In this section I will provide information on some of the G&S books which I either have in my collection or else I have obtained from our local library
During a visit to Eastbourne to watch the Gondoliers produced by the Eastbourne G&S Society we stayed at a little village called Alfriston - in the local bookshop I picked up two second hand G&S books. The first is a book which I have been after for a long time now - I have bid for it on eBay but it has gone for silly money - I had never seen it in a second hand book shop until this visit so I bought it straight away for £15. It is a super collection of photographs from the D'Oyly Carte. Wonderful - all my heros.
The Gilbert & Sullivan Opera by Audrey Williamson is a very deep book - it goes through all the operas and compares and contrasts the styles of music and libretto with other authors and composers. It is quite a "heavy" book but worth reading
Whilst on a visit to Felixstowe I went into a superb second-hand bookshop and found this interesting book first published 1952 - 443 pages in hardback version - cost £8. An excellent book in all respects - I would recommend this book to anyone with in interest in G&S. It deals with the operas, Gilbert, Sullivan and D'Oyly Carte, and the actors and characters involved. It is full of wonderful illustrations.
I was going to get Henry Lytton's autobiography, 1927, but did not have enough cash (and it was only £6!) Perhaps it will still be there next time? (July 2004 - the book was still there and I bought it - for £6)
This paperback book about Kenneth Sandford was written by Roberta Morrell (Click on Ken's book below for more information)
An excellent book if you are interested in pictures is A Picture History - Gilbert & Sullivan by Raymond Mander and Joe Mitchenson. (Click on the book below for more information)
One of the most recently published books is that by Michael Ffinch entitled Gilbert & Sullivan and published in 1993. (Click on the book below for more information).
Cynthia Morey, the G&S 2001 Festival Adjudicator has now written two books, the first is about her life with the D'Oyly Carte - well worth a read!
The "bible" for the G&S enthusiast is Ian Bradley's Annotated G&S
This little paper back is very interesting - it provides a good insight into the lives of our two heros!
This is an interesting book - it contains the libretti of all the operettas and is full of lots of pictures of the original actors. There are good synopses and brief history of the various productions .
New edition of the Bab Ballads by WS Gilbert (Edited by James Ellis) now available
"W. S. Gilbert, renowned author of the Savoy Operas, was also the creator of the Bab Ballads--"possibly the best comic verse--and surely the best illustrated--in the English language," according to James Ellis. Gilbert published these poems, together with his own, grotesque drawings signed "Bab," a childhood nickname, in Fun and other magazines in the late nineteenth century. In 1898, the older and by then distinguished Gilbert substituted pallid and inoffensive drawings for the originals, which he had come to believe "erred gravely in the direction of unnecessary extravagance." Since then the ballads have been collected and published in various editions, most of which have featured the revised drawings and only a selection of the poems. This is the only book to offer the complete collection of ballads with all original illustrations, a tribute to the comic genius of a writer known as "the most original dramatist of his generation." This collection will delight readers with its irreverence and wit" Quote from the Publishers Harvard University Press.