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The manuscript of Alma Mahler's Diaries, a pile of old exercise books, lay unread and seemingly illegible in the library of an American university. In search of the truth about Alma and Alexander Zemlinsky, Antony Beaumont read themand found what he was looking for. But he found far more: the authentic saga of one of the century's most charismatic personalities. The Diaries depict in intimate detail the four years during which Alma grew from adolescence into womanhood. Opening with her first, heady affair with Gustav Klimt, they break off shortly before her marriage to Gustav Mahler. To me, writes Beaumont, reading The Diaries is like raising a curtain, behind which stands the Vienna of 1900 in all its majesty, and so close that one can almost reach out and touch it. The vitality of everyday life, eye-witness accounts of significant artistic events, unique insights into the behavioral patterns and linguistic conventions of homo austriacusall these serve to make the book unique. Having come to grips with Alma's handwriting, Beaumont and his coeditor for the German edition, Susanne Rode-Breymann, added meticulously researched commentaries and annotations. The German edition was published in the autumn of 1997.