About Franz Hüffer

Franz Hüffer (Francis Hueffer), born in Münster, Germany in 1845, studied modern philology and music in London, Paris, Berlin, and Leipzig. He earned a Ph.D. in 1869 from the University of Göttingen for a critical edition of the works of the 12th-century trouadour Guillem de Cabestaing (which Blind cites here). The same year he moved to London in 1869 and became a writer on music; he soon made friends with the painter Ford Madox Brown and his family (he married Brown’s daughter Catherine in 1872). Blind first met him at one of Brown’s weekend salons, and they quickly became friends. Hüffer wrote a number of books on music, most notably Richard Wagner and the Music of the Future (1874; reprinted by Cambridge UP, 2009)). He also translated the correspondence of Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt into English, and wrote the libretti for several English operas, including Alexander Mackenzie’s Colomba and The Troubadour and Frederic Hymen Cowen’s Sleeping Beauty. He became music critic for the Times (London) in 1877, and in the same year editor of the New Quarterly Magazine (where Blind published her Mary Wollstonecraft essay). He would later become editor of The National Review, where Blind’s essay “The Tale of Tristram and Iseult” would appear. Huefer also twice reviewed Blind’s first volume of poetry, The Prophecy of St. Oran and Others Poemsfirst in the Pall Mall Gazette (22 August 1881), and then in the 26 October 1881 Times, where he was serving as head music critic (both were unsigned, but William Michael Rossetti revealed Hueffer’s authorship in a 17 September 1881 diary entry).