Elgar portrait -
from a painting belonging to Arthur Reynolds

SIR EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934)
A Short Bibliography

A number of full length biographies of Elgar have been published. The following are the main and more readily accessible biographies. Those marked with an asterisk (*) can be purchased from the Elgar Birthplace Museum Shop.

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Robert ANDERSON : Elgar in Manuscript (British Library, 1990). A comprehensive and fascinating review of the material, including an Appendix giving its whereabouts.

* Robert ANDERSON : Elgar in the 'Master Musicians' series (Dent, 1993). The third and latest 'Master Musicians' Elgar (after Reed (1939) and Parrott (1971)). Very thorough account of his life and works, making use of most recent discoveries, etc.

E Wulstan ATKINS : The Elgar-Atkins Friendship (David & Charles, 1984). A full and very interesting account, mainly through their letters, of the friendship between Elgar and Ivor Atkins, who was Organist at Worcester Cathedral from 1897 to 1950.

Michael KENNEDY : Portrait of Elgar (3rd edn, OUP, 1987).
An outstanding book which truly justifies its title. Very readable.

* Michael KENNEDY : The Life of Elgar (CUP, 2004).
A further outstanding book which concentrates on Elgar the person.

* Raymond MONK (ed) : Elgar Studies (Scolar, 1990; reissued by Ashgate). A symposium of articles on Elgar by Ian Parrott, Michael Pope, Percy Young, Michael Kennedy and Diana McVeagh (among others). For those who want to travel deeper into Elgar.

Raymond MONK (ed) : Edward Elgar : Music and Literature (Scolar, 1993; resissued by Ashgate). A second symposium, every bit as interesting as the first, and containing as its centrepiece a 140-page examination, by Professor Brian Trowell, of the literary sources used by Elgar in connection with his works.

* Jerrold Northrop MOORE : Edward Elgar : a Creative Life (OUP, 1984). The major oevre of the foremost Elgar scholar; nearly 900 pages. Reissued in 2000. Essential reading.

Jerrold Northrop MOORE : Elgar and his Publishers : Letters of a Creative Life (2 vols, OUP, 1987). Correspondence between Elgar and his publishers, especially Novello. The full extant correspondence with Jaeger is all here.

Jerrold Northrop MOORE : Edward Elgar : The Windflower Letters (Clarendon, 1989). Elgar's correspondence with Alice Stuart-Wortley (mostly his, as hers seems to have been largely destroyed), a close friend and artistic inspiration of the composer.

Jerrold Northrop MOORE : Edward Elgar : Letters of a Lifetime (Clarendon, 1990). A compilation of letters covering his whole life and interests. Updates Percy Young's Letters of Edward Elgar of 1956. Fascinating, essential reading.

* Simon MUNDY : Elgar : His Life and Times (Omnibus, 2nd. Edition 2001). A popular but well-written account by a musical journalist. An excellent introduction for those who know nothing about Elgar, and it won't hurt the pocket too much!

Mrs Richard POWELL : Edward Elgar : Memories of a Variation (4th edn, Scolar, 1994, reissued by Ashgate). Mrs Powell was Dora Penny (the ' Dorabella' of the Enigma Variations), and a close friend of the Elgars. As the title suggests, a personal account, written several years after the events described. A few errors have been corrected by Dr Moore in a helpful Appendix.


In addition :

The Elgar Society Journal, published three times a year and distributed free of charge to Elgar Society members, contains original articles covering all aspects of Elgar's life and works, as well as letters, book, record and concert reviews, notes and jottings and a diary of Elgar concerts.

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