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Archive -> Autobiography -> ‘As a Tale That is Told’ Extract 47 Page 163-164



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‘As a Tale That is Told’ Extract 47 Page 163-164

Reflections on conflict
1912 or ?? 1937???
When in 1907 Mr. Sharp suddenly broke off his connection with Esperance Club I could not understand what had happened, as up to that time we had been in complete harmony.

My object now is not to rake up all the suffering and bitterness which followed this rivalry, but to try and account for an(d) explain what I now believe to have been the origin of it all. When this first began to dawn on me I knew absolutely nothing of the lines on which these

convictions would come to me.

When Mr. Sharp cut himself off from all association with our teachers and sent round a circular in his books which we were using all over the country and in this circular said that hitherto there had been no organised teachers I began to make investigations on my own and eventually with the help of qualified musicians published two books of dances, songs and children’s games.

But it is with the inner meaning of the traditional dances that I want to write because it was by these that I gained the knowledge that has helped me to interpret this bitter struggle that evolved from my controversy with Mr. Sharp. I puzzled for many years as to why this controversy had arisen. In ordinary language it was a controversy between a then very little known collector of folk songs and dances and an equally unknown woman who ran a Girls’ Club and who, with a handful of working girls, was trying to get those dances back into the possession of the folk to whom they belonged. And yet this controversy rang through England and the most important newspapers took it up and printed interviews and letters about it.


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‘As a Tale That is Told’ Extract 47 Page 163-164