Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas
From the moment Alice B Toklas first encountered Gertrude Stein in 1907 to the day Stein died in 1946, these two women were inseparable. They met on Toklas's first day in Paris. Very quickly, Toklas became everything to Stein: her cook, secretary, editor, muse, critic; and, most of all, her confidante and lover. Her devotion freed Stein to write, to collect paintings, to entertain friends (including Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald), and to thrive at the heart of the Parisian modernist scene. In Cecil Beaton's pictures of the pair, Toklas is always behind Stein, carrying her bags; while Stein met great literary and artistic figures, Toklas would talk politely with their wives. However, Stein rewarded her love, calling her own acclaimed memoirs The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas and attempting to narrate her own stories in Toklas's voice. The book was widely regarded as her finest. After a contented 39 years together, Toklas wilted after Stein's death, and, despite publishing her famed cookbook (with is recipe for "hashish fudge"), retreated into anonymity. They are buried together, with Toklas's name inscribed on the back of their grave, as she had instructed; even in death, she stood aside so her lover could shine.