The women behind great men are often rather disappointing. What, one asks oneself, did Eva Braun have that other girls haven’t got. The answer is all too often nothing at all. It is rare to find a consort who merits the attention of a biographer either because her contribution was significant, or because she was an interesting person in her own right.
Alma Mahler is an alluring prospect on both counts, since she meant a great deal to a whole bevy of creative artists, and that suggests there was more to her than a few home comforts. Born in 1879, the daughter of the landscape painter Jakob Emil Schindler, she spent her