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Hitler the gentle opera lover

The relationship between Wagner's operas and Nazism, though fascinating, has been analysed to death by novelists and historians. A new fictionalised treatment sheds little fresh light on the topic

By Vernon Bogdanor   October 2007

Winnie and Wolf, by AN Wilson Hutchinson, £17.99

Faction, the writing of fiction about real historical figures, is a difficult art, particularly when the main characters are figures from recent history. Twenty years ago, AN Wilson published a novel, The Gentlemen in England, in which two of the characters were thinly disguised portraits of Alastair Forbes and Peter Quennell. To criticisms that his characterisations were not true to life, Wilson replied that he was writing a work of fiction, not biography. Evelyn Waugh used fiction to get his own back on CRMF Cruttwell, his much disliked Oxford history tutor, who…

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