This piano piece comes from a collection of music belonging to Miss Elizabeth Gittins (1834-1932), governess to the children of Patrick Hill Throsby and his successive wives Elizabeth and Harriet, in Moss Vale. All the pieces in this bound volume were probably collected in Sydney between 1852 and 1860 and suggest that Elizabeth was keen to have the latest popular tunes at hand. ‘The Queen’s Waltz’ was first reviewed in the London press at the beginning of 1857 and was already being advertised for sale locally by late March in the Sydney Morning Herald. Back in London, Blackwood’s Lady Magazine observed: ‘It is the most fashionable dance music that has come under our notice for some time. The author is of well-known fame, and if we praise such pieces that are now before us, it is because our admiration is excited. The colour portrait is a picture worth framing.’ The popularity of such pieces had been greatly influenced by the young Queen Victoria’s passion for dancing and the increased affordability of pianos and their subsequent distribution across New South Wales in the mid-nineteenth century.
Miss Gittins’ Songbook