Raynor, John. Illustrated by Dennis Flanders.
Title A WESTMINSTER CHILDHOOD.
Publisher Cassell, London, 1973, first edition.
Seller ID 18745
213 pp, 8vo (8 3/4" H), hard cover in dust jacket. ISBN 0304291838 B&w illustrations. "When John Raynor, composer of nearly seven hundred song settings, died so tragically in a road accident in 1970, he left behind not only his lifetime's musical work, but the manuscript of this enchanting account of the years of his childhood. His father was Arthur Guy Sandars Raynor, a famous Master of the King's Scholars at Westminster School, and the young John spent his earliest years in the g r e y p r e s ence of London's great Abbey. History and tradition were the day-long companions of the perceptive, sensitive child, who indeed was born at No. 3, Little Dean's Yard, 'that inmost court of an inner court, the quietest and dreamies t p la ce i n L on do n' . But there were sounds and colours and images that were to stay with him all his life and which he recorded so evocatively in this book: the brilliant-hued flowers of Westminster's secluded gardens; the magic of first h ea rin g t he Abb ey 's glo rio us organ; the clocks of London that became a lifelong passion; nursery fires and braziers; his mother's jewel case and his father's butterfly case, full of dazzling, glittering, shimmering things to feast a child's ey es. Te rror an d sa dne ss also cas t their shadows, to persist into later life: a haunted bedroom which drove the five-year-old boy to the brink of a nervous breakdown; the nameless, primitive horror borne on the wind from a tannery; the dreade d ch urch door whic h pro ved to have had h um an skin nailed to it; the death of a brother, killed in the holocaust of 1918. This is a quiet, gentle book, written by a gentle man whose love for the England that he knew shines as surely in these 'r ecoll ectio ns in tran quilit y' o f a happ y, com ple te childhood at the beginning of the century as it does in the songs by which he has so greatly enriched English music." Light fading at top edge of spine and at part of rear board, very smal l ligh t stai n on b ottom of text block , ve ry min or edge wea r. Dust jacket is price clipped, has light wrinkling and wear at top of spine and flap-folds, light fading to spine color, one small and one tiny closed tear. Very Good/Very Good