" 'You're young, Frobisher, you're rich, you've got a brain, and by all accounts you're not wholly repugnant. I'm not sure why you stay on here.'"

Apart from the poor state of his finances, he is compelled to stay by the same quixoticism that drew him to Zedelghem in the first place. Their relationship is based loosely on that shared between the composer Frederick Delius and his devoted amanuensis Eric Fenby, who for years put up with the master's awkward temperament for the sake of a higher objective. After Fenby died, who unlike Frobisher lived to a ripe old age, his son explained, "I think he dedicated his life to the music of Delius because nothing that ever happened to him after those years quite compared. Everything flowed from that time. He once said there was no one who could compare with Delius." Fenby's account of his time with Delius is captured in his book Delius as I Knew Him,  later faithfully transposed onto celluloid by Ken Russell.  The film (listen to audio clip below) reveals the striking similarities between Mitchell's fiction and the reality upon which it is based. The image shows Delius in the advances stages of syphilis. His wife Jelka sits by his side.

  

 

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      Henry V: Passacaglia on the Death of Falstaff - Frederick Delius                       

 

    

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       Hear Fenby talk about Delius and Nietzsche