Gustav Klimt gave Alma her first kiss. Gustav Mahler fell in love with her at first sight and proposed weeks later. Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius abandoned all reason to pursue her. Novelist Franz Werfel described her as â€œone of the very few magical women that exist.â€
But who was this woman who brought these eminent men to their knees?
In â€œEcstasyâ€, Mary Sharratt finally gives centre stage to this controversial and complex woman. Coming of age in the midst of a creative and cultural whirlwind, young, beautiful Alma Schindler yearns to make her mark as a composer as the brand-new era of possibilities for women is dawning. But Alma loses her heart to the great composer Gustav Mahler, nearly twenty years her senior. He demands that she give up her music as a condition for their marriage. How will she remain true to herself and her artistic passion? Part cautionary tale, part triumph of the feminist spirit, 'Ecstasy' reveals the true Alma Mahler: composer, author, daughter, sister, mother, wife, lover, and muse.
MARY SHARRATT, the author of six previous critically acclaimed novels, is writing strong women back into history. Her love of classical music and her explorations into the lives of female composers inspired â€œEcstasyâ€.