A few composers have been locked up: Schubert (bad language to the police), Beethoven (arrested on suspicion of vagrancy), but only one woman has done time, and that for an excellent cause: the magnificently one-off Dame Ethel Smyth.

Ethel Smyth Dame Ethel Smyth

Tweedy, opinionated, passionate, and, in those days an unfashionable connoisseur of Australian reds, she was rarely seen without a tam ‘o shanter and an English sheepdog – she had six, all...

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