Judith Gautier’s memoir, Wagner at Home, offers a charming and revealing perspective on life at Triebschen. Gautier, the daughter of influential French dramatist and journalist Theophile, was invited by Wagner to visit after publishing several complimentary articles on his work. Upon her arrival she was greeted enthusiastically by Wagner and introduced to “Frau von Bulow, […]
The Devotion of Isolde Wagner (“née von Bulow”)
An article appearing in the current issue of Wagner Journal addresses a subject about which I had been completely uninformed. The lead sentence: Richard Wagner’s eldest daughter, Isolde, had the idea of celebrating his 67th birthday on 22 May 1880 by wrapping the pots of gift rosebushes with paintings representing each year of his life. […]
“Hee for God onely, shee for God in him”
One of the several Wagnerian whimsies that I have collected on my bookshelf is a 1931 translation by Hannah Waller of a 1912 book by Julius Kapp originally titled Richard Wagner Und Die Frauen: Eine Erotische Biographie (tempered in the American translation to The Women in Wagner’s Life). It’s one of those confident admixtures of myth, devotion, scholarship and popular literature...
Considering that Francesca Gaetana Cosima Liszt Bülow Wagner was the person most responsible for framing the role of Wagner in 20th Century German cultural and political life, it is remarkable that Cosima Wagner: The Lady of Bayreuth, by Oliver Hilmes, is the first serious academic study of her life. On that ground alone the volume […]