Mozart's Wife

( 9 )

Overview

Jon Baxley, Editor of Amazing Authors Showcase says it all in his review.

"This author's fictionalized account of Constanze Webber--an extraordinary woman who just happened to marry an even more extraordinary man named Mozart--brings 18th Century Vienna and its people vividly alive. Constanze would have been a remarkable woman for any era, struggling with her own perspective on life while trying to cope and understand the icon composer with whom she chose to share her life. But ...

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Overview

Jon Baxley, Editor of Amazing Authors Showcase says it all in his review.

"This author's fictionalized account of Constanze Webber--an extraordinary woman who just happened to marry an even more extraordinary man named Mozart--brings 18th Century Vienna and its people vividly alive. Constanze would have been a remarkable woman for any era, struggling with her own perspective on life while trying to cope and understand the icon composer with whom she chose to share her life. But as an 18th Century woman, she is all the more remarkable.
This book is well written and thoroughly researched, that's obvious from the details in dialogue and events. I suspect little of this work is pure fiction, though, given the vast availability of historical information on Mozart and his contemporaries. However, the author melds background information with fictional material so seamlessly, it all seems real. Despite knowing a lot about the man already, I'm even more convinced now that Mozart was one of a kind in history and so was his wife Constanze.

To me, great writing is all about imagery, characterization and dialogue. MOZART'S WIFE has all of that and more. Plus, it's a real eye opener to Mozart himself as seen by his closest companion. If you like historical fiction with a wealth of factual detail, this book should be on your reading list."

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Editorial Reviews

Amazing Author Showcase - Jon Baxley
Jon Baxley, Editor of Amazing Authors Showcase says it all in his review. "This author's fictionalized account of Constanze Webber--an extraordinary woman who just happened to marry an even more extraordinary man named Mozart--brings 18th Century Vienna and its people vividly alive. Constanze would have been a remarkable woman for any era, struggling with her own perspective on life while trying to cope and understand the icon composer with whom she chose to share her life...
Live and the Artist - Historical Reviewer
Mozart's Wife by Juliet Waldron is a richly textured and painstakingly researched trip into the eighteenth century. Waldron's prose is clean, infinitely readable. She develops her characters brilliantly and without sentimentality. The overriding sense is that of *the real*: Stanzi Mozart is voluptuous, spirited, and wretched by turns....
reviewer - Tim Fleming
I bought this book for my music professor wife, and wound up reading it myself. It's, at once, light-hearted and historically momentous. I was beguiled to walk the streets of Vienna with Wolfi and Stanzi, and watch from the wings as Amadeus's genius washes over the audience.
Reviewer - Jennifer Amazon
This truly is a masterpiece of literature. The years of research and care that went into this fascinating story of genius, love, dysfunction, heartbreak, and redemption are apparent on every page. It's as if Stanzi, Mrs. Mozart, finally has a voice, her story told through the willing vessel of author Juliet Waldron. I highly recommend you read this
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781461109617
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Pages: 398
  • Sales rank: 1,081,275
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Not all who wander are lost.” Juliet Waldron earned a B. A. in English, but has worked at jobs ranging from artist’s model to brokerage. Twenty years ago, after raising her children, she dropped out of 9-5 and began to researching her way into The Past. Three of the resulting thirteen historical novels are now published. Mozart’s Wife won the 1st Independent e-Book Award. Genesee won the 2003 Epic Award for Best Historical. She enjoys putting what she has learned about people, places, and relationships into her stories.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

AT SIXTEEN, MY big sister Aloysia looked like the painted goddesses who reclined voluptuously above our heads on the ceiling of the opera house. Like them, she was blonde, rosy, round breasted, and narrow waisted. Although she didn't fall in love with Mozart, as both he and my parents so ardently wished, I did.

It happened because Papa staunchly maintained that no matter how tight things were, we could, "Always spare a little beer and some of Jo's fine liver dumplings." He was forever bringing home traveling musicians from the court, absolutely certain that one of these fellows would be useful. Mama never believed his hospitality would yield anything to our advantage, but this peccadillo was the only one my father owned.

Some of our guests were famous, most were not. All, however, had exciting stories to tell about the great courts they'd seen and famous performers they'd heard. Besides, once they set eyes on Aloysia, they were glad to spend an evening giving impromptu lessons.

The most notable wanderer Papa brought home was Wolfgang Mozart. He had stopped at the Mannheim court on his way to Paris. After composing a piece for one of our noblemen, Herr Mozart had required a copyist.

