This newly released paperback edition of Michael Reynolds’ 2016 beautiful hardcover book will contain much that is news to fans – and who isn’t? – of Richard Strauss’ opera Der Rosenkavalier

We know about the famous love triangle between the aging Marschallin, her young lover Octavian, and the latter’s other love interest, Sophie. But what about the creative relationship between Richard Strauss, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and the writer, publisher and art collector Count Harry Kessler, who had been all but airbrushed from Der Rosenkavalier’s history until Reynolds’ book was published?

It’s also easy to find references to the origins of Hofmannsthal’s libretto in Louvet de Couvrai’s novel Les amours du chevalier de Faublas and Molière’s play Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. But what about the 1907 smash hit opérette L’Ingenu libertin by Claude Terrasse to a libretto by Louis Artus, which Kessler had seen and raved about to Hofmannsthal, certain that it could be adapted and taken to another level?

Reynolds – a translator and recognised writer...