The Swan King is the biography of one of the most enigmatic figures of the 19th century, described by Verlaine as 'the only true king of his century'. A man of wildly eccentric temperament and touched by a rare, imaginative genius, Ludwig II of Bavaria is remembered both for his patronage of Richard Wagner and for the fabulous palaces which he created as part of a dream-world to escape the responsibilities of state. In realization of his fantasies, he created a ferment of creativity among artists and craftsmen, while his neglect of Bavaria's political interests made powerful enemies among those critical of his self-indulgence and excesses. At the age of 40, declared insane in a plot to depose him, Ludwig died in mysterious circumstances.
Christopher McIntosh was born in England in 1943 and grew up in Edinburgh. He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University and German at London University. Later, he returned to Oxford to take a doctorate in History. As a writer, he has specialized in the history of ideas, central European history and the Western esoteric tradition. In addition The Swan King, he has written two books on the Rosicrucians, a biography of the French occultist Elphias Levi and his most recent work, Gardens of the Gods, is to be published by I.B.Tauris in 2003.