John Braham, Singer

I HAVE called this paper “John Braham, singer” perhaps rashly, since many people find it hard to be interested in dead singers. John Braham indeed has other claims to be remembered?he touched history at many points. He knew Nelson, and sang duets with Lady Hamilton; he played whist with Jerome Bonaparte and knew Josephine de Beauharnais; he was popular with the Prince Regent and a close friend of the Duke of Sussex; he befriended the young Liszt when he first came to England; Thackeray caricatured him; Lamb and Leigh Hunt praised him; his daughter, Frances Lady Waldegrave, was a famous Victorian political hostess. . .

But he was first and foremost a great singer. My old friend, J. Mewburn Levien, to whose enthusiasm I owe much, wanted to write a book which should be called “John Braham, singer/9 and I am sure that is the right emphasis.

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