Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Herbert Howells

Letter No.: 
[12 September 1934]

The White Gates,
Westcott Road,

Dear Herbert

Thankyou so much for your amusing & informative letter.1
It was awful missing all the Nymphs of Gloucester2 - & it was I who was jealous of you and Billy.3  Did you hear R.O’s tune - I particularly wanted to hear that.4
I really think I shall be up in a few days - though I don’t boast as I’ve tried 3 times & had to go back.  The ridiculous thing is I’ve been quite well  - but not allowed to move in case anything bad shd result.
All the result of neglecting a blister.  Do you hear that poor Ken Andrews5 has got TB & has to go off to Switzerland for some months.  I shall like to hear very much what you thought  of C.B.R’s tune.6


1.  About the Gloucester Three Choirs Festival, which VW had had to miss because of a poisoned abscess on his ankle which had kept him in bed for 8 weeks. The abscess had developed from a blister gained, according to UVW, on a long walk in Sussex following Gustav Holst’s funeral.
2.  i.e. all the pretty girls, such as Diana Awdry.
3.  W.H. Reed whose Symphony for Strings was performed at the Festival.
4.  No work by R.O. Morris is mentioned in Anthony Boden, Three Choirs: a history of the festival (Stroud, 1992) as being performed at the 1934 Festival.
5.  H.K. Andrews, later Heather Professor of Music at Oxford.
6.  A setting of Milton’s Ode on the Morning of Christ’s Nativity by Cyril Rootham.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS 7832/376 c
General notes: 

Date from postmark.

Cobbe 252
Original database number: