Christian Jank, 1833–88, Eduard Riedel, 1813–85, and Georg von Dollmann, 1830–95

Hohenschwangau, Bavaria, Germany; 1869–86

To be more interested in architecture and opera than in running a country is not necessarily evidence of insanity; but when the enthusiast is a king, and there is no other way to remove him from the throne than establishing that he is mad, it can be portrayed in that way.

Ludwig II of Bavaria was crowned at 18, remained politically naïve, and allowed himself to be too much in the thrall of the composer Richard Wagner. He funded the building of Wagner’s theatre at Bayreuth in northern Bavaria before embarking ...

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