Elgar portrait -
from a painting belonging to Arthur Reynolds

an Elgar Timeline
- - -
Events of 100 Years Ago



Governor Vardaman declares in Jackson, Mississippi that education is the curse of the Negro race and that he is more criminal as a free man than as a slave.

Fire destroys the city of Alesund, Norway, leaving 12,000 people destitute.

Colonel Lynch, jailed in London for life for treason after leading the Irish Brigade against the British in South Africa, is released on license.

In Florida, W.K. Vanderbilt shatters the land speed record for a mile,
driving it in 39 secs.

Lord Esher's report, advising on what changes to be made to
the British army, is released.

1 Alice writes in her diary: "at Villa San Giovanni Alassio Italy. Fine day after all the bad weather"
2 Another walk after lunch: "Saw cart collision on bridge - much excitement."
3 Rosa Burley writes: "On the first Sunday in the New Year I attended service at the English Church where the lessons were read by a strikingly handsome clergyman. That afternoon Edward, Alice and I were sitting on the balcony at the villa, when this same clergyman passed by. Edward was impressed by his leonine head and commented on his superiority to the general run of Italian priests."
4 Elgar starts In the South.
5 A day of entertaining and walks.
6 "E. A. & C. & Miss B. to Moglio after lunch." The word 'Moglio' amuses Elgar. W H Reed writes: "I learnt from Carice that he kept repeating this ridiculous name until at last he actually put it into his music."
7 Elgar writes to Frank Schuster: "I have had to write to Higgins etc. & say that the symphony is impossible - I have partly promised a concert overture for the [Leeds] festival "In the South" or some better title if you can suggest one."
8 Alice writes: "The Dean [of Westminster] came in the A.M. & had long talk to E. in his study."
9 "To Andora by train after lunch - Walked ... up to San Giovanni Battista, - a shepherd there was watching his flock." The outing is incorporated into the music: "The shepherd with his flock and his home-made music: the massive bridge and road still useful, and to a reflective mind awe-inspiring: the music developed to paint the relentless and domineering onward force of the ancient day and give a sound-picture of the strife and wars ( “the drums and tramplings”) of a later time: streams, flowers, hills; the distant snow mountains in one direction and the blue Mediterranean in the other. In a flash it all came to me - the conflict of the armies on that very spot long ago, where now I stood - the contrast of the ruin and the shepherd - and then, all of a sudden, I came back to reality. In that time I had composed the overture - the rest was merely writing it down."
10 Walks and church ...
11 "E. writing his Overture. The Dean of Westminster came to lunch. Delightful time."
12 "After lunch to Albenga by train, thence walked to Villanova - Wonderful place. Saw the Padre who sat in a wine shop with us."
13 Elgar writes to Percy Pitt about an organ for the Covent Garden Festival: "There is nothing absolutely churchy required, so a general useful 'filling in' instrument wd. do - see? if big enough a 16ft on the manual might be good for the heavy Chorus work. Two manuals if you can but I expect the whole inst. will have to be a 'fake'!"
14 Alice writes: "Rather stormy looking but went to Andorra at 1.50 & walked back, most lovely."
15 Rosa Burley writes: " I had to return to England for the beginning of the spring term but the Elgars intended to stay for at least another month."
16 Sir William Carrington writes: "I am directed by the Prince of Wales to invite you to dinner at Marlborough House on Feb. 3. at 7.30. to meet The King and afterwards to the Smoking concert of the Royal Amateur Orchestral Society - Star without Ribbon & small decorations for those who have them."
17 Alice writes to Martina Hyde: "I am so glad to hear such good news of the WPS & am writing to say may my Subn. wait till we return, when I will not, all being well, forget it. It is really a trial getting P.O. here, the P. Office is a most remarkable institution & always closes from 12 to 3, & sometimes till 4 or 5! We have had some very nice weather & some most lovely walks & excursions. We have enjoyed them immensely. The views are so splendid & we can sit & bask & rest in the sun & disbelieve in winter. It is a little cold again today but I hope it will not last. The air is very invigorating & delightful & I am glad to say Edward & Carice do full justice to its goodness & hope they will go on doing so."
18 Elgar writes to Frank Schuster: "We have this house until Feb 10 or 11."
19 Elgar sends a postcard to Ivor Atkins: "Let’s hear how you are sometime, Firapeel. I have rheumatism! Yours ever Reynart."
20 Stanford writes to the Chairman of the Leeds Festival, who was intending to omit Elgar entirely now that a symphony was not forthcoming: "I told Hubert P. about the Elgar decision. He said it was a fatal mistake. He called the position ' simply impossible, it can't be done.' I wish you could tell ------- this and as you see your opportunity come, try and get it rectified. What earthly harm can it do to play Cockaigne at the end of the Wednesday evening programme or after Ch. Wood's piece? Fair play, old chap, and a man's artistic work ought to rank independently of his personality. If it had not been that Hans von Bulow had taken this view of Wagner, the Bayreuth theatre would not be standing now."
21 Alice writes: "E. had letter wh. had travelled for days from Sir W. Carrington conveying invitation to dine at Marlborough House on 3 Feb. & meet the King & go to Smoking Concert afterwards. In afternoon A. went to P. O. & telegraphed acceptance -"
22 "Told people must return & that E. had command to meet the King."
23 Elgar is ill.
24 Elgar writes to Jaeger: "In with chill, cold, rheumatism &c. &c. East winds for a week enough to scarify the D---I! I think I return this day week & hope to bring most of the new score."
25 Carington writes again, hoping that "Elgar will conduct his Pomp and Circumstance March" at the concert.
26 Elgar is feeling rather better.
27 Elgar is better again, and very busy writing.
28 Elgar write to Frank Schuster: "I shall be only too glad to come to you for two days & perhaps my wife & Carice too for one night. I am to dine at Marlbro. House & go to the Smoking Concert with 'them' & conduct the March on Wednesday. On Thursday I must go home to work."
29 "E. very busy writing. A. dreadfully busy, paying & packing &c."
30 "Frightfully busy morning, pd. servants, finished packing - Left Alassio at 11.2 very sorry to leave - Excellent journey to Marseilles."
31 The Elgars travel on to Paris, where they stay the night.


Maryland joins Southern states, officially disenfranchising negroes in the USA.

In a surprise attack at Port Arthur, Japan disables seven Russian warships.

Turkish troops clash with 16,000 Albanian insurgents at Djakova in the Balkans,

An uprising by the Silent Ones, aimed at overthrowing white rule in Africa,
breaks out in Asaba, Nigeria.

A seven-man commission is created to expedite construction of the Panama Canal.

