This is a truly remarkable story that will appeal, whether or not the reader has any interest in 'serious' music. Fenby brings to life the atmosphere of tension that prevailed in the home of Frederick Delius, a self-absorbed egotist. Although his attitude to the then-blind and paralysed composer bordered on reverence, Fenby never loses his clear-headedness when assessing Delius' faults and idiosyncrasies.
This is a wonderfully-written book that shows Fenby to have been both sensitive and extremely tough. He had to be both to deal with a unique and difficult genius like Delius. The author was fortunate to enter a milieu that brought him into close contact with some of the great names in the music world of the late 1920s and early 30s: Edward Elgar, Peter Warlock, and Percy Grainger. His portraits of these and other musical luminaries are charming and insightful.
Although it was my love of Delius' music that drew me to this book, I found 'Delius as I Knew Him' most rewarding for its insights into its author, who was clearly a good and selfless man.