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BRIDGES Robert - Autograph Letter Signed 1904 regarding choirs

  • £125.00

Robert BRIDGES (1844-1930)

Autograph Letter Signed ("Robt Bridges") to the chemist Nevil Vincent Sidgwick, discussing the position of the choir in earlier periods.

2 pages 8vo with integral blank leaf, together with the front of the associated envelope, Yattendon, 29 September 1904.

Thanking Sidgwick for asking Mr. Brightman to discourse on "return stalls", he continues ". . . I was enlightened by his letter because it had never struck me that the use of putting the choir into the chancel was modern. I suppose it is. But surely it must have very ancient authority. I remember attending mass in a Coptic cathedral(?) when I sat on a mat by the side of the patriarch chatting with him on miscellaneous subjects, while the choir boys were playing hide-and-seek or some equivalent game behind & about the altar all of course within the screen. Where did the choir sit? And how did they get up on the rood loft? Their basis of operations surely must have been the chancel. And what was that "roaring in the choir" which ws complained of at the reformation? It certainly was not all done by the clergy . . ."

Bridges, deeply religious in his youth and while at Oxford, travelled to the Middle East after leaving university, at which time he presumably had his chat with the patriarch.

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