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"This is George Frederick Handel. He looks very satisfied with things. He's smiling a little, as if he's very sure of himself. You'd have to be very sure of yourself to wear a wig that gigantic." So begins this witty, occasionally irreverent story of the life of one of the eighteenth century's greatest composers. From the determined young boy who smuggled a harpsichord up to his parents' attic to practice the forbidden instrument, to the young man in London who wooed the King and Queen of England with his grand Italian operas, Handel was someone who knew what he wanted. This beautifully written and informative book gives a fascinating insight into Handel's life story, documenting his rise to fame, his period of self-doubt and unpopularity, followed by the composition of one of the most rousing picces of music ever written - The Messiah.