13. 21 August 1996 (Elgar mss; BL; Cardenio)

Dear John,


   thanks for your letter and enclosures of 12 August. I'm much preoccupied at the moment with subsidence problems and consequent cracks (familiarly known as the cracks of doom) that have appeared in our back wall. So I haven't had, and probably shan't have, any chance of looking again at the Ironside and More mss. I did manage though to look at some Elgar mss, in the interests of drafting an article on that great subject (also with Welsh connections) and shall be going again, as soon as I can manage, to check up on some Brahms texts and variants. I can tell you that the old place seems to have had a face lift, under new management, and that the surly tribe of peevish persons in beige overalls seems to have been replaced by, or perhaps retained into, an altogether more cheery and helpful lot. But I suppose I should try to look through old Chas.'s Cardenio, even though he seems to be saying exactly the same as Everitt said in 1954. Charles remains severely unaware of other work in the same field, and so does almost everyone else who tackles these recherché topics. Charles in consequence makes ludicrous slunders, such as (in the pages you kindly sent me) supposing that Shakespeare got no money from his writing, or hailing the ineffable Schoenbaum as an authority. I dare say that he and Everitt are right about The Second Maiden's Tragedy, all the same, as they are about the will.

   Best regards,

   yours Eric