Search the letters

The Vaughan Williams Foundation has made over 5000 items freely available: chiefly letters from Ralph Vaughan Williams, but including some responses which shed light on the subject matter, and also a number of letters from Adeline and Ursula Vaughan Williams. These provide further information and often include messages or observations from Ralph, and there are also letters from Adeline and Ursula written on behalf of the couple. The text of letters written by RVW and UVW remain the copyright of the Foundation.

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The letters are in tabular form and can be sorted by column, or filtered by any keyword including name, musical title, place, year or subject (singly or in combination).

To search by letter number, include the prefix VWL, e.g. VWL123.

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Letter No. Title Date Date on Letter
VWL1176 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 19370503 Monday [3rd May 1937]
VWL1174 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Iris Lemare 19370414 [14 April 1937]
VWL1166 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 19370411 April 11 [1937]
VWL1137 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 1929---- [?1929]
VWL1081 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 19330623 23 June 1933
VWL1059 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 19330705 July 5 [1933]
VWL906 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 19310322 [22 March 1931]
VWL905 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 19310307 March 7 [1931]
VWL890 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 193003-- [?March 1930]
VWL855 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 19300412 [12th April 1930]
VWL854 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 19300409 [9th April 1930]
VWL852 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 19300408 April 8 [1930]
VWL844 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 19300303 March 3 [1930]
VWL789 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 192406-- [?Mid 1924]
VWL614 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 19270324 [24th March 1927]
VWL519 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 19230830 [30th August 1923]
VWL506 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 19230215 [15 February 1923]
VWL505 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 19230102 [2nd January 1923]
VWL504 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 19221222 22/12/22
VWL419 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ina Boyle 19350414 Sunday [14th April 1935]

You have never lost your invention but it has not developed enough.  Your best – your most original and beautiful style or ‘atmosphere’ is an indescribable sort of feeling as if one was listening to very lovely lyrical poetry.

GUSTAV HOLST letter to RVW 1903

He was one of the most 'complete' men I have ever known. He loved life, he loved work and his interest in all music was unquenchable and insatiable.

SIR JOHN BARBIROLLI, conductor

I was thunderstruck by the symphony last night - and hadn't expected to be. Jagged, pulsating and angry, from that very first clanging dissonance - how can it have come from the same source as the Tallis Fantasia?

AUDIENCE MEMBER, Newbury Festival