Letters from Carice Elgar Blake

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 KEN/3/2/3
  • Dates of Creation
      30 Aug 1966-10 Apr 1969
  • Physical Description
      36 pieces; 52 sheets.

Scope and Content

Bundle of letters from Edward Elgar's daughter, to whom MK applied for information when researching his book on Elgar. Carice Elgar Blake read the typescript version of the volume in instalments, offering her opinions, additional information, and corrections [her suggested alterations have been made by hand to the typescript KEN/2/1]. She showed great interest in the project and she and MK became good friends as a result of their contact over the book. Her letters give an insight into her own opinions on her father and illuminate certain personal aspects of the man. Topics of interest covered include: the genesis of her own name, Carice, and the secret of the Enigma Variations [ie. the mysterious additional theme of the piece, which has never been identified] (no. 1); the identity of the 'soul' enshrined in the violin concerto and MK's representation of the relationship between Elgar and Alice Stuart-Wortley [daughter of Sir John Everett Millais, wife of the MP Charles Stuart-Wortley, and a close friend of Elgar] (nos. 8, 10 & 11); her father's friendship with [Sir] Landon Ronald, and his assistance in getting Ronald appointed as principal of the Guildhall [School of Music and Drama] (no. 13); a recording and performance of her father's Soliloquy for oboe, written for Leon Goossens in 1930 and first performed on BBC TV in 1967, and her correspondence with Goossens (nos. 17, 19, 21 & 23); Adrian Boult (nos. 30 & 36); the question of her father's faith, and whether he reaffirmed his adherence to the Roman Catholic Church before his death (nos. 34 & 35).

No. 6 is a loose sheet which has become separated at some point from one of the letters: it consists of comments by Blake on the whereabouts of [August] Jaeger's letters to Elgar.