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Self-Portrait of Percy Grainger$
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Malcolm Gillies, David Pear, and Mark Carroll

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195305371

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305371.001.0001

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(p.15) 2 Father
Self-Portrait of Percy Grainger

Malcolm Gillies

David Pear

Mark Carroll

Oxford University Press

Extracts in this chapter describe the birth in England of Grainger's father, John Grainger, and his education. It covers the family tradition of “Graingerising” (keeping an artistic scrapbook) and its influence subsequently on Percy, and John Grainger's attempts to keep Percy “British” using the works of Rudyard Kipling. John Grainger's most notable designs, in Perth, Melbourne, and Adelaide are also listed. The effects of John Grainger's alcoholism on his marriage, and subsequent separation from his wife, are recounted, as is his surprising ability to get on with the Aldridges—his mother's family—better than she could herself. Pride in his young son's achievements, coupled with his inability to understand them are addressed, along with his substantial patience with his son. Consideration is given to the racial characteristics of the Irish and the Scots, John Grainger's “dark-eyed” (not “blue-eyed” and therefore Nordic) background and its implications for subsequent family disaster. Early concert life in colonial Adelaide receives sensitive attention.

Keywords:   John Grainger, Adelaide, concert-life, alcoholism, Kipling, racism, architecture

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