A Life in Five Movements and a Short Play
By Rita Dove
W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393070088, 231pp.
Publication Date: April 6, 2009
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The son of a white woman and an African Prince, George Polgreen Bridgetower (1780 1860) travels to Vienna to meet bad-boy genius Ludwig van Beethoven. The great composer's subsequent sonata is originally dedicated to the young mulatto, but George, exuberant with acclaim, offends Beethoven over a woman. From this crucial encounter evolves a grandiose yet melancholy poetic tale.