Inessa Armand was a beautiful, vivacious revolutionary and mother of four, who acquired a place in the almost exclusively male history of the Russian Revolution due to her fervent political beliefs and her passionate relationship with Lenin. Married at 19, she bore her husband three children before taking her brother-in-law as her lover and having his child. From 1910-16 she and Lenin were lovers, from which time until her death in 1920 she continued to play an important role in his life, even becoming close to his wife, Nadya Krupskaya. Inessa became a leading member in Lenin's circle in Paris in 1910, a kind of lieutenant whom he used as a multi-lingual trouble-shooter and hard-punching 'front' when he wanted to stay in the background. In 1917, back in Russia, she joined the Duma in Moscow as a Bolshevik, as well as being actively involved in the city Soviet. She was also a furious feminist campaigner since she saw the revolution as being sexually chauvinist. Her political leanings were very far left and on occasion she opposed Lenin himself, as he had tempered his views for practical political reasons.
Michael Pearson began his career as a distinguished journalist both here and in the USA. Since the 1970s he has been a bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction, most notably The Sealed Train, the story of the diplomatic mission to return Lenin to Russia. He has homes in the New Forest and West London.