One more handsome volume in the ""Composer's World"" series (see above), with the same format, rather distanced style, excellent period illustrations, and musical excerpts. Haydn's longer, more orderly life--most of his work was originally done for his wealthy employers, the EsterhÃ¡zy family (their vast establishment rivaled Versailles), and he actually received a generous pension--makes a fine backdrop for the lives of his Viennese contemporaries; Thompson enlivens it with details like the youthful Haydn's irrepressibility (the Empress Maria Theresa once had him whipped for climbing on a scaffold after she'd warned him not to) and his later triumphs in England. Many of the interesting illustrations are credited only to ""Author's collection""; it would be nice to know more: Are they from old books? From Haydn's lifetime, or later? Glossary; list of works.