Stacy Schiff is the author of, among other books, Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), Cleopatra: A Life, and The Witches: ­Suspicion, Betrayal, and Hysteria in 1692 Salem.
 (October 2018)


Making Herself the Subject

Claire Tomalin, London, 1989

A Life of My Own

by Claire Tomalin
Asked in 2011 if there might be a memoir in her future, Claire Tomalin, the author of sterling biographies of Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen, Samuel Pepys, and Charles Dickens, among others, demurred. She had lived for too long through her subjects. She retained little sense of herself. “I know it …

Affable, He Convicted Salem Innocents

Samuel Sewall; portrait by Nathaniel Emmons, 1728

Crane Pond: A Novel of Salem

by Richard Francis
By the time Samuel Sewall made his way home to Boston from Cambridge, across the frozen Charles River on January 13, 1696, it was well after dark. He found his wife anxiously awaiting him just inside the front door. Their fifteen-year-old daughter Betty had seemed out of sorts all day; …

‘His Joy, His Life’

Véra and Vladimir Nabokov, Berlin, 1934; photograph by Nicolas Nabokov

Letters to Véra

by Vladimir Nabokov, edited and translated from the Russian by Olga Voronina and Brian Boyd

Nabokov in America: On the Road to Lolita

by Robert Roper
He could not write a word without hearing it in her pronunciation. He could not wait for her to read his pages. She understood his every comma. “All the happiness of the world, the riches, power and adventures, all the promises of religions, all the enchantment of nature and even human fame” could not equal, Nabokov swore in 1925, two of Véra’s letters.