Adam Zamoyski's biography of the brief but eventful life of the great Romantic composer Frederic Chopin, from Polish child prodigy to Paris dandy, his turbulent relationship with George Sand and his early death, penniless in Paris.
Chopin's prodigious talent as a pianist is recognised early on. But despite being lauded as the great nationalist hope in his native Poland, where his polonaises and mazurkas are inspired by the harmonies of Polish folk songs, the teenage Chopin soon becomes stifled by the provincialism of Warsaw. At 19, he leaves Poland for the temptations of bohemian Paris, never to live in his homeland again.
Abridged by Doreen Estall.