|“Romantic by temperament and poetic by nature” is how Elgar’s eldest sister, Lucy, described the personality of their mother, Ann Elgar, neé Greening. Ann was a remarkable woman.
Born near to Weston-under-Penyard in Herefordshire she was a farmer's daughter and hardly educated; yet she developed a keen interest in literature, wrote poetry and had a real understanding of nature and the countryside around her.
Some people who knew Elgar said that he liked to give the impression of a country gentleman who, after a round of golf, would come home and just happen to write some of the greatest music ever to be produced in this country.
To take these accounts too literally would be a mistake, but it is certainly true to say that Elgar often had to be bullied into work, and when the creative juices were not flowing there was a vast array of hobbies to be pursued.
Elgar lived in over twenty-four different houses throughout his life from the humble 19th century cottage at Lower Broadheath where he was born (now the Elgar Birthplace Museum) to the grand residence 'Severn House' in London and the more comfortable 'Marl Bank', his last home on Rainbow Hill in Worcester.