Author Cora Weaver Releases ‘Elgar: Variations and Enigmas’

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New book retells story of composer Edward Elgar, his first fiancée Helen Weaver

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Edward Elgar was hailed by Hans Richter as "the greatest modern composer" in any country but in 1884, years before his fame and success, Elgar’s heart was broken when his fiancée, Helen Weaver, broke off their engagement and fled first to Bradford (England) and finally to New Zealand. She is now considered by many people to be the subject of Elgar’s sadly poignant thirteenth ‘Enigma Variation.’

Helen Weaver is on historian and author Cora Weaver’s family tree. Over the past 25 years Cora has been collecting previously unpublished family photographs and information, and discovering new material in archives and libraries in England and New Zealand, in order to retell Helen’s story. She has now published her findings in “Elgar: Variations and Enigmas” (published by Xlibris UK).

Upon doing further research, it seemed appropriate to include two other main characters – Edith Groveham, the 17-year-old girl who was with Helen and Elgar in Leipzig in 1883 and about whom very little is known, and Elgar’s brother-in-law Stanley Napier Roberts, whose riches-to-rags life would have affected both Elgar and his wife. In this book, Weaver examines and discusses these three people and how their lives intertwined with Elgar’s. It also includes information about some of his many friends, comparing their lives with his to try to understand why the engagement was broken off and the importance to Elgar at that time of religion, vocational success and money.

“I would like readers to think about what I have written and offer their own interpretation,” Weaver says, “or reach their own conclusions, on the questions that have still not been answered, such as why Elgar’s engagement to Helen ended, or to what extent Elgar’s life was affected by his brother-in-law’s financial situation.”

“Elgar: Variations and Enigmas”
By Cora Weaver
Hardcover | 6x9in | 112 pages | ISBN 9781493193431
Softcover | 6x9in | 112 pages | ISBN 9781493193448
E-Book | 112 pages | ISBN 9781493193455
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Cora Weaver has lived in Malvern, Worcestershire, for 37 years. It is the town in which Elgar lived for 13 years from 1891-1904 and its hills were a great inspiration to him. Cora was educated at St Albans, Portsmouth and Oxford, where she studied for a master’s degree in English Local History. She was trained as a teacher. Currently she works at Worcestershire County Museum and, dressed in appropriate costume, brings history to life for school children. She also writes books and gives talks about various aspects of Malvern’s history. Interested parties may reach her through:

Xlibris Publishing UK, an Author Solutions, LLC imprint, is a self-publishing services provider dedicated to serving authors throughout the United Kingdom. By focusing on the needs of creative writers and artists and adopting the latest print-on-demand publishing technology and strategies, we provide expert publishing services with direct and personal access to quality publication in hardcover, trade paperback, custom leather-bound and full-color formats. To date, Xlibris has helped to publish more than 60,000 titles. For more information, visit or call 0800 056 3182 to receive a free publishing guide. Follow us @XlibrisUK on Twitter for the latest news.

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