Study days

The Wagner experience – September 8th 2014 – report

8th September 2014, Friends’ Meeting House, Manchester

The leader of our Study Day, Paul Dawson-Bowling, is the author of an acclaimed book: ‘The Wagner Experience and its meaning for us‘.

A recent review by Roger Lee said:

The distillation of a lifetime’s work which has clearly been a labour of love, this book is organised as two beautifully illustrated volumes. The first deals with Wagner’s output as a whole and attempts (very successfully, in my view) to explain what the author terms “the miracle of the music”.

Those of us who struggle for coherence when asked what the secret is of Wagner’s hold over the imagination and the intellect will find such chapters as the boldly-titled “Towards a definition of Wagner’s fascination” to provide much assistance…

This is a book like no other on the subject, but the fact that it is written with the benefit of a lifetime’s experience as a medical practitioner alone brings an abundance of justification for such a claim. The biographical chapters in particular provide a doctor’s insight into Wagner’s psychological development and the influences upon his work which can be traced back to his earliest childhood and beyond.

When Paul Dawson-Bowling spoke to our Society on September 8th 2014, the audience was enthralled by his suggestions about the influence of Wagner’s troubled and lonely childhood, and of his curious genetic inheritance, on his life and music. Wagner’s sheer genius was another theme of the presentation. To obtain a copy of the book visit

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