English National Opera Guides are ideal companions to the opera. They provide stimulating introductory articles together with the libretto and illustrations. This is a double volume dedicated to two masterpieces by Benjamin Britten. While Peter Grimes established Britten as a composer of international standing, Gloriana, composed for the coronation of Elizabeth II, has never enjoyed a comparable fame. The variety of mood, characterization and pace, in each, illustrates Britten's exceptional gift for theatre. Commentaries on the scores reveal, for instance, how much the popular concert extracts gain from their context in the dramas. The essay by E.M. Forster - the inspiration for Peter Grimes - is reprinted here, and Michael Holroyd discusses Lytton Strachey's controversial Elizabeth and Essex - the source for Gloriana.