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Mozart’s Wife Audiobook, by Juliet Waldron Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Juliet Waldron Narrator: C. M. Hébert Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2009 ISBN: 9781483064956
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (274 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Giddy sugarplum? Calculating shrew? Mozart's biographers show disdain for his Konstanze, and she aroused strong feelings among her contemporaries. Her in-laws loathed her; his friends, more than forty years after his death, remained eager to gossip about her “failures” as wife to the world’s first superstar. Maturing from child, to wife, to hardheaded widow, Konstanze paid her husband’s debts, provided for their children, and relentlessly marketed and mythologized her brilliant husband. Mozart’s letters attest to his affection for Konstanze as well as to their powerful sexual bond. Yet the question remains: Why did she never mark his grave?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[C. M. Hébert’s] narration bridges this novel, which crosses historical fiction and romance…[Hébert] presents distinct and nuanced characters who avoid playing to the soap opera quality of the events in Mozart's life.”


  • “[A] fascinating work of historical fiction, an entertaining and sometimes erotic look at a remarkable woman who earned the lifelong love of one of history’s most remarkable men.” 


  • “Juliet Waldron brings Konstanze and her wayward genius of a spouse to vivid life. She avoids the pitfall of the biographical novelist by refusing to make either of them the villain, and her insights into character are extraordinary.”

    Liz Burton, The Blue Iris Journal

  • “Absorbing and well-written. Konstanze is the narrator here, and her voice is a refreshing one: informal, earthy without becoming coarse, candid, unself-pitying, and wry.”

    Susan Higgenbotham, author of The Stolen Crown

  • “There are no devils here. There are no angels either. There are only real, flesh and blood people. If you want an entertaining trip to discover Mozart, the man behind the music, your journey ends here.”

    Lloyd Lofthouse, author of My Splendid Concubine

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle | 2/14/2014

    " I knew nothing more than the basics about Mozart when I starting reading this book. It was very well written, and very much full of information on his life. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it. The only thing I wish was different is that the author would separate out the fact from fiction at the end. I love when historical fiction authors add that in because it really helps to figure out exactly what was embellished. I did look him up on Wikipedia (after I read the book because I didn't want any parts to be ruined before I read them) and felt the author really followed all that was written about him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracy | 2/13/2014

    " I really enjoyed this--my husband and I just watched "Amadeus" (his first time seeing it, while I've watched it 20-30 times) before Christmas. I was pleased to see this side of the story. It was very well developed, and I really found myself not only sympathizing with Konstanze, but with "Wolfi" a bit, too (as I did watching the movie). I felt like this book did a great job of sharing information about Wolfgang, as, naturally, most readers would be interested in things about him--but it also showed Stanzi's various sides, as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alayna-Renee | 2/10/2014

    " I downloaded "Mozart's Wife", because it was a work of historical fiction (which I enjoy), and because in my years of singing, my operatic repertoire has become particularly Mozart-heavy. Mozart loved his coloraturas, and wasn't afraid to write very difficult pieces for them. Of course, I know a great deal about the less-than-admirable life of the child prodigy who, like so many child prodigies, did not end his life with the same promise with which it began. However, I know less about his wife Constanze (Konstanze, or Stanzi in this book). She's always depicted as petite, slightly plump, voluptuous, and bursting with energy that attracted many admirers. Since Mozart has a reputation as a philanderer, an alcoholic, a gambler, and a person of many other vices, it's widely portrayed in books and popular culture that his wife was of the same temperament. One would assume, especially after watching "Amadeus", that they were a pair of liberal party-hoppers with high aspirations but little sense of practicality. This book shows a different side to Konstanze, a woman who struggled to deal with a neurotic, unfaithful, and chronically irresponsible husband whose flaws were to be forgiven because of her genius. She also struggled of living in the shadow of two gifted sisters, one an extraordinary beauty Mozart wanted to marry but instead helped her to launch a career as a prima donna. In the character portrayed, you don't see a flighty and sensual woman, but one who might have been content with a less glamorous and more stable life. Upon Mozart's death, she found herself to be 28, in severe debt, prematurely aging, and willing to bury her husband in a pauper's grave and lock up all relics of his life. You see someone who is not mourning the loss of love, but carrying the burden of anger at how many lives the man she loved destroyed. I do not know how much of the story is fictional, and how much is based on papers left behind by Mozart himself (which Konstanze later edited and published in order to build a sense of financial security), but the speculation that Mozart had illegitimate children and died by poison at the hands of a fellow Masoner who found his wife seduced by the musician is certainly a possibility, and an entertaining one at that. Regardless of Konstanze's feelings toward her late husband, if she had simply thrown his stacks of compositions and correspondence into the fire, history would have been denied much. An artist who struggled to earn a living for his family during his lifetime has been turned into one of the greatest legends of all time, and I suspect most of that is owed to the sheer practicality of his widow. I've always adored Mozart's "Requiem", and the dramatization of his death surrounding the composition of it in "Amadeus"made it that much more heart-rending for me. At one point, Waldron writes a scene in which Mozart acknowledges the requiem he is writing is for himself, and cries during attempts to create the "Lachrymosa". (the last part of the "Requiem" most scholars agree Mozart completed completely on his own.) This scene shook me, because it is perhaps the most musically powerful piece ever composed by someone who spent so much of his gift creating entertaining stories and bawdy farces. It is at the very end of his life, you see and hear the true genius that was perhaps never entirely discovered. I had to look through 20 "free" Kindle books to find something as well-written, well-researched, and engaging as this novel. Fans of Phillipa Gregory, Juliet Grey, Antonia Fraser, and Alison Weir will all enjoy this work. In fact, I just downloaded "My Mozart", in order to read the story from the perspective of one of the book's relatively minor (yet important) characters. If there isn't one in existence yet, I'd love to read a book based on the story of Elise, the redheaded chambermaid. :) All in all, one of the best indie authors I've run across in some time. This review was featured on my blog today, so that says something. :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 2/5/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. Amadeus is one of my favorite movies and I saw this come up as a free book on Amazon, so I picked it up. In the movie, Kostanza is made out to be a whining, unsupportive wife. This book really gives you a feel for what their household might have been like. There's lots of background on the music and what was happening in their lives as it was written. For any music-lover, this is a worthwhile read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul | 1/29/2014

