Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Acceptable | Details
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. With pride from Motor City. All books guaranteed. Best Service, Best Prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Purcell: A Biography Hardcover – October 10, 1996

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$17.72 $3.37

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ever since the tercentenary of Purcell's birth, in 1959, there has been growing attention by scholars, biographers and musicians to the remarkable body of work of the "English Orpheus," and this latest biography?the second to appear this year?is a worthy addition to Purcellian scholarship. Keates, a fiction writer (like Maureen Duffy before him) as well as a musical biographer, suffers from the same meagerness of primary sources as other would-be Purcell biographers ("A true biography," he says, "is impossible to fashion"); there are very few documents, other than the manuscripts; sketchy records; and almost no anecdotal material. Still, he has made excellent use of his own enthusiasm for Purcell's music to kindle interest even in more out-of-the-way pieces; his detailed treatment of much of the music is the best so far in a popular study. He is intelligent also on the complex religio-political history of the time, and casts a knowing eye on the French and Italian influences on Baroque music, influences that Purcell thoroughly absorbed into a distinctive English style that has inspired native composers ever since. Illustrations, and a helpful index to works discussed in the text.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The past three years have seen a veritable flood of tercentennial monographs on the life and works of Henry Purcell, England's preeminent 17th-century composer. Like Maureen Duffy's excellent biography (Henry Purcell, LJ 6/15/96), Keates's work is a marvel of insightful research and witty, elegant prose. The author is no stranger to British baroque music; his biography of George Frederick Handel (Handel: the Man & His Music, Trafalgar Square, 1993) is widely respected for its scholarly authority. In the present volume, Keates, with far fewer hard facts at his disposal, is nonetheless able to conjure up a vivid picture of Purcell's life and achievements amid the turbulent political and musical spheres of the English Restoration. No musical examples are provided, but Keates helpfully points the reader toward recent analytical studies. An excellent, thorough index of Purcell's works is included, in addition to the general index. This is another fine addition to the welcome wave of Purcellania. Smaller music collections that passed on Duffy's work would do well to buy this volume; larger collections should consider both works.
Larry A. Lipkis, Moravian Coll., Bethlehem, Pa.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Northeastern; 1St Edition edition (October 10, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155553287X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555532871
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lars Hinnum on August 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
J. Keates writes entertainingly about the fascinating life and music of Henry Purcell (1659-1695), one of the greatest composer of baroque music. I think this biography must be a near-ideal introduction to the composer.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again