Reviews of Harp Making in Late-Georgian London
... a wonderful and astonishing book...
Professor David Watkins FGSM. Hon ARAM, http://www.davidwatkins.info
... a magnum opus and incredible resource [...] altogether mindblowing...
John Hoare, Pilgrim Harps, Surrey, UK. http://www.pilgrimharps.co.uk
As a harp designer and restorer, I have to recommend this book and give it the highest praise: It is by far the best book on the early pedal harps. It should be introduced as a textbook into music colleges , music schools etc. so that concert harpists can finally learn much more about the history of their instrument and also about the technical development of their instrument up to modern times. It is also a pleasure to study the book, which well-founded scientific character has enriched me - after four decades of restoring historical pedal harps - with additional knowledge. This book belongs into every library of concert harpists, musicologists and friends of the harp.
Rainer M. Thurau - Harp designer and maker, Thurau Harps, Weisbaden, Germany. https://thurau-harps.com
This is a fascinating look at harp making during an active time of development and innovation. It is well researched and has numerous illustrations that help clarify the technical aspects as well as being of interest on details.
A standard collection of recources on the Georgian English harp. BOL.com
I have bought this book and it is amazing! Beautifully done and meticulously researched. Lots of pictures and diagrams. I’m thoroughly enjoying it, and it will take some time, as it is a large book! Thanks so much for this! A great addition to my harp history collection.
Catherine Rogers, harp column.com
Reviews of Mizen: Rescued Folklore
Mizen folklore book was a labour of love
THE SOUTHERN STAR, SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2019
BY KIERAN O'MAHONY
A LONDON teacher with strong West Cork roots has recently published his first book featuring stories and folklore from schoolchildren collected from various West Cork national schools during the 1930s. Mizen: Rescued Folklore, Histories and Songs from Ireland’s South West is the work of Dr Mike Baldwin, whose grandparents hail from Goleen and Durrus. Mike is a regular visitor to Goleen during the summer months. ‘There’s stuff in there that will make you laugh out loud, but also stuff in there that could draw you to tears. Some of it is quite tragic and quite moving, given the obvious history of the local area,’ Dr Baldwin told The Southern Star. The book is a direct transcription from books held by the National Folklore Collection (UCD), written down by the schoolchildren from National Schools at Crookhaven, Lissagriffin, Goleen, Altar (Toormore), Lowertown, Schull and Ballydehob between 1937 and 1939. Their stories tell tales of local life, trade, farming, superstition and even the supernatural.
It was only while he was researching for a novel of his that he came across the stories online and he was then given permission by the UCD archive to publish the stories. Virtually all the resources I used were online and I also used online newspaper collections. The Irish Folklore Commission at the time charged the students of Ireland’s schools with the rescue of the country’s folklore. The standard of writing is remarkable and shows how excellent the education system was.
‘The book is currently on Amazon as well as in local bookshops in Schull and Skibbereen and the e-centre in Goleen. I might have underestimated the interest in these stories. I’m already working on a follow-up which will feature stories from schools from Ballydehob to Skibbereen. Hopefully I’ll finish that by the end of the year.’
Dr Baldwin’s academic background is steeped in music having completed a MA in organology (science and history behind musical instruments) as well as completing a PhD last year on harp making. He has been teaching ‘forest learning’ for the past 10 years and takes students into a woodland environment to teach them real lifeskills and how to solve problems.
"A wonderful rediscovery of history, tradition and song from one of the most beautiful places on this breathtaking planet."
Sam Lee - Mercury Prize nominated folk singer, winner of best traditional song (BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2016), song collector, broadcaster, animateur, and naturalist.
"[...] Folklore is something you normally associate with the distant past, but there is an intimate quality to the voices in the stories [...] It would make a great gift for an expat from the area and is EXACTLY the kind of book you'd want to be able to look at if you were staying in a cottage or AirBnB in the area."
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