Albert Speer, Hitler's architect, liked to say that if Hitler had had a friend, he would have been that friend. But Hitler did have a friend. She was Winifred Wagner, (1897-1980) the English girl, brought up in an orphanage in East Grinstead, and married to the middle-aged (and incidentally, homosexual) son of Germany's most controversial genius, Richard Wagner. In this novel A. N. Wilson will try to come to grips with the one area of life where Hitler seems like an imaginable human being, that is in his response to art, and above all to opera. Like his friend Winnie, he was an outsider. Like her, he was haunted by the great Wagnerian themes. Both had known the humiliations of poverty. Both felt angry and excluded from society. Both found in one another an extraordinary kinship.
A.N. Wilson was born in 1950 and educated at Rugby and New College, Oxford. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he has held a prominent position in the world of literature and journalism. He is an award-winning biographer and a celebrated novelist, winning prizes for much of his work. He lives in North London.