It was during the turbulent decade of the First World War that the intensely gifted and beautiful Harriet Cohen established herself as a pianist. Enjoying huge success in her professional life, she was the first person outside the Soviet Union to play the music of the modern Soviet composers and was a huge success in America and throughout Europe. Her beauty and talent made her one of the most talked-about and photographed musicians of her day. Yet it was in her private life that the story of this extraordinarily talented young woman becomes one of the greatest love stories of all time. Her passionate love affair with the composer Sir Alfred Bax spanned more than thirty years. Their infatuation was played out against the backdrop of the First World War, and was peppered with betrayal, lust and tragedy. Their letters, published here for the first time, are among the most explicit of any written during that time and are staggering in their passion and poetry. Brilliant author Helen Fry tells for the first time the remarkable story of this forgotten woman. Music and Men tells of Harriet Cohen's friendships - and relationships - with leading figures from every walk of life, from George Bernard Shaw to D H Lawrence and H G Wells, Sir Edward Elgar, Albert Einstein, Arnold Bennett, Vaughan Williams, Ramsey MacDonald and Eleanor Roosevelt. Offering an insight into the politics, arts and culture of the day, this incredible new biography tells the poignant story of a beautiful, possessive, flirtatious and determined musician.
Music and Men
The History Press