The criteria for choosing the subjects were that the men had to be easily recognised and the wives had to be largely unknown.
And so, chapter by chapter, the curtains are drawn back on the spouses of government leaders (Nelson Mandela, Adolph Hitler), writers (Steig Larsson, C.S. Lewis), musicians (Sting, Jerry Garcia), scientists (Einstein, Stephen Hawking) and plenty more. In the author’s words, these are women who “have stood behind their legendary partners and helped to humanise them, often at the cost of their own careers, reputations and happiness.”
Through this titular cliche, each woman’s contribution to history is concisely and amusingly documented, as we read their stories of how they stood by their men - whether through alcoholism, racism, infidelities or even as they became important collaborators in their spouse’s work.
A peek behind the curtain that asks some questions – like how much did Mrs Madoff know of her husband Bernie's business doings or why did Eva Braun stay with Hitler? Here are some answers from voices thus far silenced.
A thoroughly enjoyable read. And also available as an ebook.
Note to author: Hopefully, there will soon be a contemporary version titled Behind every great woman...!
Title: Behind every great man: the forgotten women behind the world's famous and infamous
Author: Marlene Wagman-Geller
Suneeta N particularly enjoys biographies, travel stories and reading authors from around the world. She loves a good discussion and believes that everybody has a story worth telling.