1 The Elgars are back in London, staying with Frank Schuster in Westminster.
2 Elgar rehearses Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 with the Royal Amateur Orchestral Society for performance at the King's dinner.
3 Dinner at Marlborough House with the King, the Prince of Wales, Prince Christian of Denmark, Prince Louis of Battenberg, Lord Shaftesbury, the Marquis of Soveral, Lord Howe, and the composers Parry and Mackenzie. After dinner they drive to Buckingham Palace where Elgar conducts the Royal Amateur Orchestral Society. Alice (not invited) comments: "He looked vesy nice."
4 Elgar goes with Frank Schuster and signs the visitors books at Buckingham Palace and Marlborough House.
5 Elgar writes to Ivor Atkins: "My wife & Carice returned today to see if the house is fit for habitation - if it is I return tomorrow - if not I come on Monday."
6 Alice writes: "frantically busy in house - E. returned all safes, Gott sei Dank, & looking very radiant, at 4.15 train."
7 A feeling of the morning after: "E. rather lumbago. C. a little cold & A. badsley cold. Not out."
8 Elgar writes to Littleton: "I hope you are having good weather still - here it is dreary but I can shut myself up with my score &, above all, my books! (not account books)."
9 Constant rain at Malvern.
10 Canon Gorton writes to Elgar: "Is there any possibility that you will be at Manchester on 25th" (for a performance of The Apostles.
11 Elgar is interviewed at Craeg Lea by Rudolph de Cordova for Strand Magazine.
12 Elgar send Novellos The 'Romans' section of the In the South full score.
13 Alice is house hunting, and finds a house in Hanley Swan.
14 Alice writes: "Very wet & chill. No one out -"
15 Alice takes Elgar and Carice see the house in Hanley Swan: "Quite disapproved of by E."
16 The Elgars are in Worcester for the final rehearsal and concert of the Worcester Festival Choral Society performance of King Olaf, conducted by Atkins. Troyte Griffith notes that it was a "splendid performance".
17 Despite a bad headache, Elgar scored the 'canto popolare' section of In the South.
18 Elgar is interviewed by Mr Pilkington for The Graphic, who also takes photographs.
19 Alice writes: "E. to Hereford to see Dr. Sinclair, met the Dean who wanted to show him houses!"
20 Alice writes again: "A. to Hereford at 11.9 - saw houses - A. liked 'Plas Gwyn'."
21 The score of In the South is finished in the evening, and dedicated to Frank Schuster. The score is initialled by Alice and Carice and signed by Elgar and Fanny Moglio!
22 Elgar writes to Frank Schuster: "Your overture has departed (the final sheets) to the publisher & I hope, with much fear & trembling, that you will really like it. The thing is not a picture of Italy:- one must not write the history, or epitome of a great country with an acquaintance of three months: but I wove the music on a summery day in the Andora Valley, - basking in the sun on the old Roman road; so you will find sunshine & romance &, (with a heavy, relentless episode in the middle inspired by the Roman road) light-hearted gaiety mixed up in an orchestral dish which with my ordinary orchestral flavouring, cunningly blent, I have put in a warm cordial spice of love for you."
23 Elgar goes for a bike ride with Rosa Burley. She writes: "The first I heard of the move was when on one of our cycle rides Edward suddenly said, 'They've found a house for me at Hereford.'"
24 Jaeger writes to Elgar: "Poor Dodd [the copyist]is at Collapse's door ... He is doing his very best, & will finish as quickly as ever he can."
25 Wulstan Atkins writes: "On Atkins visit to Elgar on 25 February he told him that the last sheets of In the South had been posted to Novellos at the beginning of the week. Elgar and Alice also talked about their search for a new home in Hereford, then a quiet cathedral city with excellent rail connections to London via Gloucester or Worcester."
26 Alice writes: "Deep Snow - No one out. Nice telegram from Frank saying wonderful performance at Manchester of "The Apostles" -
27 Canon Gorton writes to Elgar: "I have returned with haunting memories, and with many sacred truths made the more precious - Strange indeed is God's gift to you from your study not only to build the palace, or Temple of Sound, to open up a heaven for yourself, but to spread over such a vast audience of variously assorted folk a spirit of awe, and reverence."
28 Alice writes: "Nice letters about great performance of "The Apostles" at Manchester -"
29 Elgar writes to F G Edwards at Novello: "I gather that you had an article on Arne sometime ago - it must have 'happened' when I was away & all my papers have evaded me. I should like to see the Arne notice: could you cause one to be found & sent here, I might write you something as an Appendix."


Birth of Big Band leader Glenn Miller.

Kaiser Wilhelm II makes first recording of a political document on an Edison cylinder.

Race riots place Springfield, Ohio under virtual martial law.
Most of the 15,000 Negro population is in hiding.

The first colour photograph is published, in the London Daily Illustrated Mirror.

King Edward VII opens Richmond Royal Park to the public.

1 Jaeger writes re In the South: "Anyhow, try as we will, with every Copyist 'going', & being badgered we can't do more than we are doing to get this thing finished in time for your Rehearsal on the 9th."
2 Elgar writes to Charles Buck: "We have been in Italy most of the winter & now you refer to your wife - are you married again or is it your awful writing & I've misread the word - do let me know but I cannot write congratulations until I know."
3 Still concerned about parts for In the South, Elgar sends a telegram to Jaeger: "Please send complete strings when corrected here Malvern Wells Station or by post. Wind as already arranged. I will take all to Manchester."
4 Hans Richter writes to Elgar: "My dear friend, you must conduct your new work! I do not only speak for myself, but on this occasion I am the mandatory of the music lovers of all London. I hope that I shall not meet a refusal."
5 Alice goes house-hunting while Elgar and Carice proof-read
6 Proof-reading continues.
7 Proof-reading continues.
8 Proof-reading is finished in the morning, and Elgar travels to Manchester in the afternoon for rehearsals with the Halle.
9 Elgar conducts the first rehearsal of In the South with the Halle Orchestra in Manchester, and then travels to London.
10 A quiet day at Frank Schuster’s house in Westminster, where he is joined by Alice.
11 Elgar rehearsed the soloists for the Elgar Festival at Covent Garden.
12 Alice goes to Queen's Hall, for the first performance of the orchestral verions of The Snow and Fly Singing Bird. The young Adrian Boult is there, too, and describes them in his diary as "… delightful, a little common-place, perhaps, but they were so truly Elgarish".
13 On the eve of the Festival, Schuster gives a dinner party in Elgar's honour. Among the guests is Henry Wood: "Schuster gave a wonderful dinner party to Elgar. He had even conceived a series of emblematic decorations on the panels of his dining-room referring to various phases of Elgar’s work."
14 The first day of the Festival. Alice writes to her father-in-law: "In the morning we went to the King’s levee. E looked quite beautiful in the charming velvet suit &c. Lord Howe presented him, and the King gave him a nice smile. Now we are going to the Rehearsal and this evening is ‘Gerontius’. Afterwards a supper here. Prince Francis of Teck & 3 ambassadors & others are coming."
15 On the second day of the Elgar Festival, attended by the King and Queen, Richter conducts The Apostles.
16 On the final day of the Festival, Elgar conducts the first performance of In the South: "The Queen wore little diamond wings in her hair and a pink rose in the bodice of her white and silver gown. Princess Victoria was in black and silver, and Princess Charles of Denmark, who is staying at Buckingham Palace, had a green wreath in her hair and a white dress. In spite of the fact that Dr. Elgar’s concert overture “In the South,” the outcome of the composer’s recent visit to Italy, was being performed for the first time, the audience was not so large as on either of the previous evenings."
17 Alice writes to her sister-in-law, Pollie: "The Apostles was magnificent. The stupid papers give no idea of the performance or awe of the audience. Last night was gorgeous, the Queen was there again, & sent for E. & was very charming. I wish you cd. have seen E in his full dress, he did look so nice - & the King gave him such a nice smile. Last night his reception when he came to conduct was tremendous & after the Overture & Marches, & he was presented with a splendid wreath."
18 Elgar writes to his father: "Dearest father: I have not had time to write a single line to anyone this last week. I hope you have heard all about the festival - the King came twice & the Queen 3 times! It has all been a most gigantic success & they have made a huge fuss over me."
19 Recovery time: "E. to see Mr. Jaeger - nice "frumpy" dinner at home -"
20 Dinner with their friends the Stuart-Wortleys at Cheyne Walk.
21 Alice Stuart-Wortley sends and engraving of her father’s (Millais) portrait of Cardinal Newman.
22 Elgar travels to Leeds to arrange festival performances of Gerontius and The Apostles, while Alice returns to Malvern.
23 Elgar returns home to Craeg Lea in the evening.
24 Elgar writes to Alfred Littleton: "I arrived home last night & find a weary pile of - begging letters, libretti & M.S.S. of young composers for my kind revision!!"
25 Ivor Atkins comes to visit.
26 "Dreadfully busy with correspondence &c."
27 Elgar writes to Richter: "My dear Friend, I have been waiting to find a really quiet time to write a proper letter to you to thank you from my heart for your conducting of my music at Covent Garden."
28 Alice took their friend, the architect Troyte Griffith, to see Plas Gwyn, the new house they were going to rent in Hereford.
29 Elgar is interviewed by R J Buckley, who brought proofs of his new biography of Elgar..
30 The composer Joseph Holbrooke writes to Elgar: "Is the Symphony going? I wish you luck. Not ‘luck’ indeed but yr. Deserts."
31 "Rough cold winds, E. & Dr. Grindrod for a walk - A. & C. to Connellan Tenebrae - "


Capt. R. F. Scott discovers the Great Antarctic Plateau.

The first attempt at talking pictures at the Fulham Theatre, London, using cinematography and phonograph.

Andrew Carnegie in Pittsburgh donates $10 mil. to set up fund for those who died for their country.

Manchester City beat Bolton Wanderers 1-0 in the F.A. Cup at Crystal Palace.

