The Ordeal of Ivor Gurney

The Ordeal of Ivor Gurney First published in The Ordeal of Ivor Gurney is a moving and extraordinary account of a tragic genius penned by the composer Michael Hurd Born in Gloucester in Ivor Gurney began writing song

  • Title: The Ordeal of Ivor Gurney
  • Author: Michael Hurd
  • ISBN: 9780192814869
  • Page: 200
  • Format: Paperback
  • First published in 1978 The Ordeal of Ivor Gurney is a moving and extraordinary account of a tragic genius penned by the composer Michael Hurd Born in Gloucester in 1890 Ivor Gurney began writing songs and poems in his teens, taking his inspiration from the Severn Valley countryside where he grew up Sent to the Western Front during the First World War Gurney experiencedFirst published in 1978 The Ordeal of Ivor Gurney is a moving and extraordinary account of a tragic genius penned by the composer Michael Hurd Born in Gloucester in 1890 Ivor Gurney began writing songs and poems in his teens, taking his inspiration from the Severn Valley countryside where he grew up Sent to the Western Front during the First World War Gurney experienced desolation and horror that made a profound impression on him He ended his days in an asylum, but at his death in 1937 he was beginning to be acknowledged as one of England s finest composers Still, it took several decades for his work as a war poet to be fully appreciated Hurd compresses into a taut, sympathetic outline the initial optimism and later torment of Gurney s ill starred life distinguished by its crisp use of poetic extracts PN Review

    One thought on “The Ordeal of Ivor Gurney”

    1. Gurney is an odd character in English poetry. Exactly where he sits in the pecking order is difficult to establish. I tend to confuse his early poems with Edward Thomas's, his later, asylum poems are like nothing else though unavoidably recall John Clare, and in between there are the war poems which may include one or two that might be essential. According to those that know, his reputation as a composer of English "art songs" is unassailable. Hurd handles his subject gently but with critical ba [...]

    2. This was a good and informative biography of Ivor Gurney which included several of his letters and unpublished poetry. Hurd managed to pack a lot of information in to just over 200 pages but managed to keep it interesting by not making it too academic and rambling. His thoughts on the skill of Gurney's poetry and music were fascinating as well as his thoughts on the cause of his mental health problems. A must read for anyone who is interested in Ivor Gurney.

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