George Frideric Handel: A Life With Friends by Ellen T Harris
Sunday Times (London): Best volumes on classical music:
Ellen T Harris adopts a different tack from most recent Handel biographers in viewing the composer from the standpoint of his profession and personal associates, business partners and aristocratic patrons. George Frideric Handel: A Life with Friends (Norton £25) is a sequence of thematic chapters, each with its own timeline, charting the composer’s career through others’ eyes and ears, evoking more vividly than most the society in which Handel moved.
Handel is known to most of us as the composer of Messiah, but the man himself is a bit of a mystery. Using diaries, letters and other archives, this is a tapestry of London life with descriptions of his music and stories of betrayal, cunning and loyalty. (Norton, November 11)