Maude Valerie White


Maude Valérie White (1855 – 1937) was born onthe 23rd of June 1855 Dieppe, France, but moved to England with her family when she was only one year old. 

She studied at the Royal Academy of Music Composition with George Alexander Macfarren, and was the first woman to be awarded Mendelssohn Scholarship.

She composed a large quantities of songs, setting to music words by the likes of Byron (‘So we'll go no more a-roving’), Victor Hugo ('‘Le Foyer’) and Tennysson ('In Memoriam') and other poems written in English, French, German, Italian and Swedish, being fluent in those four languages.

White's musical style ranged from early lieder-like songs to impressionistic.

One of the most successful songwriters (in the English serious genre) of the Victorian Period, her song 'My soul is an enchanted boat' (to a poem by Shelley) was described by Grove's Dictionary as 'one of the best in our language'. She also composed ‘The Enchanted Heart’, a ballet influenced by Russian ballet.

Maude Valérie White died on 2nd of November 1937 in London, aged 82, and is interred in the churchyard of St. Edward's Roman Catholic Church, Sutton Green, Surrey.