Love Letters and Poems of Arnold Bax

ISBN 0-9535125-3-3

Dermot O’Byrne


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Each poem in IDEALA is carefully footnoted to explain obscure references. Alternative versions are also recorded with variorum diligence.
Rob Barnett, British Music Society News 92 (December 2001)
This extensive collection of poems by Bax and his alter ego Dermot O’Byrne, annotated copiously by Bax’s first biographer [Colin Scott-Sutherland] (Arnold Bax, Dent, 1973) and beautifully produced by Fand Music Press, illuminates those years of ardent youth to which he said ‘farewell’ in his autobiography of 1943. The collection includes a 30-page memoir of Arnold and his brother Clifford by their tutor, Francis Colmer, especially written for Scott-Sutherland, and derives its title not only from an early setting of Bjornson – published as The Flute (1923) – but evoking the ideal love of Bax’s many romantic liaisons. Its theme became Bax’s for life: pursuit of unattainable beauty: romantic and realistic.
Ronald Stevenson, International Piano Quarterly

September 2001 saw the publication of the collected poems of Dermot O’Byrne (Sir Arnold Bax’s literary pseudonym) in the form of a substantial volume entitled IDEALA. This fascinating book, containing poems, love letters, music and other writings by those who knew him intimately, is edited and introduced by Bax’s first biographer, Colin Scott-Sutherland (Arnold Bax, Dent, 1973).

This sumptuous book contains 320 pages with nearly 90 illustrations, including an edition of The Princess’s Rose Garden, and is hard-bound and gold-blocked. Reviews have been numerous and very positive; the quotations shown at the head of this page are chosen at random, so click the Reload button to see others.


  Author Title
Dermot O’ByrneIDEALA
Love Letters and Poems of Arnold Bax
ISBN 0-9535125-3-3
# Author(s) Chapter
1Dermot O’Byrne
Edited by Colin Scott-Sutherland
3Poems in Red Notebook
4First (typed) Collection
5Letters to Isobel Hodgson
6‘Seafoam and Firelight’
7Letters to Mary Field
8Second (typed) Collection
9Harriet Cohen and ‘The Princess’s Rose Garden’
10Elsa Sobrino
11‘Verses’ – Third (typed) Collection
12‘Love Poems of a Musician’
13‘A Dublin Ballad and Other Poems’
14Memoir ‘The Two Brothers’ (Francis Colmer)
15Appendices 1–8
16Index of Poems
17General Index

Catalogue code: FM091Published: September 2001
Entry last updated: 21st July 2010