Behind Every Great Man: The Forgotten Women Behind the World's Famous and Infamous

Behind Every Great Man: The Forgotten Women Behind the World's Famous and Infamous

Marlene Wagman-Geller

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 1492603058

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Who Said Men Get to Monopolize the Glory?
Discover the Little Known Women Who Have Put the World's Alpha Males on the Map.

From ancient times to the present, men have gotten most of the good ink. Yet standing just outside the spotlight are the extraordinary, and overlooked, wives and companions who are just as instrumental in shaping the destinies of their famous―and infamous―men.

This witty, illuminating book reveals the remarkable stories of forty captivating females, from Constance Lloyd (Mrs. Oscar Wilde) to Carolyn Adams (Mrs. Jerry Garcia), who have stood behind their legendary partners and helped to humanize them, often at the cost of their own careers, reputations, and happiness. Through fame and its attendant ills―alcoholism, infidelity, mental illness, divorce, and even attempted murder―these powerful women quietly propelled their men to the top and changed the course of history.

Meet the Untold Half of History, Including:
•Alma Reville (Mrs. Alfred Hitchcock)
•Elena Diakonova (Mrs. Salvador Dali)
•Winifred Madikizela (Mrs. Nelson Mandela)
•Ann Charteris (Mrs. Ian Fleming, a.k.a. Mrs. James Bond)
•Ruth Alpern (Mrs. Bernie Maddoff)
And 35 more!



















philosophy, residing in Cologne, and of Fraulein Johanna Bertha Julie Jenny von Westphalen.” Marx was overjoyed his hometown beauty had chosen him—­a fellow student had described him as “nearly the most unattractive man on whom the sun ever shone.” The bride well understood she was marrying not only a man but a cause and willingly pledged herself to both. The long-delayed nuptials took place in the Protestant church at Kreuznacher Pauluskirche (the Kreuznach Church of St. Paul) on June 19, 1843.

to Berlin and was interred in its Jewish cemetery. His death plunged his family into abject poverty and they relocated to an East London slum, where Rebecca, who hardly spoke English, found work cleaning public latrines. The Shiels boarded in a basement and subsisted on potato soup. In keeping with her Dickensian roots, when Lily was six, Rebecca placed her in the Jews Hospital and Orphan Asylum. By way of welcome, the staff cropped her thick, ash-blond hair, prevention against lice. Through the

his scrawled articles are among the happiest of my life.” She had an unfailing belief in her husband’s brilliance and believed the world would ultimately embrace this truth. The family lore was Marx was the modern Prometheus, engaged in an epic struggle against bourgeoisie gods. Jenny accepted her Job-­like torments with little complaint—­ flight across Europe, pregnant with toddlers in tow, abject poverty, BehindEveryGreatMan_INTs.indd 10 1/13/15 4:39 PM Behind Every Great Man ||    11

Hutchinson, wife of writer Clive Bell. “Aldous,” Maria wrote to Mary, “has just come into my bed & he smelt so strongly of you still that it made one giddy.” Laura returned to Los Angeles eager to share with Ginny her meeting with the author whose name carried the mystique of his eminent family: his grandfather Thomas Huxley was known as “Charles Darwin’s bulldog,” and his great-­ uncle Matthew Arnold was the famed poet of “Dover Beach.” Ginny had been instrumental in changing Laura’s career from

married the petite Laura for her fragile beauty and kingfisher mind. As he was wont to tell his wife, “You have the motor of a Thunderbird in the body of a Topolino.” (Literally “little mouse,” the name of the smallest car in Italy.) The Huxleys purchased an estate on Mulholland Drive, five hundred yards up the hill from the Pfeiffer home. Virginia had become one of California’s first single parents when she adopted the eighteen-­month-­old Paula and infant Juanito. Laura chose to remain

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