A droll biography reveals the high notes--and the low notes--in the life of the world's foremost composer of Baroque music. This is not your usual picture book biography. Nor was George Frideric Handel your everyday eighteenth-century composer. This witty and yet rigorously researched and accessible biography captures Handel's essential spirit--from a child who smuggled a clavichord into the attic to play music against his father's orders to a young man who imported forty-five pounds of mountain snow to chill wine for a gala--as well as his remarkable, enduring musical triumphs. But M. T. Anderson also shows Handel's struggles and chronicles the illness, ill fortune, and despair that led to his greatest achievement, the Messiah. With impeccable detail and a wink at the reader, Kevin Hawkes illustrates the singular story of Handel and the music through which he lives on.