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
VWL252 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 189709-- [September 1897]
VWL251 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Laura Vaughan Williams 189707-- [July 1897]
VWL250 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Joan Western 19350309 March 9 [1935]
VWL249 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Imogen Holst 19350303 [3 March 1935]
VWL248 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi 19350303 [3rd March 1935]
VWL247 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst 189707-- [July 1897]
VWL246 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Arnold Goldsbrough 19350301 March 1 [1935]
VWL245 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst 189707-- [July 1897]
VWL244 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst 189707-- [July 1897]
VWL243 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 189706-- [Later June 1897]
VWL242 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 189605-- [?May 1896]
VWL241 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Joan Western 19350224 Feb 24 [1935]
VWL240 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Joan Western 19350219 Feb 19 [1935]
VWL239 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Joy Finzi 19350214 Feb 14 [1934 or 1935]
VWL238 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Henry Wood 19370122 Jan 22 [1937]
VWL237 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 189103-- [Spring 1891?]
VWL236 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst 189910-- [October 1899]
VWL235 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 1898---- [1898?]
VWL234 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst 1898---- [1898?]
VWL233 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst 189903-- [March 1899]
VWL232 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst 1898---- [?Late1898 (or early 1899)]
VWL231 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst 1898---- [Late 1898]
VWL230 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to René Gatty 1898---- [1898?]
VWL229 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst 1896---- [1896?]
VWL228 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to G.E. Moore 1895---- [1895?]
VWL227 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 1894---- [1894?]
VWL226 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst 19220605 [About 5th June 1922]
VWL225 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 19090826 [26th August 1909]
VWL224 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to George Darwin 19090611 June 11th [1909]
VWL223 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to William McNaught 19090722 [22 July 1909]

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