This is a difficult undertaking and Miss Burch has successfully carried out what she planned, -- a composite picture of a great man, with no actual evasion of the unsavory aspects of his life, and of his work. Wagner's boyhood, his erratic education and yet more erratic early career; the start of his musical ambitions and his strange training to that end; a lifetime of battle for recognition, for financial security, for emotional security. His marital turmoil -- and the solution of his emotional problems with Cosima, daughter of one friend, wife of another, and the almost incredible feat of sustaining relations with both of them. The episode with Ludwig of Bavaria, which ensured him the financial backing he needed, but introduced new complications into his life. And into this complex picture, the musical career is interlaced, with detailed accounts of the greatest of his operas brought in quite naturally, as he himself developed, experienced and observed them. Here, in one volume, is a biography of Wagner which most adults will find adequate for their needs, and which young music students will thoroughly enjoy. Not a psychological study, but a straight-forward biography.