Lou Andreas-Salomé has long captured the imagination and curiosity of those who knew of this amazing woman. Loved by Nietzsche, mistress of Rilke, possibly the cause of Paul Rée's suicide, loved by Victor Tausk, possibly the cause of his suicide and self-mutilation, a friend, student, and disciple of Sigmund Freud, allowed to enter Freud's circle of close confidantes, a friend of Anna Freud, a practicing lay analyst, living 40 years in an unconsummated marriage—one can only wonder what incredible charms this woman possessed. Peters, in a thoroughly enjoyable biography, attempts to answer this question.
Although the book is a delight to read, one leaves it with one's curiosity unabated. Perhaps this is for two reasons: First, Peters' interest in the men in her life leads to more understanding of them and their behavior than of hers; and, second, because the crucial inner workings of this intellectual siren are and