The daughter of an illustrious Russian general, Lou von Salome left her home in the heart of Tsarist Russia to conquer intellectual Europe at the tender age of 18. Eventually settling in Germany, she became a best-selling novelist, a groundbreaking essayist, and a well-known literary critic. In addition to all this, Salome was a real-life muse for some of the most brilliant men of her time. As close to the mythological Greek goddesses as any mortal could ever come, she stimulated some of the world's greatest thoughts on philosophy, religion, and psychology and inspired countless volumes of love poetry and prose.Divided into three sections, this biography tells the story of Salome's entire life and career. Part One focuses on her young adulthood, spanning from her birth to her celibate marriage with linguistics scholar Carl Friedrich Andreas. Part Two examines her rumored affairs with Friedrich Nietzsche, Rainier Maria Rilke, and several others authors and poets, evaluating how those relationships affected her own writings and influenced the works of her many admirers. Part Three focuses almost exclusively on her relationship with Sigmund Freud, which was marked most notably by their contrasting views of psychoanalysis and their opposing interpretations of the Narcissus myth. Still, Salome never strayed too far from Freud's approving graces, and he frequently welcomed her insights as intellectual stimuli rather than as criticism.