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Monday, Jan. 12, 2009

Winnie and Wolf (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by A.N. Wilson

Book Review

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Hitler's illegitimate daughter? Although it sounds like an old tabloid headline, it's the topic of a perceptive novel by one of Britain's great living authors, A.N. Wilson. Written in the form of a disgruntled memoir penned in the bleak years of East Germany, it concerns the relationship between Winifred Wagner, daughter-in-law of the great composer, and that composer's most infamous fan. Ultimately the much-rumored fascination between Adolf and Winifred is less interesting than Wilson's profound understanding for the power of Wagner's music and the cultural and social unease that gave rise to Nazism.