He was, naturally, directed to my Papa, whose desperation was such that he took on every kind of odd job. Of course, Papa knew of him; this miracle of nature who'd been entertaining kings since his sixth year.

After the copying job was done, Papa took the pay he'd just been given and invited the famous Herr Mozart to The Ox. After downing a stein of our justly famous beer, they would harmonize on a familiar tune—the treachery ofthe nobility. It quickly became apparent that our families had much in common.

The story of Papa's fall, without the questionable details with which Mama liked to embellish it, was central. Years ago, as a bailiff for Baron Schonau, Papa had provided handsomely for his growing family.

His master, finding him compliant (what poor man with four daughters to dower is not?) involved him in a crooked business deal. When the deal went bad, Schonau had the perfect scapegoat. In the end, we had to flee the baron's lands in the middle of the night to escape arrest.

On horseback, Papa decoyed the pursuing politzei away, while Mama and the rest of us were driven across the border of the electorate in a farm wagon. Under the hay was hidden our klavier and a wardrobe; the latter stuffed with a random collection of whatever had come first to hand.

Mozart listened to this story of betrayal and ruin with great sympathy. He hated his master, Archbishop Colloredo, as thoroughly as Papa hated Baron Schonau. Mozart explained that his father, an educated man and an able musician, was constantly humiliated and bullied by the archbishop. In fact, Wolfgang was in Mannheim because he had resigned his commission and was traveling through the world looking for another.

Archbishop Colloredo was Mozart's devil and Baron Schonau was Papa's. They called for more beer and pondered the great question of the day: whether a talented, hardworking man could make his way in a world dominated by aristocratic privilege.

"Would you share my table some evening, Herr Mozart?" asked Papa. "Nothing special, of course. Only what a poor, unlucky German can offer. But my oldest girl cooks like an angel and my beautiful Aloysia, just sixteen, Herr Mozart, sings like one."

Papa had sized up his companion well. Such an invitation, a combination of earthly and musical pleasure, proved absolutely irresistible.

For days before the visit, Papa primed us. Herr Mozart was young, but he had already been commissioned to write operas for the most important Italian cities.

To honor his guest, Papa found copies of two arias from Lucio Silla, an opera Mozart had written five or six years earlier, and set Aloysia to practice them. Unfortunately for us, they were both bravura arias, written for a prima donna who loved to display not only the power of her voice, but a three-octave range. Aloysia was so diligent that our ears rang, and the neighbors kept coming around to complain.

On the day which was to prove so fateful for me, Josepha was excused from cooking and I from sewing; such was our division of labor. Fat Josepha cooked, beautiful Aloysia sang, and I, curly-headed, chubby Konstanze, sewed. Sophie, the baby, belonged to Mother, and waited only upon her.

In those days, I imagined my task the most rewarding. For what happened to the fruit of my sisters' long labor? The cook's delicious dinner disappeared into someone's gullet and the singer's aria vanished into thin air. On the other hand, a nicely embroidered petticoat or shirt gives pleasure again and again.

I've always had an impulse to practicality. As the third daughter, my life was full of hand-me-downs. How else to get clothes that fit?

"Herr Mozart mustn't see you doing servant's work," said Mama.

"Oh, Mama," I fretted."Why do we always have to pretend we're better off than we are?" That day I had been sewing a badly needed petticoat for myself.

"Why don't you do embroidery, darling? That always looks genteel."

Copyright © 2004 Juliet V. Waldron.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2008

