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Herbert Trench Correspondence with Joseph Holbrooke


Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Trench, Herbert, 1865-1923

Frederick Herbert Trench was born in Ireland and educated at Oxford University. From his school days he was a writer of verse. His first volume of poems, Deirdre Wedded, appeared in 1901. This was followed by further poems, notably "Apollo and the Seaman," which was included in New Poems (1907) and became an opera written by Joseph Holbrooke in 1908. The staging of the performance was very innovative and unusual as it was performed in almost total darkness except for the light of a lantern, which made the The New York Times praise it as "an illuminated symphony of the highest order" (January 19, 1908.) Some other poems of Trench were set to music by Arnold Bax. Trench and his wife spent a lot of time travelling in Europe. He died in Boulogne-sur-Mer.

The collection consists chiefly of twenty-one letters and one telegram by Herbert Trench to English composer Joseph Holbrooke. The letters date from the early stages of their acquaintance. In the first letter dated July 4, 1907, Trench writes to Holbrooke suggesting a collaboration between the two of them, and in 1908 an opera written by Holbrooke for Trench's poem "Apollo and the Seaman" was performed at Queen's Hall and attended by the King and Queen of England. There are several letters in which Trench writes about the progress of that production, the costs involved, money owed to Holbrooke, and about repeat concerts performed over the following years at other venues. Trench also writes to Holbrooke about some of his other works, including "An Ode to Beauty," "Stanzas to Tolstoy," "Ode on the Nile to Asswan," and his first volume of poems, Deirdre Wedded (1901). There are also some letters which Trench wrote from a hospital bed when he was travelling in Italy. In addition, there is a letter dated September 29, 1907, by Trench to "My Dear Cook," letting him know that Joseph Holbrooke is going to perform for them the Apollo and the Seaman symphony.

Folders are arranged by accession number and within that they are arranged by date.

The collection was formed as a result of a Departmental practice of combining into one collection material of various accessions relating to a particular person, family, or subject.

Letter to "Mr. Cook" was transferred from Rare Books (Ex), where it was tipped in a book, on July 7, 1978.

Letters to Joseph Holbrooke were purchased in November 1995.

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Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.

No appraisal information is available.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
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Collection is open for research use.

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Collection Inventory

Letter to "My Dear Cook", 1907. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

8 Letters to Joseph Holbrooke, 1907. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

6 Letters to Joseph Holbrooke, 1908-1911. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

8 Letters to Joseph Holbrooke, 1912-1913. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

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