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The most controversial musical figure of the 19th century, Wagner was a great literary, philosophical, and political activist whose contribution to the development of German Romanticism was unrivalled by any of his contemporaries. His life and works may be said to crown the musical achievements of German Romanticism but they arouse passions like no other composer's. His works are hated as much as they are worshipped, but no one denies their greatness. This biography of Richard Wagner is one in a new series of composer biographies, derived and adapted from the second edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. These newly written biographies bring the best of the book-length pieces in The New Grove to a wider audience. Each title provides fresh new insights into the life and works of a major composer, derived from the most recent scholarship. In addition to a detailed and informative view of the subject's life and works, written by an expert in the field, each book includes comprehensive, tabular work-lists and a fully revised and updated bibliography.