Almost two decades after his death Walton's reputation is higher than ever - many of his masterworks remain firm favourites in the concert repertoire, notably his eloquent concertos for violin, viola and cello, his dramatic cantata Belshazzar's Feast, his vivid film scores (such as Henry V), his powerful First Symphony (the creative outcome of a tempestuous love affair) and the sparkling entertainment Facade, a brilliant divertissement based on Edith Sitwell's poems and composed before he was twenty. Born in the cotton town of Oldham, young Billie's life was transformed when he won a boy chorister's scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford. He soon lost his Lancashire accent but never his innate canniness. His remarkable creative gifts were spotted early both by Hubert Parry (of "Jerusalem" fame) and the intellectually adventurous circle surrounding the Sitwell family, who persuaded him, since he was determined not to return to the narrow confines of life in Oldham, that he should quit Oxford without a degree to live with them in Jazz-Age London and earn his living purely as a composer.;He stuck to music but it made him only a pittance, however, and he became a self-acknowledged scrounger, lodging with the Sitwells for over ten years. . Walton then became the lover of a woman 22 years his senior, Alice, Viscountess Wimborne, a powerful society hostess who guided his career and chose the librettist, Christopher Hassall, for his first opera Troilus and Cressida. Within a year of her death in 1948 (when he was 46) he met the vivacous 22 year old Susana Gil Passo and they married after a whirlwind courtship. On their honeymoon he announced that he did not want children and intended to live in Italy.;They settled on the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples, eventually acquiring a plot of rocky hillside land upon which they developed the villas and estate of La Mortella, now one of Italy's best-known gardens. The authors Humphrey Burton and Maureen Murray worked with Walton on Ischia and have retained their Waltonian links since his death in 1983: she is curator of the Walton Archive and he is a member of the Walton Trust. With their shared background in television documentary they have adopted a filmic approach to this new pictorial biography.;Each of its eight chapters opens with a succinct descriptive essay highlighting Walton's life and his significant musical achievements: the narrative text is followed by many pages of illustrations, in which portraits by Cecil Beaton, Bill Brandt, Norman Parkinson and many others are interspersed with hitherto unpublished family photographs, music manuscript, press cuttings, playbills etc., all accompanied by commentary, rteminiscences, anecdotes and liberal quotations from Walton's typically trenchant letters and self-deprecating interviews for radio and television. This copy is in very good condition. Some slight scratchings or indents on the fron of the dust jacket; some slight rubbing and creasing to the edges of the dust jacket. Two prices, on in ink and the other in pencil, crossed out in ink on the front free endpaper.