-Queen-and-Hilary-Mantel moment of naked, cannibalistic gawpery, I instinctively whipped around and started pretending to text as a small throng of kind, nervous young women in fingerless gloves pressed forward with their smartphones, saying Tina, Tina! as loudly as they dared, which was never as loud as the voice you would ideally use in a business meeting, were you to find yourself in one.
One of my sons told me recently that I had not taken enough interest in him before he was seven. My reply was that if I had known as much as I do now, I should not have had him at all.
There's a new biography of Lady Nancy Astor (Viscountess Astor?), which the excellent Emma Garman reviews for The Daily Beast. Nancy's wearing an incredible dress on the cover, if that swings you one way or the other.