Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst

Letter No.: 
[September 1932]

The White Gates,
Westcott Road

Dear Gustav

I was v. sorry not to see you.  But it was wonderful having you on Tues: I feel ashamed of myself sometimes letting you waste all that nervous energy which you ought to be spending on your own stuff over composing my stuff for me for me - But it's too late to mend now & I can't get on without you, so that's that.
Curwen suggested another publisher before I asked anything!1
I’m sorry I shan’t see Valerie - but I want to meet your brother fearfully & will try to get in first.2
I wish we had more talk about you & what really matters & not spent so much time over my damned compos:  Your sentence about “too much alone” puzzles me - but we will discuss it in Dec.



Brynmawr College

P.S.  I send the £5 from my fund for your performances - don’t say it comes from that or through me if you can help it.


1. It is not clear which work VW has offered to Curwen.
2. Holst’s brother, Emil, was an actor working in America under the stage name of Ernest Cossart and VW was to meet him while giving the Mary Flexner lectures at Bryn Mawr. Valerie Cossart was Emil's daughter. The Mary Flexner lectures were published in 1934 by Oxford University Press as National Music. See VWL1024.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 158, ff.115-117
General notes: 

Printed with omissions as Letter XXXVII in Heirs and Rebels. Presumably written shortly before VW left for the USA, as he includes his USA address after his signature.

Cobbe 213; Heirs and Rebels, Letter XXXVII
Original database number: