Those Twentieth Century Blues: An Autobiography by Michael Tippett
Sir Michael Tippett's life has always been exceptional - expelled from prep school after prep school, from the age of seven he had to travel across war-torn Europe alone to stay with his nomadic parents in the school holidays. But he always knew that he wanted to be a composer as strongly as he knew he was homosexual. He was imprisoned during World War II as a conscientious objector when his friends - Britten, Sitwell, Eliot, Fry - all escaped prosecution, and was briefly a member of the Communist Party. For years he had a close relationship with his cousin Fresca who finally committed suicide when it became clear that Tippett could never marry her. All this happened against a background of Jungian analysis and composition of masterpieces such as "A Child of our Time", "King Priam", "The Knotgarden" and "The Mask of Time". This is Tippett's autobiography.