Synopses & Reviews
Following the huge success of his Love Lives of the Great Composers (1995), Basil Howitt has written a second book of revelations even more lurid than the first. How about Debussy, who treated two of his women so badly that they took out their revolvers and fired on themselves? Or that naughty old man Elgar, who began a serious romance at age 74 with a separated Jewish violinist 40 years his junior? Or Percy Grainger, the peroxide blonde, heavily into S & M, whose pretty mother was so deranged by rumors of incest that she leapt 14 storeys to her death? Or Mahler, whose much younger wife, Alma, became so frustrated that she lived only for the times when her lover would be lying completely naked against her body? Or Saint-Saens, who seemed equally happy using female whores or indulging in orgies with Arab boys and fellaheen? Or Verdi, who in his 60s threatened to blow his brains out if his wife wrecked his affair with a young singer?