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Royal College of Music

GROVE, Sir George: Mendelssohn, Spontini, Grove letters


Reference code(s): GB 1249 MS 6957

Held at: Royal College of Music

Title: GROVE, Sir George: Mendelssohn, Spontini, Grove letters

Date(s): 1826-1882

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 1 file (14 items)

Name of creator(s): Grove | Sir | George | 1820-1900 | Knight | civil engineer writer on music


Administrative/Biographical history:

It is thought that some of this material may have been acquired by Sir George Grove on one of his research trips to Austria and Germany, particularly for material relating to his 'favourite trio', Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Schubert. He wrote significant monographs on the three composers for the first edition of the Dictionary of Music and Musicians, first published in 1879. Two occasions are particulary likely to have provided him some of these letters. In 1867 he made a memorable journey to Vienna with the composer Arthur Sullivan to search for material on Schubert's life and works, and visited Berlin and Leipzig in the autumn of 1879 for research on Mendelssohn.


Scope and content/abstract:

Collection of letters of Sir George Grove, comprising two letters from Gaspare Spontini, relating to his possible coming to London to produce Alcidor and Nurmahal, 1826; five letters from Felix Mendelssohn, 1834-1847, including a testimonial for Edmund Chipp, organist, and a letter to John Hullah in regard to an English text of Mendelssohn's Lauda Sion; letter from Gilbert Duprez with thanks for music parts, 1842; two letters to John Hullah from William Ball and Karl Klingemann in regard to works by Beethoven and Mendelssohn, 1858-1859; letter to Grove from George Eliot with thanks for his appreciative letter about her book Daniel Deronda, 1876; letter to Grove from William Gladstone in regard to Homeric studies, 1878; letter [to Grove] from William Morris in regard to a tribute [to Dante Gabriel Rossetti], 1882.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Usual conditions of the Library of the Royal College of Music apply. See the RCM website or contact the RCM Library for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying is permitted at the discretion of the Archivist for research purposes only.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

There is a detailed manuscript catalogue of the letters with the collection; an entry is also given in the supplement to volume 3 of the Manuscripts catalogue in the library of the Royal College of Music.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Discovered in a safe in the RCM with some Beethoven letters (Ref: MS 4249) in Nov 1956, and believed to have been placed there by Sir George Grove.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

The Royal College of Music has significant holdings of Grove material, which may be found throughout many of the manuscript collections. There are particular concentrations of Grove's correspondence in the RCM Director's papers. Other collections of note are his letters to Edith Oldham (Ref: MS 6864); his farewell address to the RCM, 12 Jul 1895 (Ref: MS 7296); letters from Grove to Alexander and Mrs Macmillan (MS 7326) and programmes for the Saturday orchestral concerts at Crystal Palace from the collections of Grove (many with extensive annotations) and F G Edwards (MS 7328).

Other collections of Grove correspondence are held by the British Library Manuscript Collections (Refs: Add MSS 35222-27, 38991-39119, 39679, 42233, 46251, 50852, 54793, Eg MSS 3091, 3097B); Bodleian Library Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, Oxford University (Ref: MS Eng lett e 118); Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge University; King's College Archives, Cambridge University (Ref: OB); Palestine Exploration Fund; University of British Columbia Library (see National Register of Archives for further details).

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Compiled by Robert Baxter as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project. Source: Dictionary of National Biography; article on Grove by C L Graves and Percy M Young, Grove Dictionary of Music.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Apr 2002

Classical music | Musical styles
Composers | Musicians | Performers | Artists
Music | Performing arts

Personal names
Bartholdy | Jacob Ludwig Felix | Mendelssohn- | 1809-1847 | composer x Mendelssohn | Felix
Chipp | Edmund | fl mid 19th century | organist
Cross | Mary Anne | 1819-1880 | nee Evans | novelist x Eliot | George x Evans | Mary Ann x Evans | Marian x Lewes | Marian Evans
Gladstone | William Ewart | 1809-1898 | statesman
Grove | Sir | George | 1820-1900 | Knight | civil engineer writer on music
Hullah | John Pyke | 1812-1884 | composer and organist
Morris | William | 1834-1896 | poet artist and socialist
Spontini | Gasparo Luigi Pacifico | 1774-1851 | Italian Composer

Corporate names