Our Archival Collections > Samuel Lopes Salzedo (George Bernard Shaw)

NAME: Samuel Lopes Salzedo (George Bernard Shaw) Collection

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Samuel Salzedo Collection



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IE BL/L/SLS is material relating to Samuel Lopes Salzedo held in the UCC Library. This collection was donated to UCC Library by Caroline Lopes-Salzedo (granddaughter of Salzedo) in June 2013.

Samuel Lopes Salzedo was born in London in 1872, the son of Sephardic Jews who had emigrated from Amsterdam. He had a gift for languages and, as well as working in Russia, and in Rome for the International Agricultural Institute, he worked for most of his life as a legal interpreter and translator in London, fluent in over 10 languages.

As a young man, he rejected religion, and joined the Fabian Society where he met George Bernard Shaw. He was also a keen amateur musician and published a book on Niccoló Paganini, which is the subject of one of the letters.

He died in London in 1957, and was survived by his son, composer Leonard Salzedo.

Information kindly supplied by Caroline Lopes-Salzedo.


The Samuel Lopes Salzedo Collection is listed in date order. It consists of two letters from George Bernard Shaw to Salzedo on the topics of space/curvilinear universe, and the composer Paganini.


Access: Available by appointment with the Archives Service to holders of UCC Readers tickets.

Language: English

Finding Aid: Item Description (see below)


1.   3 Nov 1930

Typed letter on headed notepaper from George Bernard Shaw (Author & Playwright), 4 Whitehall Court (130), London, to Samuel Salzedo, 48 Darenth Road, Stamford Hill, N.16, in which he concurs with Salzedo on the meaning of the term curvilinear universe “that bodies when changing their place in space do not take the shortest path but travel parabolically {sic}”. He also gives his opinion on what space is “we cannot conceive if as either limited or unlimited…” but concludes he does not have time at the present to give more thought on it. Letter signed by Shaw.   1p

2.    2 Oct 1946

Typed letter on headed notepaper from George Bernard Shaw (Author & Playwright), 4 Whitehall Court (130), London, to Samuel Salzedo, 93-94 Chancery Lane, London in which he enthusiastically writes about Salzedo’s interest in Paganini and Shaw’s opinions on violin virtuosos – Sivori, Ole Bull, Eugène Ysaÿe, Joachim, Sarasate, Kreisler, Heifetz and Menuhin. He raises the issue of suggestions of “out of tune” playing or singing but Shaw admits to eventually hearing the subtle differences of southern and German scales. He also praises the singing of Marie Lloyd, Bessie Bellwood and others who rather than “owed their popularity to their horribly vulgar jocularity and the silliness in their songs…their real attraction was that they sang absolutely dead in tune and made you want to dance to the perfection of their rhythm.” He also writes that Ole Bull and Nicholson (flautist) both ‘tampered’ with their instruments to make their own unique sound. He finishes asking if the war enriched interpreters or did Salzedo “fall back on your fiddle?” Mss corrections to typing and letter signed by Shaw.   2pp

Related Material: George Bernard Shaw Collection, UCC Library

Bernard Shaw Letters, London School of Economics Archives

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Last updated: 08 March 2016

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