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Faber & Faber

Quartet: How Four Women Changed the Musical World

Quartet: How Four Women Changed the Musical World

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The lives, loves, adventures and trailblazing musical careers of four extraordinary women from a stunning debut biographer.



'Fabulous.'
Sunday Times 'A rare gift.' Financial Times 'Passionate ... Vivid ... Timely.' Telegraph 'Readable and inspiring.' Guardian 'Compelling ... Ambitious ... Poignant.' Spectator 'Magnificent.' Kate Mosse 'Riveting.' Antonia Fraser 'A breath of fresh air.' Kate Molleson 'Fascinating.' Alexandra Harris 'Wonderful.' Claire Tomalin 'Splendid.' Miranda Seymour 'Remarkable.' Fiona Maddocks 'Pioneering.' Andrew Motion 'Brilliant' Helen Pankhurst


Ethel Smyth (b.1858):
Famed for her operas, this trailblazing queer Victorian composer was a larger-than-life socialite, intrepid traveller and committed Suffragette.

Rebecca Clarke (b.1886): This talented violist and Pre-Raphaelite beauty was one of the first women ever hired by a professional orchestra, later celebrated for her modernist experimentation.

Dorothy Howell (b.1898):
A prodigy who shot to fame at the 1919 Proms, her reputation as the 'English Strauss' never dented her modesty; on retirement, she tended Elgar's grave alone.

Doreen Carwithen (b.1922): One of Britain's first woman film composers who scored Elizabeth II's coronation film, her success hid a 20-year affair with her married composition tutor.

In their time, these women were celebrities.

They composed some of the century's most popular music and pioneered creative careers; but today, they are ghostly presences, surviving only as muses and footnotes to male contemporaries like Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten - until now.

Leah Broad's magnificent group biography resurrects these forgotten voices, recounting lives of rebellion, heartbreak and ambition, and celebrating their musical masterpieces. Lighting up a panoramic sweep of British history over two World Wars, Quartet revolutionises the canon forever.

Author: Leah Broad
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Published: 09/05/2023
Pages: 480
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.76lbs
Size: 9.30h x 5.90w x 1.70d
ISBN: 9780571366101

Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 06/15/2023
Publishers Weekly 07/31/2023
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