15 April 1968 (To Diana McVeagh)

Dear Diana,

   thank you for your note. The idea of notes, or letters, in conjunction with Elgar, prompts me to the rather boring reflection that your own home key might with fitting musicality be described as   [cf. Mrs. McVeagh's address: Flat C, etc. ED]. I'm sorry about that – these notions come to me, I'm afraid, after long train-journeys such as the one back from my Easter holiday today; and the pills don't seem to help. However, there are nowadays I am told, such things as Singing Postmen, from whom such mysteries could not be hid.

   Their existence seems slightly more plausible than that of the Chairman of the Sheffield Elgar Society. About him I remain politely sceptical. So I remain also about the proposition that the Clara Schumann edition has merit. I think it must have been that edition whichinspired the words "La donna è mobile... muta d'accento". Still, as I happen to known, the whole point about Schumann expertise is that what its possessors don't know about Schumann cannot possibly be true; so I may well be mistaken.

   Turning to Elgar expertise – is it possible, do you suppose, that the Dorabella writing is in Greek, like Linear Minoan B?