The Young Cosima
In this book (published in 1939), the Australian-born novelist Henry Handel Richardson returns to her lifelong interest in the psychological and artistic growth of the modern woman. As in her first novel, Maurice Guest, the context is the world of music. Cosima, the younger daughter of Franz Liszt, was one of the most remarkable women of her time. Here, in her last novel, Richardson chooses the turbulent, crucial period (1855-68) from Cosima's engagement and marriage to the neurotic musical genius Hans von B?low until her painful, inevitable abandonment of him in order to live with Richard Wagner. The author spares nothing of the irony that von B?low served and idolised his friend Wagner, his hero in 'the Cause' of the 'New Music'.
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