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The Wagner Clan

Jonathan Carr

Family drama and political controversy collide with musical legacy in this first thorough and balanced history of Germany’s most famous family.

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For over a century the Wagners have presided over the Bayreuth Festival, playing host to many of the greatest and ghastliest figures in the arts and politics amidst family in-fighting and political controversy. Drawing on extensive interviews with members of the family and on both archive and recent material, Jonathan Carr presents a balanced but gripping portrait of the Wagners and their circle; a story which presents a mirror of Germany’s rise, fall and resurrection.

Critic Reviews

Carr's intelligent reassessment of the Wagners is not just an account of the histrionics of the backstabbing, plotting and lies that became a way of life for the family ... wall balanced and fair minded.'

Lancashire Evening Post
Critic Reviews

'[A] nuanced, wise, swift and stylish biography.'

Critic Reviews

'Everything you ever wanted to know about the history of the Wagner family ... we are provided with an account of German social history alongside detailed descriptions of the Wagner clan.'

Critic Reviews

A fascinating and compelling read.

Belfast Evening Telegraph
Critic Reviews

So rich if the drama of the Wagners ... that one is grateful for Jonathan Carr's bite-sized approach. Each of his 14 chapters seethe with incident. Numerous myths are unpicked and Thomas Mann's claim that there was ''much Hitler in Wagner'' is carefully weighed.

Daily Telegraph

For more than three decades Jonathan Carr (1942-2008) served as a foreign correspondent, initially in Geneva, Paris and Brussels, later as bureau chief of the Financial Times and the Economist in Germany. A regular visitor to the Bayreuth festival, his interest grew steadily in the saga of the Wagner family – above all as a mirror of German (and in…

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