The nature of the relationship between Elgar, his wife and daughter has been the subject of some speculation – were Edward and Alice really the aloof parents they often appeared to be, placing the young Carice in a nearby boarding school so as not to interrupt Edward's compositional activities, and leaving her behind during their holidays in Europe? Did wife and daughter really compete for Edward’s affections, perhaps with Alice perceiving Carice as something of a rival, as has been claimed? The publication by Elgar Works of this, the first volume of previously unpublished correspondence, allows readers to form their own views of the relationship between Carice and her parents. We see the development of a deep bond between father and daughter, and follow the changing nature of that bond through Carice’s childhood in Malvern, her teenage years in Hereford, as a young woman in London, and as a married woman in the ’20s and ’30s. Through the Carice letters we also view the familiar scenes of Elgar’s life through more intimate eyes, and, in particular, see his life as a widower in a way previously unrevealed. And the detail of the correspondence presents in far greater clarity than elsewhere the nature of the man – the sense of fun, the quick wit and, above all, a shared passion with his daughter for puns, crosswords and other word plays as they dissect the previous day’s clues and assist each other in their solution. As well as the centre spread containing a selection of the relative small collection of surviving photographs of Carice, the book also contains reproductions of numerous humorous cartoons which Elgar drew in letters to his daughter.
Martin Bird, one of the General Editors of the Collected Correspondence edition, is an authority on the life of Elgar and the current editor of the Elgar Society Journal. His Elgarian researches have enabled him to compile a database of some 15,000 letters, reviews, newspaper articles and other items which has grown to some six million words and which forms the bedrock of the Collected Correspondence edition.
With a recommended retail price of £40.00, the volume can be obtained through all good book stores and specialist music shops, or directly from the publisher. For details, visit the How to Purchase page.
Series II Vol.1 ; xi + 493 pages ; 152mm x 232mm ; 8 plates containing 13 monochrome illustrations
cloth binding ; ISBN: 978-1-904856-54-2 ; Publication date: 20 October 2014