1 Canon Gorton writes to Lady Elgar: "How much the Apostles has been with me during this week ­ interpreting the Gospels for each day - and opening out the unseen behind the seen - the angels witnesses, and the unspeakable mysteries music alone can suggest - And your husband's reward is not laurel crowns, and press notices, but the gratitude of hearts whose devotion he has quickened."
2 A day at home with "Rough cold winds."
3 Elgar is elected to the Athenaeum, proposed by Parry, and seconded by Stanford.
4 "Rough winds. Too rough for E. to ride with E. Griffith. To Golf Club in afn."
5 The violinist Adolf Brodsky writes to Elgar: "1st the Royal Manchester College of Music offers you the post of Professor of Instrumentation & Composition. 2nd The Victoria University offers you the same post at the Musical Faculty. 3rd The teaching for both … will take place in the Building of the R.M.C.M. 4th As little as we would expect Franz Liszt to be a piano teacher, as little are we expecting you to be a ‘teacher’ in the common sense of the word. It is your personality we want to secure. Your name would give glory to the Institutions & attract, I am sure, all the talent of the country."
6 A performance by Felix Weingartner of Gerontius is imminent. The chorus-master Henry Coward notes in his diary: "Weingartner and Kruse both came to Sheffield for rehearsal of chorus. Both delighted, and carried away by singing."
7 The Elgars travel to London for the Weingartner rehearsals.
8 "E. at Langham. Rehearsed F. Braun & then at Prof. Kruse’s other vocalists."
9 Weingartner's Gerontius at Queen's Hall. Henry Coward notes in his diary: "Professor Johann Kruse's London Musical Festival (seven concerts). Musical Union sing Gerontius and Choral Symphony, Praise to the Holiest in the Height. A veritable triumph for chorus. I was recalled four times. Possibly the finest choral singing I have ever heard."
10 Isabella Jaeger writes to Alice: "But there is nothing in all music like 'Gerontius’! Yesterday's performance was a revelation. The Demon Chorus made me shudder. The Tenors & Basses absolutely snarled. Mr Elwes was very beautiful in the way he interpreted - if only his voice were a little stronger & richer."
11 Elgar travels to Hereford to stay with George Sinclair.
12 Alice's diary: "A. walked to Gt. Malvern to meet E. came all safes & better spirits"
13 "Heard by 1st post of E.’s election to the Athenaeum Club. Very peased -"
14 Alfred Littleton writes to Elgar: "The understanding is that you will offer us all future works of yours which you wish published and we undertake to publish all the works you so offer to us."
15 Jaeger writes to Elgar: "My dear Elgar 'Athenian'! I congratulate You sincerely on the Honour which has just been thrust upon ye. It is an honour more precious, it seems to me, than a Dr degree or a Knighthood. Well done You, I mean the A. Club. You are getting on. What more do you want? I am delighted that the Athenaeum fogies have honoured themselves by electing You. You will take an interest in owls now, Eh?"
16 Rosa Burley and Ivor Atkins come to dinner.
17 "E. rode to Sherridge."
18 The Elgars again go to London, staying with Frank Schuster.
19 "E. lunched at his Athenaeum & saw it all lunched with Stanford."
20 "Heard Weingartner conduct ‘Variations’ & the Mass in D. Some of the Varn. fine, especially the last. but some too fast & not sufficient dignity."
21 A performance of The Apostles at Queen's Hall: "First part of the 'Apostles' most beautiful, then chorus went flat."
22 Alice "went to Egham to choose some things for Plas Gwyn. back late"
23 The Elgars travel to Edward Speyer's home at Shenley for a stay.
24 Elgar give Speyer a score of the Five Part-Songs, from the Greek Anthology - "Edward Speyer from Edward Elgar Ap 24,1904"
25 Elgar has a meeting with Alfred Littleton at Novellos.
26 The Elgars go home to Malvern.
27 "A. busy unpacking & packing again."
28 The Elgars travel to Morecambe for the Festival, staying at the Grand Hotel.
29 "E. busy with Fest - judging &c kept so late no lunch"
30 Elgar continues judging at Morecambe: "As an old string player, I have listened with pleasure to the performances. Dvorak's piece, which I have known since it was first produced, is a very trying one, and the renderings have been of such general excellence that Dr McNaught and I have decided that the three prizes should be divided amongst the three competing orchestras. To make the amount more easily divisible, I have added a guinea."


Birth of Bing Crosby

Work begins on Panama Canal

Britain declares war on Tibet

Premier of Ravel's Scheherazade in Paris

1 Elgar writes in the Strand Magazine: "Why should I write a fugue or something that won’t appeal to any one, when the people yearn for things which can stir them. With regard to the Pomp and Circumstance marches, I did not see why the ordinary quick march should not be treated on a large scale in the way that the waltz, the old-fashioned slow march, and even the polka have been treated by the great composers; yet all marches on the symphonic scale are so slow that people can’t march to them. I have some of the soldier instinct in me and so I have written two marches of which, so far from being ashamed, I am proud."
2 The Elgars leave Morecambe, after first hearing the local school-children sing: "Heard with the same joy & pleasure as in 1903 the children sing. Edward Elgar." (Entry in school log book)
3 "After lunch E. went to Bath"
4 Elgar sends Carice a post-card from Bath: "The taddies are well. Much love. Edw. Elgar"
5 Elgar, back from Bath, catches up with his correspondance.
6 "E. rode Longdon Marsh, but found telegraph poles & Clock face re-painted &c - Very mis -"
7 "E. to pond & got some fresh inhabitants for Aquarium"
8 Elgar sketches part of a slow movement - ultimately destined for the Second Symphony - as Alice said, a "lament for dear Rodey and all human feeling"
9 Elgar cycled with his neighbour, Charles Grindrod, to Castle Morton, a place described by Grindrod: "Castle Morton is little more than a mile from Birts Morton, and can be taken on the way to the latter place, being nearer to Malvern. The drive, or walk, is over the great common of Castle Morton, from which a beautiful view of the hills and Little Malvern Priory is obtained, and then through a charming orchard country, gently hilly, and very characteristic of Worcestershire. The church, with its ancient spire, at the spring of which from the tower several yew trees are growing, is of much interest, and has two fine Norman doorways. Formerly a castle stood just below the church, and the broken ground still gives a good notion of its position and extent."
10 Elgar travels to London.
11 Elgar writes to Jaeger: "I came up unexpectedly last night & have been busy all day ... My teeth are the cause of my unhappy visit!"
12 Elgar goes to Lohengrin at Covent Garden.
13 Elgar dines with the composer Frederick Cowen.
14 Elgar is still in London.
15 Elgar is still in London.
16 Alice joins Elgar in London, who goes alone to see The Marriage of Figaro.
17 The Elgars go with Frank Schuster to the Royal Academy.
18 The Elgar prepare to travel to Cologne the next day for Steinbach's performance of The Apostles.
19 "Started from 22 Old Queen St. at 9.15. Frank came down before - Good journey & fine Crossing. Difficulty about seats at first in the Nord Express - a fine train. Horrid room at the Dom Hotel. very mis. & tired & late! - E. slept soon however."
20 A chorus rehearsal of The Apostles in Cologne.
21 Elgar send postcards to, among others, Carice, Percy Pitt, and Dora Penny, who notes in her diary: "I had a card from E.E. with a picture of the Gurzenich Concert Hall and a message written all round it." Elgar had written: "I know you don't want this, but I send it with much love. The Apostles comes off here tomorrow. Mosshead (Jaeger is here & Alice & I am very hot & want Bier. Yours Edwd. E."
22 The Apostles in Cologne. Jaeger reviewed the concert for the Musical Times: "Of the performance I can but repeat in the most emphatic manner that, a few trifling mishaps excepted, it was superb, and that Herr Steinbach proved himself a great conductor by the way in which, without any sort of hint from Dr. Elgar, he managed to realize the composer's intention; the orchestra playing was a pure delight from the opening note to the last, and the true value of the orchestration and its tremendous importance as a great factor in the composer's scheme were fully appreciated. Every point was clearly brought out, and I heard beauties and effects which I have never heard before. It simply showed once more what an enormous advantage a conductor of a municipal subsidized German orchestra with unlimited chances for rehearsing has over his colleagues in England. Herr Steinbach's orchestra was a revelation. What Sheffield did for the choral portions of 'Gerontius' in London the other day, that Cologne has done for the orchestral score of 'The Apostles'. The chorus sang with sureness, beauty of tone, and depth of expression. They produced, with the huge orchestra, the most astounding climaxes, the like of which I have never heard in a long experience. No wonder the composer was delighted therewith ..."
23 Jaeger writes to Ivor Atkins about the performance: ".. immensely finer than any I have heard yet. The work had a splendid success."
24 A day of concerts, feasts and speeches in Cologne.
25 The first performance of the Songs from the Greek Anthology at the Royal Albert Hall. The critic Ernest Newman writes: "They are fairly successful, without showing ideally intimate feeling for the spirit of the poetry."
26 Elgar writes to Alfred Littleton: "I had hoped to have written to you long ago, that is to say, on Monday but I have been seized upon & could not find a moment: now I am in bed with a chill and must scribble a line to say that it was a splendid performance of Sunday & was rapturously received. Steinbach was splendid, the orchestra the same, chorus very good & the soloists were not bad. Steinbach wanted to talk to Jaeger but there was never any opportunity what with rehearsals & feasts & concerts so I persuaded Jager, with much difficulty, to stay yesterday. S. wants to conduct the work in London with his orchestra & I think it might be done with Mr. Embleton's assistance. We have had a glorious time but this is rather a sad wind up."
27 A day in bed.
28 The Elgars travel to Düsseldorf, where they visit an art exhibition.
29 The Elgars return to London, and stay at the Langham Hotel..
30 Alice writes to Alice Stuart-Wortley: "We are to be here till Wednesday, I fear you are very occupied in this time of rush in London, but it wd. be such a pleasure to us if we could meet, shd. you be in tomorrow afternoon perhaps? You must not think of troubling if too busy but I felt I must write."
31 Elgar has a meeting with the sculptor Percival Hedley to see his bust of Elgar.


