Stuart Button examines the struggles of the famous English lutenist and guitarist Julian Bream at the very outset of his career.
Historical background aside, the book's focus on Bream is constrained in scope to just seven years: from 1944, when the eleven-year-old first discovered his love of music and devotion to the guitar, to 1951, with the eighteen-year-old's acclaimed success in his first Wigmore Hall recital.
Despite the significance of these individuals, it was Bream's father Henry whose influence was paramount, and indeed in some ways this is a book more about Henry Bream than about his son Julian.
Pursuing Julian's career cost the elder Bream dearly.
Button rightly notes that, despite his fame as a performer, Bream remains largely an enigma.
There the reader is privileged to glimpse the teenaged Bream, then a student at the Royal College of Music, spending afternoons in the British Museum transcribing tablature from the original sources, and evenings in his room playing through these new discoveries.