The following quotations are from the life by Glasenapp and Ellis, and from the volumes of letters to Heckel, Wesedonck and Liszt. I regret exceedingly that the reproduction here of so large a number of excerpts is necessary. I have omitted many that seemed possible to be spared and not spoil the clinical picture. Only by the careful reading can one get a clear idea of Wagner's sufferings and symptoms, and be thus enabled to come to a sound diagnosis of the one malady that resulted in such various and lifelong symptoms.
Richard Wagner was born in 1813. His delicate constitution required peculiar care, for he was already troubled with that irritating form of erysipelas (erythema or eczema?) which recurred at intervals throughout life... Down to his sixth year he had no regular lessons; the mother wished to give him time to pick up strength, and would not have plagued