Birth of U.S. actor and swimming champ Johnny Weissmuller, who played Tarzan.

British battleship arrives in Tangiers after recent attacks on
British and U.S. citizens.

The House of Commons debates alleged Belgian atrocities in the Congo.

King Edward arrives in Kiel aboard the royal yacht for a visit to Kaiser Wilhelm.

1 Elgar goes to the dentist in the afternoon.
2 Another dentist appointment, before returning home to Malvern.
3 "A. to Hereford ... went to Plas Gwyn quite charmed with it White lilac, clematis, &c in garden."
4 While Alice sorts out Craeg Lea, Elgar goes for a long bike ride.
5 A typical Sunday at Craeg Lea - Carice is home from school for the day, and Troyte pays a visit.
6 Elgar writes to Canon Gorton about the recent Morecambe Festival: "The choral singing is of the same excellence, the orchestral playing as good as before, the general artistic feeling, the enthusiasm, and (not least) the goodwill are at the same high level as when I had the good fortune to become acquainted with your district, a district where you 'make music' yourselves first ­ and import it afterwards, thus happily reversing the procedure of places where they find it convenient to talk more and sing less."
7 Elgar writes to Alfred Littleton about the proposed Novello contract: "I write now to accept your offer. That is to say in future for five years certain & after that time so long as we may wish ... I send you everything I write (except the things already promised to Messrs. Boosey) & you pay me a royalty of one fourth of the marked price & a sum 'down' for new works."
8 "E. out long ride. I think."
9 Another long bike ride.
10 The American conductor, Frank Damrosch, came to dinner with the Elgars and Ivor Atkins.
11 Elgar visits Plas Gwyn.
12 Troyte come for Sunday lunch.
13 The Elgars and Troyte visit Plas Gwyn: "Found house looking very nice & getting on."
14 The Elgars travel to Leeds for a Midland Institute Committee Meeting.
15 The Elgars return to Malvern, and Dorabella pays a visit.
16 Elgar takes Dorabella to Hereford to show her Plas Gwyn: " I saw the new house and thought it most attractive, with its veranda covered with climbing roses and honeysuckle, and its charming garden. We went on to the lawn and E.E. seized me suddenly by the arm and said in a sort of stage whisper. 'Bung yirds! Look!' A family of young thrushes was being fed on the lawn under the c"
17 Elgar is out all day paying visits.
18 "E. for ride but it was windy & returned with headache -"
19 Troyte again comes to Sunday lunch - and it is his birthday.
20 Elgar travels to Durham to receive an hon. D. Mus. at Durham University next day.
21 The Prime Minister, Arthur Balfour, writes to Elgar:"My dear Dr Elgar I have much pleasure in informing you that the King has graciously signified his intention to confer upon you the honour of Knighthood on the occasion of the celebration of His Majesty's Birthday -"
22 "A. saw letter from A. J. Balfour locked it up safes - met E. at Gt. Malvern. A. told E. of letter, he sd. with such a light in his face "has it come” but then thought it wd only be about copyright. Then he opened the letter & found H.M. was going to make him a Knight. D.G. Both vesy pleased."
23 Elgar cycles to Worcester to tell Atkins of his knighthood, and to Stoke Prior to tell his father and sister Pollie
24 Rosa Burley remembers: "I received a little note from Alice asking me to take Carice and her friend Cissie Cuthbert to tea at Craeg Lea as there was some 'most exciting news'. Alice liked to surround herself with a little mystery but this time the secret had leaked out ... 'I expect,' said Cissie, one of those tactful little girls who seem early marked out for a career of domestic diplomacy, 'that we'd better call her "Lady Elgar" as many times as possible.'"
25 Elgar's sister 'Dot', a nun, writes: "Oh! I am so pleased at the good things you tell me about - Every day I think so much about you - but This Knighthood was quite out of my mind - I am not one little bit surprised - but so very very pleased - How good of you to go & tell Dad - if only dear old Mother could have heard this-her joy & in 'her boy' would have been complete - I do with all my heart congratulate you both -"
26 "Shoals of letters."
27 Elgar cycles to Birchwood House for a celebratory lunch with Squire Little.
28 The move to Plas Gwyn starts: "Preparations going on. Removers arrived & commenced -" Carice remembers: "I think that those Malvern years were among the very happiest in the whole of his life."
29 The Elgars travel to Herefordand stay with George Sinclair until the house is ready.
30 "A. to Plas Gwyn early. Mr. Holloway there a van & 4 men lost! came in the Evening. A. then all day - Seeing things come in &c then back to Dr. Sinclair's"


The third summer Olympic Games of modern times open at St. Louis.

Hugh Doherty beats Frank Riseley 6-1, 7-5, 8-6 at Wimbledon.

An Anglo-German treaty is signed to resolve potential conflicts over next five years.

Death of South African statesman Paul Kruger, Boer War leader.

British warships are dispatched to protect merchant ships
from harassment by the Russian Navy.

Russia sinks one British ship and seizes another.

