Ethel Smyth

(2262 words)

Ethel Smyth's reputation is founded on her exploits and achievements as a composer, suffragette and autobiographer. Her most admired compositions are her Mass in D (1891) and the opera The Wreckers (1902-4). She was awarded honorary doctorates in music from Durham University (1910), Oxford (1926) and Manchester (1930) and an LLD from St Andrews in 1928. She was honoured as a Dame of the British Empire in 1922.

In her late fifties, while engaged in war-work as a radiographer in Paris, she began her ebullient and informative memoirs. Loss of hearing eventually curtailed musical composition but gave scope to her writing. Impressions That Remained (1919), the first of nine books, is the most successful. A …

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Scullion, Val. "Ethel Smyth". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 January 2004
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]