Love Letters and Poems of Arnold Bax

ISBN 0-9535125-3-3

Dermot O’Byrne


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What we have here are all the poems of Arnold Bax … or, at least, all the ones known to Colin Scott-Sutherland, the editor, who is also the first Bax scholar in modern times. The poems are as written under Bax’s own name as well as those published under the name of his Irish ‘doppelganger’, Dermot O’Byrne. The editor has also in-gathered a selection of the composer’s teenage love letters.
Rob Barnett, British Music Society News 92 (December 2001)
Scott-Sutherland’s ‘IDEALA’ is illustrated (or, rather, illuminated) by an extensive array of photographic plates, most never published before: rare photos and the whole score of The Princess’s Rose-Garden, in homage to Harriet Cohen’s garden, a sumptuous example of Bax’s piano writing, and most unlike much well-mannered English Music. If Bax’s originality had little feeling for scholarly historic perspective, his brother Clifford Bax (also featured in the new book) was a poet with a keen sense of such perspective. His splendid and extensive English anthology, Vintage Verse, has illuminating introductions to each selection (Hollis & Carter, London, 1945).
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