1 "All day at Plas Gwyn & E. & I slept there for 1st time -" Carice wrote: "The new house was in a residential area of Hereford on a road that only led to small villages and was consequently quiet. It was a three storey house with a basement and would make into flats very easily as each floor was exactly alike. The two downstairs sitting-rooms, Mother's drawing-room, and Father's study had a balcony running right round with creepers. It was a nice garden lawn in front and a sizeable kitchen garden and stables useful for storage. As usual, Mother had to start on a round of calls, everyone seemed to come and call."
2 Elgar visits George Sinclair and writes is his visitor’s book: "From Malvern via The hospitable Close to The desert (at present) Plas Gwyn."
3 Troyte Griffith writes to Alice: "the removers seemed very careful, but their language respecting the hills of Malvern and the garden path in particular, was frequent and terse."
4 The Elgars travel to London for the investiture. Elgar attends the first meeting of the Musical Defence League at Queen’s Hall. Parry notes in his diary: "Mackenzie made a very boring speech, Elgar a very foolish one".
5 E. dessed & looked vesy booful A. helped him & buckled his sword. Then Frank arrived & drove to Buckingham Palace with E. & then met A. & went shopping with her. Returned & found E. arrived. The King smiled charmingly & said “Very pleased to see you here Sir Edward”. Then we three lunched at Pagani’s & Frank & A. went to see tiles E. & A. home late - Cab Merton
6 Elgar cycles to Brockhampton with his niece May Grafton.
7 Elgar writes to David Ffrangcon-Davies: "Many thanks for your kind congratulations. How I wish I could have been at York and heard you in the Minster. We are only partially in this house and the Place is still in a muddle but very beautiful."
8 Domestic troubles: "Dreadful breakdown over dinner! -"
9 In the evening the Elgars go to the Cathedral, where Sinclair plays Gerontius and The Apostles.
10 Lady Mary Lygon writes about next year's Madresfield Music Competition: "It is very sad that we should again clash with Morecambe. I was much hoping that you would be able to come on the 25th and consent to take the chair."
11 Troyte Griffith pays a visit.
12 "Answered letters of Congratulation."
13 Elgar writes to Alfred Littleton: "I have come up to London this evening & shall be in town over Thursday: I am bidden to a party at Marlborough House & have sundry sartorial eccentricities to try on."
14 "E. look very nice with his knee breeches. Had a brougham & drove to Marlborough House. Prince & Prince recd. guests, Princess sd. “I think you dined here not long ago with the Prince Sir Edward". Lady Mary there - Very nice altogether stayed till after 12."
15 While Alice returns to Plas Gwyn, Elgar goes to stay with Schuster at The Hut.
16 Alice and May Grafton spend many hours arranging the books of Elgar's library on shelves in his new study.
17 "Very hot. E. at the Hut. A. & May over the ferry to Church at Bullingham."
18 "E. at the Hut. Very hot weather. A. & May very busy."
19 Elgar returns home from The Hut.
20 Elgar writes to William Boosey, slightly under-estimating the popularity of a certain song: "As to 'Land of Hope' ... I shd. think the Song won't go much farther."
21 The arrangement of Elgar's books was not approved, so Alice spends the day rearranging them mostly outside the study in the corridor while Elgar goes out on his bike.
22 "Busy settling books &c E. to Morecambe for Conductors Meeting"
23 Elgar attends the Morecambe Festival Conductors Meeting at the Grand Hotel.
24 A quiet Sunday - Elgar in Morecambe, Alice and May in Hereford.
25 "E. safes home from Morecambe about 2."
26 Carice comes home from The Mount.
27 "Dr. Sinclair's choristers to tea ... Successful entertainment."
28 Alice pays calls - Edward does not.
29 Wulstan Atkins notes: "Atkins went over on Friday 29 July. Elgar's niece, May Grafton, was now living with them and helping to look after Carice. It was a lovely day and Elgar and May were preparing to bicycle to Kilpeck Church, but Atkins had not brought his bicycle with him and they all walked down to the river instead."
30 Elgar writes to Jager: "I haven't written because everything is dull & goes on slowly: & I am tried very much liverwise & am wofully short of money. I really think I must take some Violin pupils again: only, as I have not touched it for so long, I should have to begin once more with elementary ones! Such is life & I hate, loathe & detest it."
31 Troytes Griffith is staying at Plas Gwyn.


The first Atlantic weather forecast is received in the UK by wireless telegraph.

Czarevich Alexis, Russian imperial heir and son of Czar Nicholas II, is born.

The National Gallery buys Titian's Portrait of Aristotle for £150,000.

Birth of Count Basie, U.S. jazz musician.

The first ocean-going turbine steamer, the Victoria, is launched in Belfast.

1 Domestic troubles continue: "Gave Mrs. North notice"
2 Elgar writes to Alfred Littleton: "Here is an adaptation of the melody which people liked so much from the Overture (In the South). The words (In Moonlight)just suit the mood."
3 Elgar continues his In the South arrangements.
4 Elgar continues his In the South arrangements.
5 Elgar writes again to Littleton: "I'm glad you like the look of the little song: it's a pity for the tune to be 'wasted' in the Overture ... I therefore send arrgts for 1 Violin & piano, 2 Cello & piano (same accpt.), 3 Viola & piano (in C) and a sketch of an arrgt for piano solo in Eb ... I think the Violin & piano arrgt. shd be done for small orch also: & this I will do if you say yes."
6 Elgar writes to Jaeger, and the reason for all the arrangements is revealed: "It's all very well to talk to me about doing Sextetts & Symphonies & all the things I want to do, but tell me what & who is going to keep a roof over our heads? nobody thinks of that."
7 Elgar continues with the arrangements.
8 "E. in bad spirits not out much. A. paying calls & seeing about servants."
9 "E. in vesy bad spirits - not out till afternoon when 2 Americans. Mr. Wilson & Mr. Hamilton came. Took them down to the river. Lovely Evening saw large fish & a kingfisher - beautiful -"
10 Elgar receives a letter from Jaeger: " I fear me that Symphony will never be published! Oh dear! what a disappointment. If I had money I'd buy it of you at a good price. Perhaps some artloving Millionaire will come along & give you a fat commission & pay cash down ... Dear old Sanford (Professor Sanford of Yale) is in town as nice as ever. He has a wonderful upright Steinway piano for you. Do him the Kindness to accept it."
11 Elgar replies to Jaeger: "I have heard from Prof. Sanford - a delightful letter about tobacco & the piano: I hope I may see him & have telegraphed this a.m. - I am terrified at accepting the piano."
12 "E. for lovely ride wh. he did enjoy."
13 In another letter to Jaeger Elgar comments on Strauss's symphonic poems: "S. puts music in a very low position when he suggests it must hang on some commonplace absurdity for it's very life."
14 Carice's 14th birthday: "Very wet & blowing All 3 not out. E. & C. for little walk late."
15 Lord Northampton writes to Elgar: "It is indeed nice of you writing to me because it shows that you have thought of me & wish to hear of me & from me. I am glad to think of you in a house you like amidst beautiful scenery but I don't at all like what you say of yourself. Of course you know best whether you are making progress & whether you are gloomy; & you might possibly be for the moment 'flat stale & unprofitable' but you say 'as ever unprofitable.' & that I have good reason to know is absolutely untrue from the artistic side - You must realize that you have in you a special power of bringing upon others the strongest influence for good. You have already used that power in a most remarkable degree. You have moved men's souls to the highest truths of Christianity & then you say in a fit of depression 'as ever unprofitable' - I can only think of you as a musical apostle, given one of God's greatest gifts to help Him in His unceasing & eternal work, so I resent your using those 2 words 'as ever' as being an ungrateful recognition of what He has done through you. There are often drags placed upon the march of genius. Want of money & physical weakness are often the chief impediments- You allude to 'Publishers' & this I know means that you do not progress much financially - of course this is a serious drag if it means insufficiency otherwise it can be treated philosophically, but if there is 'gloom' it must be from physical causes - but I have a firm belief that mind can triumph over body. All this sounds as if I were a doctor diagnosing a case whereas I am only a friend longing to hear that you are at work at what must benefit mankind - & feeling sure that work will help you mentally & bodily. I should so much like to see you - but tomorrow by motor I fly to Scotland with my children. Unluckily Hereford is not on the Great North Road."
16 "Still rather blowing. E. not vesy gay."
17 "E. very badsley headache -"
18 Elgar writes to Nicholas Kilburn: "This house is very nice indeed & the country lovely. I have not been well & the moving with this sort of 'ill' feeling - not ill-feeling - have made me late in writing."
19 "E. raser porsley & out of spirits. E. & C. to see express train -"
20 A hint of the 3rd Pomp and Circumstanbce: "E. raser better. Trying the Marches."
21 "E. muss better Gott sei. Dank" ... and in fact sketched what was to become the last 30 bars of the slow movement of the First Symphony.
22 Jaeger writes to Elgar: "I'm Coming to the Gloucester Festival after all & bring my Frau too! She has never been to a Fest & she will enjoy it, if only the weather will be fair. I cant somehow Keep away & go to a dull Seaside place instead of Gloucester."
23 ... and Elgar replies: "So glad you are coming to Glo'ster my wife is writing. Glad the overture works into your innards: I love it: it's alive! I am better but jolly down."
24 "Dr. Walford Davis came about 3 - E. & he for short walk, he stayed to a rather Early dinner -"
25 Elgar attends a full chorus rehearsal at Gloucester Cathedral for the Three Choirs Festival.
26 Elgar travels to London ...
27 ... and goes on to Dover.
28 "E. to Mass at 11 - Saw liner &c -"
29 "E. at Dover. Went over to Calais, lovely day -" and the crisis in the kitchen is at last resolved: "Mrs. North left. Joy."
30 Elgar returns to London, and Dorabella arrives at Plas Gwyn.
31 Elgar is at the Gloucester Festival rehearsals in London.


