Pondero Newbury – A Tale of Two Moscows: 1896 and 2023

Susana will talk about her recent trip to Moscow, where her sister-in-law is the British ambassador. She will describe the challenges of travelling to a country at war, the naivety of being an unwitting pawn in tit-for-tat politics, and the very real fear when her son was forcibly separated from her at the border with Estonia.

Journeys to and from Moscow have long been the subject of Russian literature. An obsession with the capital is also at the heart of Susana’s latest novel, Tolstoy’s Beard. Like Chekov heroines, Tolstoy’s family dreams of relocating to Moscow from the country. But the move does not bring harmony and Tatiana observes the warzone of her parents’ marriage while on the threshold of a new life and love of her own. When Tolstoy introduces the famous , if radical Ukrainian Ilya Repin to teach Tatiana painting, she is forced to reassess everything she holds dear.

It is said that ‘a journey changes you, that you take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.’


Susana Cory-Wright was born in Canada and came to Britain as a child. She has a PhD in English and her thesis was the inspiration for the biography Maud Beerbohm Tree, Lady of the Stage published by Legenda in 2018. She is the author of The Catalan House, The London Wife, the trilogy (written during lockdown) Corona Confidential, Can a Leopard? and One Flame Hour. Tolstoy’s Beard is her sixth novel. Susana has three children and lives in Hampshire with her husband and youngest son. More details can be found on Susana’s website


Pondero talks are run in collaboration with The Really Helpful Club.


Jan 25 2023


10:30 am - 12:00 pm




The Honesty Cookery School
The Honesty Cookery School
The Barn at North Sydmonton House, North Sydmonton, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 4UL
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