Thayer's Life of Beethoven Revised and Edited by Elliot Forbes is a 1141-page softcover published by Princeton University Press, first published in 1921, this copy is the revised third printing from Princeton University Press of 1973. The cover has some creases to the bottom edge and shelf wear. Inside, the book is complete, sound and clean.
Alexander Wheelock Thayer's Life of Beethoven has long been regarded as the classic biography of Beethoven. Thayer's approach to biography was to present in chronological order the factual evidence concerning Beethoven, the man and his work, and to eliminate the analysis and aesthetic evaluation of the music. To gather the material necessary for such an undertaking, he went to Europe; there, he spent most of his life seeking out those persons still alive who had known Beethoven and studying the sources that were available. His biography succeeded in clearing away the romantic fiction that was then, in the 1870's, current and gave for the first time a full account of the composers life which was based on reliable, historical method.
Thayer's work was originally published in German, and it was not until 1921 that H.E. Krehbiel's English edition of the biography appeared. Since that time, Beethoven research revealed new facts which necessitated a revision of the biography. The present editor, Elliot Forbes, Professor of Music at Harvard University has incorporated these corrections and revisions in the spirit of Thayer's original approach and has presented them as he believes Thayer would have done had he had the advantage of knowing, through the discovery of new letters, sketchbooks, and documents, what is now known about Beethoven's life.