A while back I looked at the Ladybird book Lives of the Great Composers - Book 1, and my OCD tendencies were satisfied when I discovered Book 2 in the big box of Ram's childhood Ladybird books. Both books are in Series 662 - History of the Arts. Book 1 covers Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, and Book 2 covers Handel, Haydn and Schubert. Both books were published in 1969. Another book in the series is The Story of Music, which I have also written about.
Because the book only covers three composers, it's a pretty comprehensive text and there is a lot of detail. The biographies are written like stories, beginning when they were young children, which makes them a bit more approachable. They are not just a dry history, but are filled with little anecdotes, many of which are beautifully illustrated and sometimes quite humorously. For example, a paragraph about Haydn's short marriage to his rather volatile wife is illustrated by a picture of him cowering against a door clutching a violin while she throws crockery at him, definitely making the story more memorable although I'm not sure that they'd use an illustration like that today!
I really like the style of the book, although wordy it's actually very entertaining and definitely brings the stories of these men to life.
The book finishes with a quick summary of the well-known pieces by the composers in the book. I'm definitely going to be keeping these books around as a reference for school projects in the future!
I'm joining in with Ladybird Tuesday at Being Mrs C. You can see all my previous Ladybird Tuesday posts here.