Burni on Gurney: He was mad before the War

Burni on Gurney: He was mad before the War


norman lebrecht

June 11, 2014

Interesting piece by Iain Burnside on the poet and composer Ivor Gurney, who is supposed to have lost his sanity on the Somme. Apparently, his medical records show signs of insanity that predated the War. Read Iain here.



ivor gurney 2


  • Mark Mortimer says:

    Ivor Gurney suffered from what would now be classified as Bipolar 2 Disorder. The Shell shock of the Great War inevitably made his manic depression condition worse.

    Apart from being probably the greatest genius of English Art song he was, by all reports, a very kind man of profound over-sensitivity. There have been many other artists of a similar fate. Look at the pianist John Ogdon for example.

  • John Hames says:

    Are you sure that’s Ivor Gurney? For one thing it doesn’t look anything like him, and for another whoever this is is wearing the uniform of an officer, which IG wasn’t.