For 150 years Robert Schumann has been celebrated for his powerful, highly emotional music, while his marriage to the brilliant pianist Clara Wieck is one of the great musical love stories of all time. Schumann is also remembered as a man of many contradictions, his career undermined by a losing struggle with mental illness. Bringing a novelist's flair to this rich account of Schumann's life, Judith Chernaik explores his bookish childhood, chronicles his troubled relations with fellow composers Mendelssohn and Chopin, and investigates his early death through the full medical diary—long withheld—from the asylum where he spent his final years.
"Fast-paced and informative…. Chernaik vividly brings to life German composer Robert Schumann. Using his personal diaries, letters, and other key archival sources, Chernaik puts his life in a new light while providing an overview of Romanticism in 19th-century Europe."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)