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The Ayrton Papers: music in London, 1786-1858

Pamela Willetts


RECENTLY acquired papers of William Ayrton (1777-1858), musician and critic, sometime Director of the Italian opera at the King's Theatre, and editor of the Harmonicon, proved to be the residue of the collection of Ayrton's correspondence and papers presented by Miss Phyllis Ayrton, his great-granddaughter, in 1964. The new collection consists mainly of family papers, but, owing to the wide social and musical connections of Ayrton's father and those of the Arnold family into which he married, these touch on many notable personalities and events. The centre is mainly London, but there is interesting material concerning Cambridge and other places mentioned in a travel journal of 1786 written by Ayrton's uncle, William Ayrton of Ripon.

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