Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Nancy Bush

Letter No.: 
Sept 25 [1938?]

From R. Vaughan Williams,
The White Gates,
Westcott Road,

Dear Mrs Bush1

Many thanks for sending me the poem – I fear I entirely disagree with the idea of making such a music meeting the vehicle for propaganda of any kind.2
If children learn to love beauty wherever they may be they will grow up to hate ugliness – But the one thing we do not want is for them to associate the arts with all the political strife which unfortunately later on they will be obliged to partake in
Yrs sincerely

R Vaughan Williams

1.  Wife of Alan Bush.
2.  Alan Bush’s wife had written to VW on 10th September asking him to provide a test piece for the annual contest of affiliated choirs to be mounted by the London Cooperative Joint Education Committee in May 1939. She enclosed a poem by Sylvia Townsend Warner to be set as the test piece for female choirs, of which VW appears to disapprove of the content.

Location of copy:

Cobbe 300
Original database number: