Chopin's funeral, bisecting the 19th century, stands as a turning point, with both his life and music playing out at the crossroads. His decline and death, following a series of catastrophes and on the brink of a new style, were final chapters in an often tragic life, but also reflected larger historical forces. This biography views his death as one foretold as the sum of other tragedies: the end of a world that fostered his particular genius; the wounds of exile; and most fatally, the loss of love. An intimate close- up of the composer's last years, it is also the story of the artist as hero. At the close of his life, with no home or money, his physical powers failing, Chopin grappled with nothing less than a new musical form.