It’s frankly amazing what you can find on the Internet. I won’t bore you with the sequence of links to where I ended up, just to tell you that I happened on a new online literary science publication called Nautilus, whose first issue was April this year.
They say that, “Each month we choose a single topic and each Thursday we published a new chapter on that topic online.”
The current month’s topic is Secret Codes. Within this topic, in Chapter 3 published on October 17th, is an article on how ‘Composer Sir Edward Elgar still has cryptographers playing his tune‘.
“On July 14, 1897, following a visit the previous weekend to some family friends, the Reverend and Mrs. Alfred Penny, Elgar spun off what looked like a drawing or scribble and gave it to his wife, Alice, to attach to a thank-you note. It was intended for Dora Penny, a 23-year-old ardent admirer, who sang in a local choral group and liked to dance.
They’d known each for a year and a half; she was not a lover, rather an entertainment, a colorful Aquarian butterfly with which to go biking, kiting, and strolling through the bracken and harebells of Malvern; someone who could read music well enough to turn the pages at the piano bench, but with whom he could also could talk about maps, fashion, and the fortunes of the Wolverhampton Wanderers football team.”
Nautilus is a site I’ll be sure to visit again.