The extensive journals of the dilettante English composer John Marsh, which cover the period 1752-1828, represent one of the most important musical and social documents of the times. Following the critically acclaimed Journals of John Marsh, Volume I, this second book takes the reader from Marsh’s 50th birthday in June 1802 up to his death on 31 October 1828.
During the first decade of this period, Marsh’s extraordinary drive and enthusiasm for music making and organisation showed little sign of abating. Even after his retirement as director of the Chichester subscription concerts, Marsh continued to observe musical and other events in London and the provinces with undiminished interest, providing invaluable insights into the great early 19th century musical festivals in such cities as Birmingham and York.
Yet, as with the earlier volume, Marsh’s endlessly inquiring mind is evident in the wide range of topics that continued to excite his interest, making this second volume an essential companion for all those interested in the dynamic social life of Regency and late-Georgian Britain. Corrected work lists of Marsh’s musical and literary writings are included.
"The effort Brian Robins has put into this project is enormous: he selected the text, added the footnotes and assembled the lists and indexes. It is hardly a book to summarise: it is a massive account of what could be considered routine...Congratulations to the author and the editor for so fascinating an account of musical activities in Chichester and occasionally London." - Early Music Review, February 2014
Brian Robins was born in Cheltenham, England. An early interest in music took him into the record industry, by which time he had realised that he had no future as a performer. This, coupled with an interest in history, led him to undertake the four–year History of Music Diploma as an external student at the University of London. After completing this course with Honours, he became a part–time adult education lecturer, an occupation he found extremely rewarding. By this time he was also working on the extensive manuscript journals of the 18th–century English amateur composer, John Marsh, an undertaking that ultimately resulted in his edited version being published in the United States in 1998. His most recent book is a study of catch and glee culture in 18th–century England. He has also written chapters for two anthologies, essays for scholarly journals and presented papers at academic conferences in addition to contributing entries in the revised New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Aside from academic work, Brian Robins has reviewed early music CDs for a number of major publications, also undertaking editorial work. He is currently a book and record reviewer for Opera (UK). He has broadcast for BBC Radio 3 and was for several years a member of the awards panel of the Stanley Sadie International Handel Recording Prize. An interdisciplinary and contextual approach to the history of the arts is of great importance to him, his wide reading including many aspects of 17th- and 18th-century history.