Edition: Paperback
ISBN: 9780571207909
No of pages: 432

Other Editions: Hardback

The Wagner Clan


Through two world wars, Nazi dictatorship and foreign occupation, the Wagner clan - Germany’s most famous family - has played host to many of the greatest and ghastliest figures in the arts and politics. Its members have clung to the helm of the prestigious Bayreuth festival and have regularly battled one another like warriors in the music dramas they stage. Their story - with its jealousy, greed, passion and intrigue - is as riveting as any opera.

Drawing on extensive research and interviews with the Wagners, Jonathan Carr has produced the first thorough and balanced history of this extraordinary clan and its circle. Beyond the human drama, though, this gripping portrait shows how the family’s history and that of Germany has intertwined, from well before the strenuous birth of Bismarck's Reich in 1871, through defeat, destruction and post-1945 economic rebirth, right up to the present day.

The author takes a fresh look at controversial matters such as Richard Wagner's anti-semitism and the family's role during the so-called ‘Third Reich’. He also underlines the decisive roles played in Bayreuth over decades by two British-born members of the clan, Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Winifred Wagner (née Williams), both of them fervent admirers of Adolf Hitler. Inspiring and appalling by turns, the Wagner saga amounts to a matchless mirror of Germany's rise, fall and resurrection over nearly two centuries.


Categorised as: Music, Stage & Screen
Sub-categories: Classical Music
Places: Germany
Genres & Themes: Nazi Germany; Celebrity; Families; Composers; Politics
Characters: Wagner

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