    " A well-written novel about composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told from the perspective of his long-suffering wife, Stanzi. Juliet Waldron captures the grime and pain of life late in the 18th century and bits of splendor from aristocratic ways. Most of it concentrates on Mozart as an undeniable genius who simply cannot control his need to be the life of every party. His sexual needs and drinking appear to be on par with fellow aristocrats, but his spendthrift ways reduce Stanzi to living on the edge of ruin. Eventually she feels obliged to get vengeance. The novel proposes that Mozart is murdered by a lover's jealous husband. The story continues as renewed interest in Mozart's work earns her a comfortable fortune and much honor in society. She regrets that her sons lack musical genius. The war on women in Central Europe in the 18th century is graphically pictured, and Stanzi and few other characters stand out for their nobility. There is no sugar-coating. This makes Mozart's Wife well worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 1/24/2014

    " It was pretty interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 1/23/2014

    " A light read, very enjoyable. Perpetuates the character of Mozart from Amadeus and doesn't focus on the wonder of his music. by contrast the character of Konstanze is wonderful and you get a feeing of what wome wet through in terms of childbirth and loss of infants and how strong they could be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 1/15/2014

    " Great story...well written, would definitely recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lorene | 1/12/2014

    " It's a good contrast to the movie Amadeus. I wonder which part of which is the truth! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/10/2014

    " I really have no idea how I came to find this book. It may have been on the Kindle deal page. I love how the actual story of Mozart and his wife is weaved into this novel---it is really quite fascinating and definitely worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meghan | 1/10/2014

    " Reading this book reminds of something that I heard somewhere. "No matter how beautiful she or he is, someone somewhere is sick of their shit." Living with Wolfgang would have tried the patience of a saint. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Summer | 12/25/2013

    " This book was okay, really long. Not much happens until about 1/3 of the way through the book. and things don't pick up until around 3/4 of the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheryl | 12/15/2013

    " More romance than historical fiction. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Audrey | 12/1/2013

    " I thought this was an autobiography at first and was horrified!!! Then I got to looking and it was just this woman IMAGINING what it could have been like. Filth! Don't bother, Save your time, your money, your eyes and your brain cells! There are FAR better books to read in this world!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carmen | 11/26/2013

    " Wonderful read. Highly recoomend "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 2/4/2013

    " I liked the view point being told from the wife. Honestly, this book took forever for me to read. Maybe because I already knew the story. I'm not sure. It just seemed to drag a little. It was very interesting though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindy | 1/15/2013

    " gave up reading it part way through. See earlier comments. Probably fine read for other folks who aren't hung up on historical accuracy but just want a glimpse into Mozart's possible lifestyle. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 William | 7/7/2012

    " The book focused too much on the sexual exploits of Mozart and his wife. In fact, that was the core theme of the book. The genius of Mozart and his music was never made that evident until after his death. About half-way through, I found myself wanting to finish the book and move on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Casey | 5/28/2012

    " Wow I really enjoyed this book. I realize that the conversations were fictional but the events were real. This really is a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katriena | 4/21/2012

    " An interesting and involving historical novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andie | 3/16/2012

    " After seeing a play about Amadeus, I was very interested to read a book about his wife. I didn't know much about Mozart's past or his family and this book was very well-written, interesting and I couldn't wait to read more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 7/26/2011

    " Very interesting book. Very glad I didn't live back in those times; never would have made it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kellie | 5/17/2011

    " Such a tragic end, I cried my eyes out! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 3/27/2011

    " Enjoyed listening to this. Had just finished listening to The Paris Wife and those very talented men had very hard working women behind them, paying the bills and doing without a lot. A very interesting look at a musical genius b "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emhenson | 3/5/2011

    " I A good historical romance. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/8/2011

    " a guilty pleasure - historical fiction with costumes! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katriena | 6/4/2009

    " An interesting and involving historical novel. "

About the Author

Juliet Waldron nourished a fascination with the past from earliest childhood, perhaps from growing up in a haunted 1790’s house. Mozart’s Wife won the independent Ebook award for best fiction.

About the Narrator

C. M. Hébert is an Earphones Award winner and Audie Award nominee. She is the recording studio director for the Talking Books Program at the Library of Congress’ National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with her husband, daughter, cat, and assorted fish.