At this book's core is a critical edition of letters exchanged over 50 years between Anglo-Irish composer Elizabeth Maconchy (1907-1994) and the Welsh composer Grace Williams (1906-1977). These two innovative and talented women are highly regarded for their music, their professional activities, and their roles in British musical life. The edition comprises around 353 letters from 1927 to 1977, none of which have been published before, along with scholarly introductions and contextualisation. Interwoven commentaries, in tandem with carefully constructed appendices, frame the letter texts. Moreover, the commentaries and introductory essays highlight and track the development of important themes and issues that characterise the study of twentieth-century British music today. This edition presents a dialogue, through both sides of a unique correspondence, offering an alternative commentary on musical and cultural developments of this period.
Table of Contents
Introduction Sophie Fuller Afterthoughts Jenny Doctor Part I: Letters 1–49 (1927–Summer 1939) I.1. Letters 1–9 (1927–August 1931) I.2. Letters 10–23 (February 1932–March 1933) I.3. Letters 24–34 (June 1933–March 1934) I.4. Letters 35–41 (November 1934–March 1936) I.5. Letters 42–49 (June 1937–Summer 1939) Part II: Letters 50–93 (October 1939–April 1949) II.1. Letters 50–64 (October 1939–June 1942) II.2. Letters 65–81 (January 1943–December 1944) II.3. Letters 82–85 (May 1945–January 1947) II.4. Letters 86–90 (October 1947–June 1948) II.5. Letters 91–93 (February 1949–April 1949) Part III: Letters 94–146 (November 1949–December 1959) III.1. Letters 94–104 (November 1949–July 1950) III.2. Letters 105–113 (December 1950–November 1952) III.3. Letters 114–122 (March 1953–March 1955) III.4. Letters 123–136 (February 1956–August 1958) III.5. Letters 137–146 (January 1959–December 1959) Part IV: Letters 147–187 (August 1960–December 1965) IV.1. Letters 147–151 (August 1960–May 1961) IV.2. Letters 152–162 (December 1961–February 1963) IV.3. Letters 163–173 (July 1963–April 1964) IV.4. Letters 174–179 (July 1964–January 1965) IV.5. Letters 180–187 (March 1965–December 1965), Grace Williams: Works, Elizabeth Maconchy: Works
Jenny Doctor is a musicologist intrigued by social aspects of British culture in the twentieth century. After being awarded a Fulbright Grant to the UK in 1989–90, when she was affiliated with the Music Department at King’s College London, she later was affiliated with St Hilda’s College, Oxford, where she archived and catalogued the music manuscripts of Elizabeth Maconchy, which are held in the College Library. She has researched and written on British music and composers of the twentieth century, in particular Benjamin Britten, Elizabeth Maconchy, Grace Williams, Vaughan Williams, and Edward Elgar, often investigating their relationships with the BBC and other sound technologies of their day. Her investigations led to The BBC and Ultra-Modern Music, 1922–36: Shaping a Nation’s Tastes (Cambridge University Press, 1999). With Sir Nicholas Kenyon and David Wright, she co-edited The Proms: A New History (Thames & Hudson, 2007), contributing an essay on the interwar period. More recently, she co-edited with Björn Heile and Peter Elsdon Watching Jazz: Encounters with Jazz on Screen (Oxford University Press, 2013), contributing an essay on jazz on early BBC television. She is currently the Head of the Albino Gorno Memorial Library and Associate Professor of Musicology at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati.
Sophie Fuller studied music at King’s College London and works at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She is the author of The Pandora Guide to Women Composers: Britain and the United States, 1629–Present (1994). Her research interests and writings explore many different aspects of music, gender, and sexuality but focus in particular on musical life in late nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain. Her work in this area includes essays on the significance of the private musical world in the life and career of Edward Elgar and on women musicians and professionalism in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Together with Phyllis Weliver, she has established the digital resource ‘Sounding Victorian’ (www.soundingvictorian.org).