15. 8 January 1997 (Musicology?; copyright)

Dear John,

   Nice to chat, as ever. I've spent most of this cold Christmas suffering from a Christimas cold, no doubt under the influence of Shakspeareans chiasmus. After that enforced hibernation, this seems to be resuming its usual course, with the new year. But it's still winter here, with a degree of cold that even polar bears would complain about. Still, I don't have to leave the igloo just yet, although my diary is beginning to fill, indeed overflow, with engagements and agenda, as if I were still active on the scene; and I find this illusion quite pleasing, although in fact I'm so old that I've been asked to participate in a radio archive series. I take this to consist of a convocation of superannuated musicologists ruminating, in quavering tones, on the arcane mysteries of their ancient craft. Everyone knows and loves music, but what's -ology?

   We don't seem to have much Shakespeareology either, despite all our efforts, though even the dizziest flights of fancy need concrete factual runaways to get off the ground from. But at least Edward III has had a couple of quite good reviews in the States, which have encouraged (not to say maddened) me to the point of further detailed research into Shakespeare spelling and pronounciation. I'd better try to run this up on some literary flagpole to see if anyone salutes it. But I've rather fallen ot with Notes and Queries, because their publishers (O.U.P.) have issueda stern decrete that all writers for all their various journals have to sign away their copyright for all future ages, and I find I'm very reluctant to do so, even though the financial rewards will be either zero or vanishingly small. The Society of Authors, whom I've duly consulted, don't like it either. We'll see what happens. I'll ask Graham Holderness and Bryan Loughrey, with whom I'm due to have lunch later this month, if there's any chance of publication in the journal they edit.

  Meanwhile here are the promised addresses. I can't at this moment lay my hands on the latest copy of the Newsletter, though I do seem to recall something in it about the Peter poem. You shall have it as and when it turns up. At the moment I'm rather preoccupied with preparations for the Schubert and Brahms commemorations.

   All best regards and wishes, seasonal and other, to you and the family,


   Yours as ever,