John Braham — from meshorrer to tenor

John Braham (i774-1856), the one-hundred and fiftieth anniversary of whose death has recently passed, was one of the outstanding British opera singers of all time, yet still lacks an informed biography.

True, this journal has published an article on Braham by Mollie Sands and references to his life from the Revd Cohen, Alfred Rubens, Professor Kaiman Burnim1 and others; but all of these, where they reflect on his person rather than his achievements, are to a greater or lesser extent influ? enced by the accumulation of legend and conjecture which his fame encour? aged in his time and later. Apart from these the reader can refer only to the largely anecdotal survey of J. Mewburn Levien, now sixty years old,2 the article in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography^ inaccurate as to Braham’s dates and family, or the more cursory coverage in Grove.4

The present study is largely concerned with

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