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Wagner is one of the most controversial of composers, and much that has been written about him--including his autobiography--is misleading. Barry Millington draws on the best previous scholarship and his own original research to set the record straight. The first part of this book is devoted to biography; the second, to a detailed study of the operas. Millington offers a historical review of the critical interpretation of each opera, including a discussion of recent methods of formal analysis. In this revised edition, two chapters, those on Tannhauser and Die Meistersinger, include significant new material. The bibliography has also been updated.