German composer (1813 - 1883), Wagner is best known for his operatic works including; "Gotterdammerung", "Tristan und Solde" and "Fliegende Hollander". His later work is thought to have made a profound impact upon modern classical music, most notably from "Tristan und Solde", he explored the limits of the traditional tonal system that gave keys and chords their identity, pointing the way to atonality in the 20th century. We have a short autograph letter signed, addressed to Norris J. Foster of Birmingham England. Wagner quotes the first and most famous lines from Hamlet's soliloquy, 'To be, or not to be'. From his youth, Wagner held Shakespeare in the highest regard. In fact, in a letter to his friend Mrs. Eliza Wille (dated September 9th 1864) Wagner reveals 'I remember a dream of my early youth, when I dreamt that Shakespeare was alive, and that I met him and spoke to him. Actually in the flesh; the impression this dream left on me was indelible'. The influence of Shakespeare on Wagner and his work is evident in his early opera 'Das Liebesverbot', based on Shakespeare's 'Measure for Measure'. A truly unique and wonderful item.