A psychological study of the tragic ruler of Bavaria, strange lonely artist, lover of men, patron of the arts, who sought in Wagner the realization of all his dreams, and was betrayed by a man who loved first his music and his Cosima, and who used his power over Ludwig to consolidate the German states with Bismark in control. Joseph Kainz was another great German artist (an actor) who owed his fame to Ludwig II. In the need for seclusion, he built castle after castle, giving employment, demanding the impossible and getting it. Periods of madness punctuated periods of calm, of decision in state matters, but he never identified his interests with those of his people. Exceedingly well written, understanding, sympathetic, with enough anecdote to give it human interest.