General Booth of The Salvation Army ends his crusading trip from Land's End to Aberdeen.

Britain gains control over Tibet, acquiring trading posts and forcin the Dalai Lama not to cede territory to foreign powers.

The Italian aeronaut Spelterini flies over the Alps in a balloon.

Birth of Sir Frederick Ashton, founder of the Royal Ballet.

Coronation of King Peter 1 of Serbia.

1 Elgar returned from London. Dorabella, who was staying at Plas Gwyn, noted in her diary: "He was very tired but thoroughly cheerful. He brought back a huge box of sweets for her Ladyship from Professor Sandford."
2 Alice's diary notes: "Motors flying around. E. & C. walked into town." - Hereford was hosting the Small Car Trials.
3 A day watching the cars - Dorabella again: "It was rather fun, but in 1904 cars were getting so much more reliable that the break-downs one heartlessly hoped for seldom happened." But on the same day Elgar wrote to Frank Schuster: "I am still very very low, & see nothing in the future but a black stone wall against which I am longing to dash my head - and that's all: a pitiful end for a 'promising' youth"
4 Dora Penny having returned home, the Elgars set out for the Gloucester Festival, staying with the Bakers at Hasfield Court.
5 Rehearsal day at Gloucester: "E. to rehearsal & A. followed after tedious waiting for cab & leaving luggage at the Bell. Parry much too long over his work - E. had to continue after lunch at Mr. Brewer’s - Changed & packed &c & to Hasfield Court - after dinner at Brewer's & rehearsing In the South, that was delightful, arrived late - Very long day."
6 Elijah at the Festival. The lunch interval was too short for the second soprano soloist who was still in the pub when the oratorio recommenced! The 14 year old Ivor Gurney stepped in and sight-read the trio "Lift thine eye". His mother remembered: "Ivor was top dog he sang with Madam Albani 3 Madams had to sing the trio lift thine eyes and the one when she was fetched down from the Bell Hotel said she didn’t know it was time and so it had to be done and Dr Brewer said Ivor was to do it and Madam Albani would have him by her and he looked such a boy to her but they said he done it beautiful an unrehearsed piece and he was frightened at his success when he got home he hid in the kitchen everybody saying Ivor Gurney had been singing with Madam Albani …"
7 George Sinclair played an organ concerto by Charles Harford Lloyd, the third movement cadenza supplied anonymouosly by Elgar. Herbert Brewer remembered: "His playing of an organ concerto at the Gloucester Festivals was an outstanding feature. He was a brilliant executant with few equals."
8 Elgar conducted The Apostles. Herbert Brewer again: "The inclusion of "The Apostles" in the scheme proved an enormous success from every point of view. The work was produced at the Birmingham Festival the previous year and this was the first performance at a Three Choirs' Festival. It drew the largest attendance of the week, no less than four hundred more than “Elijah" and over three hundred more than the “Messiah." The collection for the Charity was also considerably greater than at either performance of the older works."
9 After the exertions of the previous day, time to relax: "Lovely day. E. sailed &c with the boats all day. Quite lovely to see them. A. watched them long long time had a little turn in one."
10 The Elgars return home to Plas Gwyn, and the Jaegers come to stay.
11 While the Jaegers explored the countryside, the Elgars went to Mass: "Most lovely - Gott sei Dank to be Katholiken"
12 A very wet day. The Jaegers went home in the afternoon.
13 Alice "Saw the book about E.’s life in the town for the 1st time -". This was Robert Buckley's biography.
14 Rosa Burley came over from Malvern to stay: "The local society was stuffy and slow and its dullness began soon to tell on him. 'If only you could see the frightful old fizgigs' - a favourite word of his - 'who are fetched in to entertain me'."
15 Elgar writes to Alfred Littleton: "I saw Mr. Beale of Birmingham: if the new oratorio is ready they expect it - they will give two performances, preceded by the Apostles - 3 performances, I mean programmes, to me alone! enough to satisfy a moderate ambition. I am working away at the oratorio but have nothing to shew you yet; and I sometimes feel overweighted."
16 "E. & Canon Gorton & Miss Burley for long ride"
17 Carice started Saturday gym lessons at the Hereford High School for Girls. She remembered: "It was absolute torture to me in those days, for I had no idea of marching in time and the idea of a running jump at the horse so paralysed me with fright that I just could not do it. I used to dread Saturday mornings to which my poor cousin May always had to take me because I was not allowed to go into Hereford alone down St. Owen's Street because in those days there were so many drunk people about even at eight or nine in the morning."
18 "Lovely day E. & A. & C. & Miss Burley to Rotherwas Most lovely walk - E. & Miss B. for little ride late."
19 Miss Burley went home, and Richter wrote to Elgar about The Apostles: "I shall bring a Hungarian instrument - Tarogato - which I should like to be heard by you, probably you will find it good enough for the ‘Schofar’. Although it is a wooden instrument, it has a strong and telling sound; the Hungarian shepherds play it. At all events it is an interesting instrument. It was played at Covent Garden in the third act of Tristan - ‘die lustige Weise’ - it made a very striking effect and could not be overpowered by the greatest ff of the orchestra."
20 Elgar needed money - a letter to Littleton: "Would it be possible, I mean agreeable, to your firm to send me before the evil quarter day something on account of royalties RR on acct. of the next possible payment on a/c of Apostles? If usual I wd. of course pay any interest or any business way shd be followed. I want 100£ or £150 whichever is possible."
21 "E. & A. & C. to Hoarwithy by 1.10 train to Fawley E. rode - most of the way. Most lovely day & wonderful place -"
22 Henry Wood performed the Enigma Variations at the Proms. Jaeger had written the day before to Sidney Loeb, Richter's son-in-law: "I mean to go to the Promenade concert tomorrow (Thursday) evening to hear myself in Elgar’s Variations. My wife & I spent some days with the Elgars. I fear me that Symphony is as far off as Ever!"
23 A telephone was installed at Plas Gwyn - their first one.
24 Jaeger writes to Elgar: "My dear Sir Knight yelept Edward ye wizard of Plas Gwyn - I'm sure it will give you some little pleasure (- tho' forsooth, there be little enough left, I fear me, to bring a thrill of pleasure to your pampered soul) (pampered Soul is good!) - that we are now Engraving the full Scores of Caractacus, King Olaf, Banner, Light of Life, Black Knight. 'The Complete works of The Master' will soon be an accomplished FACK!"
25 "Lovely day. E. & A. & C. to Rotherwas - Saw two kingfishers - Sat on river bank -"
26 "E. for ride in aftn. Caught in showers. Deep in libretto of the 'Apostles'."
27 Elgar went to London in preparation for the Leeds Festival orchestral rehearsal next day.
28 "Telephone finished. A. pweaked through it. E. had rehearsal of the "In the South". Splendid Orch. Rushed back to Hotel Changed & reached home by corridor."
29 Elgar writes to Jaeger: "You shd have been at the R.C.M. to hear the Alassio - you cd not only hear but feel also; it's a jolly fine orchestra."
30 Elgar writes to his old friend Charles Buck in Settle: "I am coming to Leeds next week & would try to come over for a few hours."


Birth of pianist Vladimir Horowitz.

Birth of novelist Graham Greene.

King Edward's brother, the Duke of Connaught,
narrowly escapes death in a car crash

The Briton Joe Bowker beats the American Frankie Neil to become world bantamweight boxing champion

The Russian Baltic fleet sinks a British fishing boat,
mistaking it for a Japanese warship

British warships surround Russia's Baltic fleet in North Sea

1 Lady Mary Lygon comes to stay at Plas Gwyn - "After tea we walked down to river what we call the 'arrival Walk'.".
2 Entertaining LML at Hereford.
3 Elgar travels to Leeds for the Festival.
4 Elgar visits his friend Charles Buck at Settle.
5 Elgar conducts In the South in same programme as the 29 year old Fritz Kreisler plays the Brahms Violin Concerto with Richter conducting.
6 Elgar receives an honorary degree at Leeds University, as do Parry, Mackenzie, Stanford, Walford Davies and Charles Wood.
7 After attending a Wagner concert in the morning, the Elgars return to Plas Gwyn.
8 Elgar writes to Dorabella: "I like the old Water Music, but I take a little old rye with it now."
9 A quiet Sunday at home.
10 Elgar works on the libretto for The Kingdom
11 Alice's diary: "Much the same proceedings"
12 The Elgars go to Birmingham for the prize-giving at the Midland Institute, where Bantock was Head of Musicand Elgar visiting examiner.
13 The Elgars return from Birmingham, and Frank Schuster arrives by car for a visit.
14 "Nice day. Frank sent May & C. for a drive in motor. After lunch E. & A. & F. for lovely drive to Maddley & Kilpeck. Coming back by Belmont petrol ran short. We went in to Miss Underwood's & had tea & so home -"
15 Elgar writes to Alfred Littleton: "I have been thrilled by receiving proofs of various full scores of my things & I understand that many of them are coming out: I send you an especial word of thanks for this which I think you know gratifies my artistic sense &, I begin to think, my vanity too - I only trust that the things will pay for themselves: I can't help saying this although I know you do not think of this side of it."
16 "After lunch E. & A. started with Frank in motor & went via Ledbury to Malvern, called on Troyte on to Madresfield Vicarage & Sherridge. After tea back by Frome’s Hill & to within 3 miles of home in 32 mins. Delightful Evening E. played Apostles. Frank delighted."
17 Frank Schuster returns to London.
18 Jaeger writes suggesting an orchestral suite from The Black Knight: "There are such jolly Tunes & catchy Rhythms in that music, it's a 1000 pities the work is ignored here in London & the other big towns. Think on it -"
19 A bike ride: "Very rough & muddy lanes"
20 The clarinettist Charles Draper writes about an arrangement of the Canto Popolare from In the South: "I feel that the best thing would be to write it all for the A Clarinet. I suppose there would be time to change? From letter B it is infinitely better on the A Clarinet and the first part and also last part will suffer little or nothing, in fact I think the whole thing will be more sympathetic on the A Clarinet. I do not think that I can alter anything to make it more effective than it already is. I should feel very proud for my name to be connected with this, but feel that I have not done sufficient to entitle myself to such an honour."
21 ... and the viola player Alfred Hobday writes about another arrangements of the same piece: "I have put a few finger marks in the Canto popolare which you sent me & I trust they will meet with your approval. I take it as a compliment & I consider it a great honour to have been asked to do this by you - it was very kind of you to think of me. My wife & I are most likely giving a recital during the winter & I shall certainly include this charming piece, which is so effective for the viola. When are you going to give us a string quartet? I am most eagerly looking forward to one!"
22 Elgar goes to Liverpool and conducts Enigma with the Orchestral Society in the evening.
23 Elgar writes to John West at Novello: "Many thanks for your letter re 2nd bar p. 100 of the Variations: yes, it is an error undoubtedly, but on looking at it I thought it must be one of those things which sound all right owing to the timbre of the insts. I waited until yesterday when I was conducting rehearsal & concert in L'pool & listened to the bar. Do you know it sounds all right to me - sort of inverted (perverted) pedal & I don't think we'll alter it. If you hear the Vars: again listen & tell me what you think."
24 A sundial arrives from Frank Schuster.
25 Another bike ride.
26 "E. vesy badsley headache all day."
27 Elgar bikes again, while Alice has to make a speech at a local school.
28 Yet more biking.
29 "Walked up Backbury Beacon. Quite lovely. Sat out for lunch in the hot sun, robins singing grasshopper chirping."
30 Percy Hull, later organist of Hereford Cathedral, comes to supper. Lady Hull remembers: "He and Elgar would often play duets, and once when trying an arrangement of the Enigma P.C. apologised for "muffing" the difficult Troyte Elgar laughed and said " But didn't we make the old fellow buzz!" Another time they tackled the Tschaikovsky 6th Symphony in which the third movement is in five-four time - in those days very unusual: Elgar for a minute was baffled and admitted he couldn’t get the hang of it!"
31 "Grey & rainy. E. & C. & May for walk in afternoon."


Forty-nine people are killed or wounded in riots in Warsaw against the Russian government of Poland.

The first underwater journey of a submarine is taken from Southampton across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.

In Paris the first motor buses replace horse-drawn ones.

In Russia students and workers organize nationwide demonstrations against Far East war.

In the Far East, Japan takes the last hill surrounding Port Arthur, despite the loss of nearly 12,000 troops.

1 A quiet day, when Alice missing Mass was the only thing worth reporting.
2 Another quiet, domestic sort of day.
3 Ivor Atkins visited Plas Gwyn. His son Wulstan writes: Elgar told him about a proposal to form a Chair of Music at Birmingham and how Bantock and others were encouraging him to consider becoming the first Professor. There was no doubt he would be approached officially before long. He seemed very uncertain ... Work on Apostles II appeared temporarily to have been put on one side, and Elgar talked about putting into shape the Pomp and Circumstance March No. 3. The sketch for the Trio of this had been given to Atkins in February 1902.
4 Elgar writes to Frank Schuster: "I was very sweetly angry with you over that Sundial but I love having it & am really happy; coming from you makes it perfect: it is very human, - it lies all the morning & tells the truth, repentantly, all the afternoon: the latitude does not suit it; - I mean the actual latitude, not the unveracious latitude it allows itself in mistelling the morning hours. Also it is feminine & only beams & smiles in sunshine; it seems to frown when there is a lack of ‘gold in the air!’ These be philosophisings."
5 Jager writes to Elgar: "Lucky man to have a chance of enjoying this lovely weather - Lunch out of doors in November! It suggests a joke, coming out of England. My bairns enjoy the weather to the full, out all day in the Streets with their Hoops! Sunday mornings to Highgate Woods to Romp with 'papa' amongst the dry leaves carpeting the ground everywhere. We do have fun!"
6 "E. badsley headache - not out."
7 Richard Peyton, who was endowing the chair of music at Birmingham, writes to Charles Harding, Life Governor of University: "I understood you to say that the appointment in question was of Dr Elgar's own seeking, that he had declined an offer from Manchester & had been in communication with Leeds. That he should desire the appointment is of course favourable as indicating a willingness to perform the duties but I should be glad if I could be informed whether the authorities of the University have been able to satisfy themselves that in regard to questions of temperament, decision, punctuality & the exercise of control over others the appointment would be a desirable one."
8 The Elgars travel to Worcester for a rehearsal with the Worcester Festival Choral Society.
9 Elgar conducts Caractacus in Worcester, with Charles Tree as soloist.
10 "E. & A. home from Worcester about 2"
11 Elgar writes to Percy Hull: "One line to congratulate you on your appointment as a glorious Sub-canon - may you live long & sing nobly & may the head-dromedary never have to inflict chastisement on your naked back."
12 "Prof. Fiedler came over about Chair of Music at Birminghm. Long talk to E."
13 Professor Fiedler writes to Charles Harding: "A satisfactory interview. He will write early next week."
14 Elgar writes to Fiedler, turning down the professorship: "... the duties would take up too much time."
15 "Percy Pitt arrived at 5. Very foggy - Kitchen garden fruit trees being dug up."
16 "Very foggy Early. E. & Percy Pitt for long walk - Pleasant Evening E. vesy bright."
17 "Gran Bantock & Mr. Hayes came by 12.9 train to talk to E about Birmingham Chair of Music. All lunched."
18 Granville Bantock sends a telegram to Professor Fiedler: "Very favourable. Bringing letter two o’clock today."
19 "E. & May for long ride taking lunch. Nice day. Mrs. Acworth & Rosamund came by 12.9 train. After lunch took them to Cathedral & All Saints."
20 "Very anxious how to decide Birmgm. E. finishing Pomp & Circumstance No. 3."
21 "E to London to see Littleton for advice on Birmingham Mus. Prof. - advised acceptance, with proviso of being able to resign after three years."
22 Elgar write to Professor Fiedler: "I wish to add that if I am appointed to the professorship I shall look forward to a long term of service on the lines I have already set forth; but I should like it to be clearly understood by all concerned that if I find the increasing duties interfere with my composition I may resign the post, say after three years, without causing any disappointment or ill feeling."
23 "Snow began to fall heavily."
24 "E. & A. to Knutsford Lodge 4.20 train. E. very anxious over decision - about Birm. Hardings nicer than ever. Drove to Town Hall, most impressive performance of 'Gerontius'."
25 "E. & A. at Knutsford Lodge E. & Mr. Harding to Mr. Peyton, the donor of the Chair. E. liked him." ... and so: "Dear Professor Fiedler, My scruples, save those I hold as to general unfitness, have been removed and I write to say that if the professorship is offered to me on the lines already decided upon I will accept it & will do my best for the University."
26 "E. decided to go to Germany" ... with Frank Schuster.
27 "Very very cold & slippery."
28 "E. left for Germany - Went to 22 Old Queen St. & dined & he & Frank crossed via Calais."
29 Elgar and Schuster went to Mainz to hear The Apostles at Mainz under Volbach and In the South at Cologne under Steinbach. Carice remembered: "Mother worried herself to death whenever father was away from home. I know by painful experience what it was like when he was away. One could hardly get an answer about anything, and until his telegram came saying he was safely in London - or wherever it was - she was terribly on edge, and seemed to think that one was very unfeeling if one did not appear to be worried about the journey. If she ever allowed herself to throw off this terrible worrying, she could be the most delightful companion, but unfortunately this did not very often happen."
30 Elgar sent Carice a post-card: "Gruss, Gosh, uks! Edward Elgar (love)"


