Sir Galahad, alias Bertha Eckstein-Diener, was a famous Austrian author writing in the first half of the twentieth century. Her most important books include the novel The Conic Sections of God (Die Kegelschnitte Gottes ), which contains much autobiographical material, and Mothers and Amazons (Mütter und Amazone ), a cultural history of women focusing on matriarchies. Bertha Eckstein-Diener had an unusual life: the daughter of a well-to-do factory owner, she grew up in Vienna, married polymath Friedrich Eckstein against her father's will, divorced her husband after several years of marriage, survived a tragic love affair and travelled constantly. She was proud both of her slim figure and of her sporting achievements. As a young woman, she was one of Vienna's best figure skaters, an excellent horse rider and a mountaineer. She gave up skating for skiing, which became her main pastime in winter. She also learned ski jumping. The little information that is available about her skiing activities clearly demonstrates that this sport played a key role in her life. Besides perfectly keeping up with her self-image as a competent woman, skiing provided her with the opportunity of escaping normal life and experiencing freedom and adventure.
International Journal of the History of Sport, 2013, Vol 30, Issue 6, p. 617-633