Anthony Murphy : 9781-902918-62-4
The Life and Times of George Butterworth


A significant and eminently readable study of a composer and champion of folk music and dance.
English Dance & Song Journal, spring 2013

Anthony Murphy gives us a wide-ranging account, very good on the social background and splendid for the inclusion of many Butterworth letters.
The photographs are wonderfully crisp and well-defined . . . [and] a notable feature of the book.
A detailed and vivid account of Butterworth's days in the trenches. . . . A good read.

British Music Journal 2014

Anthony Murphy has done us fine service in telling how this musical chrysalis turned into a hero.
Housman Society Newsletter, 2015.

The Banks of Green Willow places the life and music of George Butterworth (1885-1916) in the cultural and political context of late Victorian and Edwardian England. It considers the intellectual and ideological origins of the folk-music movement, in which he was a central figure. It looks, too, at his close friends, the lives of many of whom were sacrificed on the battlefields of the First World War.

The author has had access to an hitherto unpublished collection of Butterworth's correspondence, and other material, deposited in the Bodleian Library by members of George Butterworth's family. Together with more recent documentation concerning his friends, they not only provide invaluable biographical detail, but also illustrate his single-mindedness of character, whether at Eton and Oxford, or as an enthusiastic collector of folk-songs or a Morris dancer and, finally, as a very brave soldier.

Butterworth's music compositions are considered informatively so as not to deter the general reader and uses extracts from his own diary, letters, and the regimental diary records of the Durham Light Infantry. The book concludes with an account of George Butterworth's war years, in which he was recommended three times for the Military Cross.

The Author

Anthony (Tony) Murphy was born in Halifax, Yorkshire, and educated at Elland Grammar School and St John's College, York (where he studied English and Music), and went on to take master's degrees at Brasenose College, Oxford and the University of York Postgraduate Centre for Medieval Studies. The author held various senior posts in secondary schools in a career of over thirty years and has lectured in adult education and on in-service training courses for teachers.

A practising musician, he was first appointed as church organist and choirmaster at the age of seventeen and has been involved in singing and in choral conducting ever since, most notably with his own vocal ensembles The Tudor Consort of Rochester and In Ecclesia, as well as directing music for period stage performances. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and, after a career spent mainly in the south-east of the country, he has now returned to his native Calderdale.

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