    Romance Truly Tested by Marriage

    Many a romance novel ends with marriage. The courtship, the chase, the first declarations of love ¿ these things provide the backbone of the novel, and in the end there is marriage and, presumably, a happy ever-after. In Juliet Waldron¿s historical novel Mozart¿s Wife, however, the courtship and marriage of Konstanze Weber and Wolfgang Mozart is only the beginning. The true story begins with the wedded life that follows, when romance and love are truly tested. Konstanze begins the novel as a self-conscious young maiden, overlooked in favor of her more talented sisters. She falls in love with Mozart and can hardly believe that the astonishing young composer has chosen her for his one true soulmate. But marriage to the musical genius turns out to be a tumultuous existence for Konstanze, who quickly must mature into a wife, a mother, and household accountant. Konstanze, who grew up in a musical family, is not unappreciative of Mozart¿s genius, but reality dictates that music be treated as a business, rather than an art. While Wolfgang Mozart follows his muse, creating the music he loves¿whether there is a market for it or not¿Konstanze tries to prevent them from falling into poverty. Mozart is flighty, unpredictable, and easily swayed by his friends. Konstanze has to wrest control of the household accounts from him just to keep their family from ruin. Like many women of her day, she finds herself constantly pregnant every childbirth is a life-endangering horror, and the precious infants are easily carried off by disease. Grief for her children and scandalous rumors of her husband¿s infidelity test the limits of her love, but Mozart¿s emotional bond with his wife proves strong enough to last beyond his death¿surprising even Konstanze. Juliet Waldron has created a believable, multi-faceted portrait of a wife loved but betrayed, adoring and yet resentful, capricious and sometimes spiteful. Mozart¿s Wife is a memorable historical novel about a woman who has been long overlooked and often maligned by historians, but without whose intervention Mozart¿s music might have been lost to the world forever.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2010

    A must-read!

    This truly is a masterpiece of literature. The years of research and care that went into this fascinating story of genius, love, dysfunction, heartbreak, and redemption are apparent on every page. It's as if Stanzi, Mrs. Mozart, finally has a voice, her story told through the willing vessel of author Juliet Waldron. I highly recommend you read this book and then tell all your friends about this hidden gem. "Mozart's Wife" deserves to be on the NY Times Bestseller List.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2006

    A really satisfying read.

    In 'Mozart's Wife' Juliet Waldron makes the bimbo of the film 'Amadeus' into a completely convincing, engaging character in her own right, much more than just the wife of a famous man. The narrative voice makes the shift from teenage girl, to harried wife and mother, to mature woman, without ever losing the reader's sympathy or letting the impeccable research intrude into the personal story. Waldron not only presents an entirely credible picture of a place and a time, and of a relationship, but gives Konstanze Mozart her due as the person most responsible for 'marketing' Mozart's music after his death and making sure he became the genius the world knows and appreciates today. The story covers Konstanze's life past her marriage to Mozart, into her old age. Before reading this book I knew almost nothing of Mozart's life and family -- nothing, in fact, except his music -- so 'Mozart's Wife' offers painless learning along with a thoroughly good and satisfying read. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a solid, well researched historical novel based on fact, and a moving look into a woman's difficult life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    The story starts where so many stories of love end, and that is

    The story starts where so many stories of love end, and that is at the just-got-married, live-happily-ever-after point. This is a story of the marriage and how love endures through many difficulties. Mozart is not easy to live with. Konstanze can be a nag. There is betrayal. There is the music. There is love. It's a wonderful story about amazing people and a real

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2005

    Wonderful!

    I just finished listening to the audiobook, 'Mozart's Wife.' This book is so vivid --- you feel like you KNOW Constanze and Wolfgang! The reader (I apologize, I've forgotten her name) is great! I would highly recommend --- particularly the audio version!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2012

    Wonderful read

    Mozart's Germany came to life for me. The details in the book, from the domestic arrangements to the masquerade balls, are colorful background for the story. Costanze Mozart's life is written in her own words, detailing the joys and sorrows of marriage, motherhood, and sensuous femininity. This would make an excellent discussion book for women interested in issues of marriage and fidelity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    This bpok This book was wonderful

    Could not put it down

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2001

    Gorgeous, Haunting Prose

    I was blown away by this novel because it truly is excellent. Waldron's prose is gorgeous all the way through, capturing the reader because of its reality and passion and lyrical quality in a way that enhances the scope of the story, based on history. To travel along throughout Constanze's life as she deals with the difficulty of being married to a genius like Mozart is a real treat. I've always felt history should be compelling and fascinating, and it can be. Waldron just proved it with this excellent book. It's easy to see why it won the Independent E-Book Awards when it was first an e-book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2001

    An Absolute Must Have

    An overlooked gem of a novel that brings to life the story of Konstanze Mozart, wife of the talented, eccentric, irresponsible, and promiscuous genius Wolfgang Amadeus. Waldron clearly poured years of research and passion into her novel, for her 18th-century world springs vividly to life, and each character--from Konstanze to the lowliest servant--is intricately and thoughtfully drawn. Proving that 'historical fiction' should not automatically be equated with a dry, heavy read, MOZART¿S WIFE successfully combines romance, history, music, and even erotica and leads the reader on a memorable journey through the life of a long-ago superstar. A must have.

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