Daughter of the poet Théophile Gautier, Judith Gautier (1845–1917) grew up among Europe's literary avant-garde, quickly establishing her own career as a writer. An unapologetic admirer of Richard Wagner from an early age, she described her moment of revelation on playing through the overture to The Flying Dutchman as 'vertigo of the spirit'. Her enthusiasm led to several works on the composer, including a translation of his poem for Parsifal, during the composition of which an intense intimacy developed between them (gently, but firmly, defused by Cosima). Reissued here is the 1910 English translation by Effie Dunreith Massie of Gautier's highly charged account of her first two visits to Wagner and Cosima in Switzerland in 1869 and 1870. Gautier describes the idyllic atmosphere and offers the reader an effusive pen-portrait of Wagner's complex personality. The work also features facsimile pages of Wagner's letters to Gautier, showing part of the score for Parsifal.
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