Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst

Letter No.: 
[On or about 21 October 1932]

College Inn
Bryn Mawr.

Dear Gustav,

Why didn't you tell me that Una1 is here? - I only found out by accident - she is the Light of my Eyes & the Joy of my Heart & my Guardian Angel & has taught me the technique of shopping & gave me a delicious dinner all cooked by herself.
I had a splendid 2 days with the Davisons2 - they were so nice - while in Boston I went (i) to a football match and (ii) Boston Symph. Orch. - both suffer I think from being too much organized.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I like bad orchestral playing just as I like bad wine - it all sounded too easy & smooth. - & lost thrill (e.g. Don Juan opening string passage & the 4 horns - I longed for a bubble from one of the horns).
Tonight I shall hear Phila: orch. and on Monday N.Y. Orch.3
I am fairly happy here and everyone is v. hospitable - I went to a music store in Phila: yesterday and was introduced to the Manager - it was just like a chapter out of Martin Chuzzlewit.


1. Una Lucas, former head-girl of St Paul's Girl School.
2. Archibald Davison, American musicologist, at this time Professor of Choral Music at Harvard University; from 1940 to 1954 he was James Edward Ditson Professor of Music there.
3. See VWL1024.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 158, f.103
General notes: 

Not in Heirs and Rebels. Mostly printed in R.V.W.: a biography p.192.

Cobbe 215; R.V.W.: a biography of Ralph Vaughan Williams, p.192.
Original database number: