Golf and flying opera singers: some distractions

The trouble with working in a library, I find, is that my ‘to read’ list grows too fast to ever get to the end of. Especially since at the moment I am studying (very slowly) for an MA, and so any books I read that are not to do with that naturally fill me with guilt (though not really) and the knowledge that I should be studying (I normally manage to overcome this feeling). At least if I write down the titles that sound interesting I can find these distractions again when I want them, I reason to myself…

With so many books passing under my nose on their way to the shelves, it becomes a very varied list, and includes things I would never have looked for otherwise. Books with bizarre titles or interesting covers (I am a very shallow person) often make it onto the list for no other reason. And so the list gets longer… Below are a few of the things that I hope to get around to reading one of these days:

‘The sea in the British musical imagination’ edited by Eric Saylor and Christopher M. Scheer (M834.c.201.86)

This book first made it onto the list because of the colourful British Railways poster on its cover, and on closer inspection the contents look very tempting as well, touching on the musical quality of the Shipping Forecast, Vaughan Williams, Arne, the Aldeburgh Festival, the Scottish fishing industry…


Cover photo: ‘Bournemouth: Britain’s All-Season Resort’, by Alker Tripp.

‘Ainola : the home of Jean and Aino Sibelius’ edited by Esko Häkli and Severi Blomstedt ; translated by Andrew Barnett (MR537.b.201.1)

This is a lovely book about the home of Sibelius and his family. Full of beautiful photos of the house and the landscape around it, as well as plans of the house and garden, architectural and furniture designs, and descriptions of the library and the music collections.


Cover photo: Taneli Eskola

‘Elgar’s inspired golf’ by Richard Baxter Townshend (MRC.405.200.5)

Not knowing anything about golf, I would probably have to look up a lot of words as I went along with this one! But that was part of the appeal of it. Written by the ‘RBT’ of the Enigma variations, this book includes such delights as illustrations of Elgar conducting ‘A Golf Rhapsody’ with a golf club, ‘Elgar scores a birdie’, and a view of the Malvern Hills ‘from the Old Golf Course’.

As well as being a golf teacher, ‘RBT’ was also a Cambridge Classics scholar and a cowboy, whose other publications include  ‘A Tenderfoot in Colorado’.


Cover photo: ‘For those in peril on the tee’ – Elgar driving at Stoke Prior


‘Evelyn Gardiner : flying opera singer’ by Tony Joseph (MRC.405.200.7)

Apparently the second ever British actress to gain a pilot’s licence (who the first was I have yet to find out…), Evelyn Gardiner had an exciting life. Singing Gilbert and Sullivan contralto roles both with the D’Oyly Carte and with Australian opera companies, as well as crocodile shooting, interior decorating, pearl sorting, and of course flying, she is well worth reading about!


Cover photo: Evelyn Gardiner


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1 Response to Golf and flying opera singers: some distractions

  1. Pingback: Favourite music related reads at the UL | MusiCB3 Blog

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