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Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966) was born in Odessa, Ukraine, at the time part of the Russian Empire. Her father was a Ukrainian cossack and her mother was part of the Russian nobility. After her former husband was executed for his alleged role in an anti-Bolshevik conspiracy, Akhmatova fell under the suspicion of the authorities and her poetry was disparaged for its apparent ‘bourgeois aesthetic’ and ‘trivial feminine preoccupations’. Despite this persecution, she chose not to emigrate and carried on writing poetry, eventually gaining recognition both in her homeland and abroad.