During his lifetime, the sounds of Handel's music reached from court to theatre, echoed in cathedrals and filled crowded taverns. But the man himself is a mystery. Though he took meticulous care of his musical manuscripts and provided for their preservation in his will, very little of an intimate nature survives. In search of the private man behind the public persona, Ellen T. Harris has tracked down the letters, diaries, financial accounts, court cases and other documents connected with the composer's closest friends. The result is a tightly woven tapestry of London life in the first half of the eighteenth century, one that weaves together vibrant descriptions of Handel's music with stories of loyalty, cunning and betrayal. With this new approach, Harris reveals an ambitious, shrewd, generous, brilliant and flawed man.