Raymond Bantock Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Letters from Josef Holbrooke (1878-1958, composer) to Raymond Bantock (fl 1900-1983, writer and son of Granville Bantock (1868-1946, composer), together with one letter from Josef Holbrooke to Peggy, Raymond Bantock's wife, one letter from Christopher Edmunds to Raymond Bantock, and one letter from Raymond Bantock to Josef Holbrooke.

Holbrooke wrote letters to Raymond Bantock during his father's lifetime and also after his death in October 1946. These earlier letters discuss Granville Bantock's music, and those letters written after his death contain reminiscences about Holbrooke's friendship with him. Some of the correspondence also makes unfavourable remarks about other composers and conductors, and about the BBC. The correspondence between Holbrooke and Raymond Bantock comes to an end after an exchange of insulting letters in December 1954, and Holbrooke asks him not to write to him again. The collection also contains various printed items, including lists of Holbrooke's published works, a printed biography and newscuttings on various subjects.

Administrative / Biographical History

Raymond Robert Marcus Bantock was the second son of Granville Bantock, the composer and conductor. He was born in 1900. He served in the Navy at the end of the First World War, and then obtained a Government Grant and went to New College, Oxford to read English. He spent three years in Japan as professor of English at Tokyo University and later returned to Birmingham, initially taking employment as a private coach. He married Margaret More (known as Peggy), a composer of orchestral music whose talents had been fostered by Josef Holbrooke, and whom he met at Harlech. They had six children. Raymond lived for many years at Grey Cottage, Barnt Green. He wrote the words for two songs that his father composed: Three Nocturnes for Voice and Piano, c 1925, and The Nightmare Giant, 1928. He also edited Six Great Modern One Act Plays, Tokyo 1924, and wrote Children of the Stage and The Slumberer: two plays 1929.

Reference: Biographical details of Josef Holbrooke are given in GB 0150 MS79, The Josef Holbrooke Collection; Myrrha Bantock Granville Bantock: a personal portrait (1972)

Conditions Governing Access

Open. Access to all registered researchers.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue is available in electronic format on the University of Birmingham Special Collections website: http://calmview.bham.ac.uk/ A paper catalogue to file and item level is available in the Special Collections Department.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections. Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Custodial History

Unknown.

Related Material

Letters from Josef Holbrooke to Granville Bantock are in GB 150 MS79.

Other material of Josef Holbrooke is held in repositories elsewhere: British Library, Music Collections (music manuscripts), Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives (correspondence, c.1900-1958, 26 items)