Paul du Quenoy's acclaimed book reinterprets the works and ideas of Richard Wagner and their profound influence on the artistic, intellectual, and social life of modern France. Wagner's Romanticism influenced the French symbolists so greatly that they named their major journal La Revue Wagnerienne. His musical themes, dramatic structures and philosophical tropes recurred in the works of almost every major French composer before World war One. Massenet was so devoted that he earned the sobriquet "Madamoiselle Wagner". Proust employed Wagnerian concepts and allusions in his modernist fiction and publically defended Wagner's artistic achievements against the general assault on German kultur during the 1914-1918 war. Wagner remained important during the interwar years as well as the occupation 1940-1944 and after the Liberation. Du Quenoy interprets the phenomenon of France's infatuation with Wagner and discusses why Wagner's influence has been misunderstood and understudied. The author points to the effects of competition, war and political recrimination. In the face of such bitter struggle who would expect a German cultural icon to have played such an important and consistent role in French life? The author points to the strength and uniqueness of Wagner's creativity and his spiritual universalism as the answer.