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Love and Freedom

Rosemary Kavan
Date Published
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Originally published in 1985, four years after its author’s untimely death, Love and Freedom is the unforgettable story of Rosemary Kavan, an Englishwoman whose marriage to a Czech led her to experience life in post-war Prague, from early optimistic years, through the nightmare of the Stalinist purges, up to the ‘Prague Spring’ and its aftermath. Her husband Pavel, a devoted communist, fell victim to the show-trials of the early 1950s and spent years in prison, dying soon after his release. Branded ‘a traitor’s wife’, Rosemary struggled to support herself and her two sons. In the mid-1960s she became involved in the student reform movement, but the Russian invasion of 1968 came as a further cataclysm.

‘An outstanding memoir.’ George Steiner

‘The story of a tragic disillusionment, political and personal, told with invincible humour.’ Graham Greene

‘The overwhelming impression left by this book is one of warmth, true comradeship, courage and hope.’ Timothy Garton Ash


Rosemary Kavan was born in Islington, London in 1923. Having graduated from a Teachers’ Training College she taught in a school in Leicester. Towards the end of the Second World War she married Pavel Kavan, then an officer in the Czechoslovak Army fighting alongside the Allies. Shortly after the end of the war she arrived in her new country in…

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