Distant Dreams: The correspondence of Percy Grainger and Burnett Cross, 1946–60
Lyrebird Press, $40 pb, 199 pp
Compiling a selection of letters for publication is a vexing task. Inclusions and exclusions tend to satisfy only the editors. Specialist readers will inevitably find their particular interests inadequately represented, while others will find material included to be offensive or inappropriate. The success of this volume has been secured partly because both editors have worked on books of Grainger letters before: Teresa Balough with Comrades in Art: The correspondence of Ronald Stevenson and Percy Grainger, 1957–61, and Kay Dreyfus with her ground-breaking volume The Farthest North of Humanness: Letters of Percy Grainger, 1901–1914. Also, only 181 letters between Cross and Percy and Ella Grainger were available, which minimised the scale of the cull. The editors chose to exclude seventy letters, the quotidian content of which immediately flagged their redundancy.