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
VWL192 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to William Turner Levy 19511227 27th December, 1951.
VWL191 Letter from William Barclay Squire to F.W. Evans 19050302 2 March 1905
VWL190 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 19050201 [1st February 1905]
VWL189 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 19050115 Jan 15th 1905
VWL188 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 19041205 [5th December 1904]
VWL187 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 19040924 [24th September 1904]
VWL186 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Iris Lemare 19350117 Jan 17th [1935]
VWL185 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Director of ‘English Dance Players’ 19350114 January 14 [1935]
VWL184 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Hubert Foss 19350106 [6 January 1935]
VWL183 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Donald Francis Tovey 19350103 Jan 3rd 1935
VWL182 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to G.E. Moore 19040111 [11 January 1904]
VWL181 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to René Gatty 19030616 June 16 [1903]
VWL180 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Lucy Broadwood 19021002 2nd October 1902
VWL179 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Lucy Broadwood 19020724 [24 July 1902]
VWL178 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 19010325 March 25th [1901]
VWL177 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 19031230 Dec 30th [1903]
VWL176 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 1903120- [Early December 1903]
VWL175 Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood 19011028 October 28th [1901]
VWL174 Letter from A.E. Housman to Ralph Vaughan Williams 190910-- [October 1909]
VWL173 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ruth Charrington 190909-- [October 1909]
VWL172 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ruth Charrington 190910-- [October 1909]
VWL171 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ruth Charrington 190910-- [October 1909]
VWL170 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to William McNaught 19090624 June 24th [1909]
VWL169 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to William McNaught 190909-- [September, 1909]
VWL168 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Michael Calvocoressi 19090903 Sept 3rd [1909]
VWL167 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Michael Calvocoressi 190908-- [About August 1909]
VWL166 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ruth Charrington 19090403 Sat. [April 3 1909]
VWL165 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ruth Charrington 190901-- [January 1909]
VWL164 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ruth Charrington 190901-- [January 1909]
VWL163 Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Edward J. Dent 190811-- [November 1908]

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