The Love Letters of Percy French

and more besides

By: Alan Tongue

Publication Date: 1 November 2015


Revealed for the first time is the correspondence that Percy French, one of Ireland’s most influential songwriters, wrote to his fiancée and second wife-to-be, Ettie Sheldon, between May 1892 and January 1894, together with copious memorabilia of the period including several of the early French watercolours, theatre programmes, original ink sketches and portraits, and covers from the Irish Cyclist magazine of which French was editor.

The letters, written over a period of two years, give a fascinating account of the attempts of Percy French to further his career in writing and painting. With his inimitable humour he describes his travels and his various collaborations.

As with Alan Tongues previous book, the pages are arranged chronologically, with careful curation of relevant watercolours, archival photographs, programmes, articles and other memorabilia illuminating the text. This collection of letters was left to Alan Tongue by Ettie French, eldest daughter of the marriage, upon her death.


The Love Letters of Percy French and more besides is the result of extensive research and travel by French scholar Alan Tongue, whose ground-breaking study of Percy French, Picture of Percy French (1990) has become the standard work on this prolific and much-loved Roscommon-born Irish lyricist, entertainer, poet and painter. It is now a collectors item, having been out of print for many years. Tongue is a retired BBC musical programme producer and Chief Conductor of the Northern Ireland Symphony Orchestra (1986-92).




There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “The Love Letters of Percy French”

Weight 0.6 kg
Dimensions 154 × 236 mm

184pp, Hardback

Publication Date

1 November 2015

You may also like…