Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ralph Wedgwood

Letter No.: 
VWL126
[Dec 1900?]

This is a letter I wrote you some weeks ago but never sent so I am sending it now with Adeline’s.

Dear Randolph,

It’s a long time since I wrote you a letter. I think Adeline is going to write and tell you all the news so I shall reserve myself to sentiment and opinions.
I’m going to be given a new bicycle - it’s time I had one as I believe I ride my present one at the risk of my limbs.
I’m afraid the concert scheme is off for the present as three of the party have cried off and I haven’t got enough stuff or cash to make up a whole concert on my own; so perhaps it is better to wait as I am rapidly scoring all the sketches I made in the summer so I shall have several idle manuscripts lying about.1
I am at present engaged on a thing I call a ‘Bucolic Suite’ which is rather blousy in its nature. I’m not sure that I shan’t call it “Tom Jones” or perhaps “Jan Steen”2  would be better.
Theodore3  told us about the sunset from the shere-legs. He seems to be growing up very much - it’s really all through you that I got to know him for which I am very grateful to you.
This task of not telling you any of the news becomes almost impossible - not that there’s any particular news to tell only small beer & chronicle.
I will agree with you about Amos4  - I think its the fault of all those Americans he associates with.

[The following seems to be an addition of much later date - Editor]

I’ve got my new bicycle - a Lee-Francis with a very high gear (82) it was nominally second hand - practically new - I wish I could go some rides with you on it.
I’ve also finished my ‘bucolic suite’  and as soon as it is bound up I shall send it out on its travels. Also the proofs of my encyclopedia article5  came yesterday.
I suppose you’ve heard the story of how Moore6 was mistaken for a Boer at Dresden and was almost let off his hotel bill.
We went to Cambridge the other day and I saw him and Trevy7 who was very genial and pleasant (what a middle-aged view of things!)
Yours affecntely

R. Vaughan Williams.


1.  On this concert scheme see VWL132.
2.  The seventeenth-century Dutch painter.
3.  Theodore Llewellyn Davies.
4.  Maurice Amos.
5.  Probably a reference to his articles on 'Fugue' and 'Conducting' for the second edition of Grove's dictionary of music and musicians (1904).
6.  G.E. Moore.
7.  G.M. Trevelyan.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/2, ff.43-46
General notes: 

The manuscript of Bucolic Suite is dated 29 November 1900, so it is likely that this letter was written over the autumn of that year.

Format: 
Letter
Original database number: 
0012xa