The Son of the Enlightenment
1779-1785. Autocrat Empress Maria Theresa is succeeded by Joseph II, liberal and tolerant up to a point. Thamos, count of Thebes, keeper of ancient secrets, believes that in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart he has found the Great Magician. As mentor to this dedicated young musician, he intends to take him through the stages of Freemasonry to be recognised at last as the saviour of humanity.
This novel brought me initially to the point of despair. There were so many people with very long names that it was hopeless trying to remember who everyone was. The only way to proceed was to stop trying, and eventually the major characters impinged, although characterisation was mainly sketchy. My next feeling was resentment: who did they all think they were, with the certainty of their right to make such demands on Mozart, the world’s wonder? This applies to family, friends and enemies. One instance: even as the young genius wrestles with the technique of counterpoint perfected by JS Bach, he patiently deals with often whingeing demands while his own reasonable requests are refused.
Towards the end, it must be admitted that Mozart is not being pressed or persuaded towards initiation into the complexities of Freemasonry. He desires it with all the strength of his ardent nature. Thus I look forward to reading the next instalment in this series.