Posts Tagged ‘Balzac’

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Prominent Men and Older Women

December 1, 2009

Prominent Men and Older Women:

Cougaring with the Great and Famous

These brilliant men went for older women – and who would dare call them tadpoles?

Honore’ de Balzac was self-aware enough to understand that he preferred older women because he had never known a mother’s love. At age 23, the author embarked on his first affair (which lasted 15 years) with 45-year-old Laure de Berny (so they were together until she was 60).

Raymond Chandler – the love of his life, Cissy Pascal, was 18 years older

Salvadore Dali and Gala (Elena Ivanovna Diakonova), 10 or 11 years older. She ditched Paul Eluard, the surrealist poet, for him.

Benjamin Disraeli, who served as prime minister of England, married Anne Lewis, who was 12 years his senior, and they lasted 33 years until her death..

When he was 14, Gustave Flaubert, was swept off his feet by Elisa Schl├ęsinger, 12 years older. Some of the characters in his novels were partly based on her.

Clark Gable married Josephine Dillon, 17 years older. His second wife was also older, and he once said, “I’ll take the older woman every time.” Well, maybe not every time. He did lead a long life of seduction.

Kahlil Gibran had a history of befriending older women who could be useful to him.

Goethe
had a ten-year relationship which was “probably platonic” with a married woman, Charlotte von Stein, who was 7 years older. He wrote her at least 1500 letters.

Maxim Gorki
was madly in love with a woman 10 years older, Olga Kaminskaya, whom he married.

Ernest Hemingway as a young man preferred older women. His first wife, Hadley Richardson, was 8 years older.

Henrik Ibsen as a young man had affair with woman ten years older. They had a son when the playwright was only 18.

Samuel Johnson married a woman 20 years older than himself

John Lennon upset a whole lot of people by marrying Yoko Ono, 7 years older, though it wasn’t the age difference that cause the problem.

Sean Lennon, who was 22 at the time, was reported in 1998 to have a 37-year-old girlfriend.

During the war, C. S. Lewis and another soldier made a pact. If only one of them survived, he would take care of the other’s living parent. The other soldier was killed, and Lewis lived with his friend’s mother for more than 30 years. Nobody knows whether they were lovers, but some people are pretty sure of it.

H. P. Lovecraft‘s parents both died in the same insane asylum. He married Sonia Greene, who was 7 years older, but it only lasted a couple of years. She reported that he was an “adequately excellent lover.”

Friedrich Nietzsche claimed in his memoirs (which are not reliable according to historians) that at 15 he was seduced by a 30-year-old countess who was into S&M.

Rainer Maria Rilke had an affair with Lou Andreas-Salome’ who was 13 years older, and they may have had a child.

When Robert Louis Stevenson met Fanny Vandegrift, he published an essay in a popular magazine called “On falling in love.” She was 10 years older, and they eventually married.

Paul Theroux
says even women of 60 can be “intensely sexual.” In 2003 he published a splendid piece called “And here’s to you, Mrs Robinson.” He admits to a longtime fondness for older women, even the “somewhat domineering” kind.

John Travolta
married Diana Hyland, who was 18 years older. She died pretty soon afterward, so we don’t know how that might have worked out.

Thomas Wolfe on his 25th birthday began an affair with 44-year-old Aline Bernstein, who was married to someone else at the time. And Wolfe’s mother was anti-Semitic. And he was a compulsive womanizer. Still, the affair lasted 6 years. It is said that on his deathbed, Wolfe whispered, “Where’s Aline? I want Aline. I want my Jew.”

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