Houston Stewart Chamberlain attended his first Wagner opera at the age of 23. Though disappointed, he was undeterred, and soon became completely immersed Wagner s work, going on to become the intellectual leader of the Bayreuth Circle, centred on the composer's widow; Wagner s biographer; and, in 1909, Wagner s son-in-law. Published in 1892, The Wagnerian Drama was Chamberlain's first book. The work builds on his previous essays commenting on individual Wagner operas Notes sur Lohengrin (1882), his first published essay; Notes sur Parsifal (1886); Notes sur Tristan (1887); and Die Sprache in Tristan und Isolde und ihr Verhältnis zur Musik (1888) and is a commentary on the whole of Wagner's dramatic work, focusing on its heroic Germanic elements, and intended to inspire a deeper appreciation for the great master. The Wagnerian Drama was self-financed, and went unnoticed upon initial publication, selling only five copies altogether, which were bought by the author himself. Nevertheless, it would eventually go through six German editions during Chamberlain's lifetime and would see translations into French, Catalan, English, Spanish, and Italian.
1923 edition of Chamberlain's first book. This edition published by The Bodley Head. No DJ. Covers in VG condition, minor shelfwear to spine and rear cover. Interior VG, slight yellowing of pages. Pages uncut, some mottling to side and rear of page block.