Sir Arthur Sullivan: Life Story, Letters and Reminiscences
It has been Sir Arthur Sullivan’s habit when writing an opera or other big work, to take a house in the country for two or three months, driven from London by the curse of street music. Except for this chapter, this book had been passed for the printer and made up into pages by the time Sir Arthur had left town for Wokingham, where he had taken a house, which, at the time of writing — the end of September 1899 — he is now occupying while at work on his new opera for the Savoy Theatre. After returning me the corrected proofs of that part of the book dealing with facts, Sir Arthur was good enough to invite me to spend a day with him at his place at Wokingham in order that we might have a final conversation in regard to this book. Hence it happens that the many interesting anecdotes which he told me after lunch, while we were discussing tea and cigarettes on the lawn, find their place, in fragmentary fashion, in this supplementary chapter, instead of being inserted in their proper sequence in the preceding chapters. In order to make a virtue of necessity it may be hinted that there are some who may prefer a number of anecdotes put together by way of dessert, after the more serious courses of the meal which have preceded it, and those who prefer a more methodical manner may perhaps find it possible to excuse the inevitable.
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