The World's Fair at St. Louis closes.

The entire Spanish Cabinet resigns in a dispute over military reforms.

The Irish Parliamentary party meet in Dublin to discuss relief for those suffering from the potato famine.

Joseph Swan, President of the Faraday Society and inventor of the incandescent electric light, receives a knighthood.

London: The Coliseum opens in St. Martin's Lane.

1 Elgar and Schuster travel to Rotterdam, arriving in time to hear Fritz Volbach conduuct The Apostles.
2 Alfred Hayes, Secretary of the Midland Institute, writes to Alice about the Birmingham professorship: "I hope and believe that the position will prove agreeable to him under the conditions which he has wisely laid down. The benefit which he is thus conferring on the cause of musical culture and progress cannot be over-rated."
3 A Malvern Concert Club concert with the Brodsky Quartet. Winifred Norbury records in her diary: "Tea after the concert with all the Brodsky’s and Lady Elgar."
4 Elgar writes to Carice: "Off to Amsterdam. Love Faser."
5 Elgar is made a member of the Maatschappij tot Bevoordering der Toonkunst of Amsterdam.
6 Elgar and Schuster, now in Cologne, hear Fritz Steinbach conduct In the South.
7 At a meeting of the Council of Birmingham University, a further £1000 is put "towards a fund for providing the necessary instruction - which will be supplemental to the establishment of the Chair of Music."
8 The last concert of Worcester Philharmonic Society takes place.
9 "E. & Frank left Brussels about 11 - moderate Sea - arr. safe about 7. D.G - A. left P. Gwyn by corridor Dragon & was ready for them - Such joy to have E. safes - & F. Very happy evening not out of course -
10 Elgar sends Professor Fiedler a telegram: "Just back am accepting offer let the proposed article appear but with no definition of future plans and developments."
11 Frank Schuster has a party. A young Adrian Boult is present, and notes in his diary: "Introduced to all but Volbach. Had a long talk with Lierhammer about translations of songs, operas etc., audiences, lozenges. He said if he were born again he would never be a singer … With Elgar and Miss Clegg I had a little talk too. Lierhammer sang Handel’s Largo, Grieg’s Im kehn and two songs by Hugo Wolf divinely and Miss Clegg sang well. Volbach accompanied perfectly."
12 "E. & F. & A. & Volbach to the Tempest. Much too much Pantomime & very little Shakespeare. Mr. Tree to supper afterwards at Old Q. St."
13 The composer Joseph Holbrooke writes to Elgar: "I expect to have a tough time of it now, but I could not live any longer alone like a wild man. I’d give some’at for a professorship too!"
14 "E. took Vollbach to Brit. Museum - The Wahls, H. & Mrs. Wood, Steinbach, Vollbach, Webber, Mrs. & Miss F. Schuster to lunch, very pleasant. Took Vollbach to Stores late after tea, then he started for Germany. Delighted with his visit to F. In the Evening F. E. & A. to Beauty & the Barge - not amused -"
15 The Elgars attend a LSO concert (Beethoven Leonora No. 2, Bach Brandenburg 3, Beethoven Violin Concerto and Brahms Symphony 4) conducted by Steinbach. Boult's diary again: "Oh what an orchestral performance! Finest I think I have ever heard. The performance of the Brahms was magnificent. One always heard the woodwind. His arrangement of the Brandenburg has his own phrasing and expression marks, leaving out the two middle chords between the movements."
16 Hearing of the birth of Wulstan Atkins, Elgar writes to Ivor Atkins: "... so glad to hear you are well & flourishing, all three of you I hope. I am so very happy about the new arrival & envy you your son - alas! I receive in this world all that I never want or wish for."
17 "C. Phillips to lunch & then he took A. to German Plays. E. & Frank went to the “Confederacy”. Dined at O. Q. St. & did not go out."
18 The Elgars hear Dream Children, dine with Strauss and then receive guests at the Concert Goers Club.
19 "Very dark & damp in London - E. to see the Dean in aftn. who invited him to dinner & the Westminster Play but Frank was out so he declined. Dined by ourselves & then to Lady Windermere’s Fan -"
20 Elgar and Ivor Atkins are in Birmingham. Wulstan Atkins writes: "After the concert they were invited by George Halford, then the chief orchestral conductor in Birmingham, to go to supper at the Clef Club, which was being given in honour of Strauss. This was a memorable evening with Elgar and Strauss as the principal speakers. It was Elgar’s first public speech in Birmingham since he had accepted the chair of music."
21 Elgar and Atkins travel back from Birmingham - Atkins to his son's christening in Worcester Cathedral, and Elgar home to Hereford, where he finds proofs of the score of the third Pomp and Circumstance March (dedicated to Atkins awaiting him. He writes to Atkins: "The score (proof) is here: & it looks well. Will you be able to look it thro’ if I send it? Send a p.c. & say: you must not think of it if you are busy: but it is Noel, & over a pipe, look you, you might do much to amend the failings of Edward Elgar"
22 "Very busy - cards &c. Dr. Sinclair & Mr. Hull to tea."
23 "Very busy with cards &c - To Cathedral at 5 & heard Carols & to Dr. Sinclair's afterwards."
24 Elgar writes to Frank Schuster: "One line at this time (I hate it) because Alice says 'its nice'. Oh! Lord. Well! I must wish you everything nice & good - or in short everything I want & haven't got. I think that's about it. Everything here is flat stale & distinctly unprofitable."
25 "Very damp gloomy day. A. & C. to town Church at 11 - too damp -"
26 "E. still depressed. Very gloomy weather. E. & C. for a walk."
27 "E. had an odious letter from Stanford - Sent most gentle & courteous reply." The contents of this letter are not known, but in his biography of Stanford, Harry Plunket Greene writes: "'… I took up me pen, me boy!' was the recognised prelude among his friends to some inevitable row with a temporary antagonist."
28 Elgar writes to Lucy Johnstone, widow of the music critic, Arthur Johnstone: "I cannot tell you how deeply I feel the loss we have all experienced. It may seem impertinent to appear to share in a sorrow which is really your own, but your dear husband was so much to us musicians that I ask you to forgive me if I put myself forward as one sorrowing more than he can express."
29 Elgar write to Alfred Littleton: "It is very near the end of the year & I must send you all good wishes for the New One & add thanks, very many, for all your kindness during not only the past year but in many before that. I do not write the same thing to the firm, but I am sure the members of it are very human (although I don't know them all!) & I shall be very much obliged if you will be so good as to let them know how grateful I am for all they have done & are doing & how satisfied I am with our present arrangements."
30 E. to rehearsal of Choristers Concert in A.M. drefful headache - Better in Evening & he & A. & Miss Burley to the Concert. Very nice Concert. 'Snow' wh. E. conducted. lovely."
31 Elgar writes to Henry Walford Davies: "I went to the Choristers' Carol concert last night & we were ravished with your beautiful (Christmas Carol) Rocking sung nicely by Carrodus."

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