During his lifetime Aleksey Apukhtin (1840-93) was considered a foremost Russian poet and prominent figure in St. Petersburg society of the time. He was a lifelong friend of Tchaikovsky (they were both educated at the School of Jurisprudence in St. Petersburg). Their friendship was often strained in later life, possibly as a result of the fact that Apukhtin never went out of his way to conceal his homosexuality, whilst the composer tried strenuously to mask his own. Apukhtin turned to prose in the last years of his life, and the few works that he completed appeared for the first time posthumously. The present edition contains the first English translations of The Papers of Countess D*** and The Diary of Pavlik Dolsky, and a modern translation of Between Life and Death.
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