excerpt from 'Starting from Victoria' pp. 8 (232 words)

excerpt from 'Starting from Victoria' pp. 8 (232 words)

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Starting from Victoria

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[Leonard Ellisdon was the eldest of eight children. His mother ran a tobacconist shop in Ferndale Road until 1895 when the family moved from Brixton to Stockwell. He records that ‘when I was 18 I developed a falsetto voice’, p. 53] 


Whilst on the subject of my poor mother’s deafness, the following incident will I hope amuse you. In later years she had a tube through which one had to shout, and I mean shout! On this particular visit to her I took two male friends, and what with four sisters and an aunt, we were quite a goodly company. During the evening my mother asked me to sing and after some persuasion I agreed, but the difficulty was to get the tube into a position where it was not bent, so that my “beautiful falsetto” voice could be clearly heard. I eventually had to forego any piano accompaniment—I was the only one present who could play—and kneel on the floor and bellow through the tube, “Sweet Genevieve”. I felt an awful fool but stuck to my guns and finished on a plaintive wail, that had on occasions reduced old ladies to tears. I stood up with a satisfied smirk and my dear mother nodded her head approvingly and said “Very nice, very nice indeed, but will you now sing 'Sweet Genevieve' ". 

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excerpt from 'Starting from Victoria' pp. 8 (232 words)


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