Literature Wilson, A.N. Winnie And Wolf

ISBN 13: 9780091796761

Winnie And Wolf

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9780091796761: Winnie And Wolf

Winnie and Wolf is the story of the extraordinary relationship between Winifred Wagner and Adolf Hitler that took place during the years 1923-40, as seen through the eyes of the secretary at the Wagner house in Bayreuth.

Winifred, an English girl, brought up in an orphanage in East Grinstead, married at the age of eighteen to the son of Germany's most controversial genius, is a passionate Germanophile, a Wagnerian dreamer, a Teutonic patriot.

In the debacle of the post-Versailles world, the Wagner family hope for the coming, not of a warrior, a fearless Siegfried, but of a Parsifal, a mystic idealist, a redeemer-figure. In 1923, they meet their Parsifal - a wild-eyed Viennese opera-fanatic in a trilby hat, a mac and a badly fitting suit. Hitler has already made a name for himself in some sections of German society through rabble-rousing and street corner speeches. It is Winifred, though, who believes she can really see his poetry. Almost at once they drop formalities and call one another 'Du' rather than 'Sie'. She is Winnie and he is Wolf.

Like Winnie, Hitler was an outsider. Like her, he was haunted by the impossibility of reconciling the pursuit of love and the pursuit of power; the ultimate inevitability, if you pursued power, of destruction. Both had known the humiliations of poverty. Both felt angry and excluded by society. Both found each other in an unusual kinship that expressed itself through a love of opera.

In A.N. Wilson's most bold and ambitious novel yet, the world of the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany is brilliantly recreated, and forms the backdrop to this incredible bond, which ultimately reveals the remarkable capacity of human beings to deceive themselves.

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Review:

"A subtle and captivating fiction" ( The Times)

"An extraordinary work whose achievements are almost Wagnerian in scale" ( Daily Mail)

"A bold, ambitious piece of fiction" (Terry Eagleton Guardian)

" Winnie and Wolf is a novel rich in philosophical reference - Nietzsche, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, thorny as you like - and ruminative pleasures" ( Evening Standard)

"This novel should carry a warning: its appeal will be greatest for fans either of Wagner and European history, or of politics and philosophy" ( Sunday Times)

Book Description:

'A hypnotic storyteller who leaves in his wake a trail of curiosity and unease' Anita Brookner

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