Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ursula Wood

Letter No.: 
[26th July, 1939]

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

My Dear1

This is splendid about Noyes2 - you will soon be appearing in the Sketch and Tatler “Ursula Wood the well known poet and friend”.
Douglas3 has now written to say that he cannot get up Epi[thalamion] by Oct 24th and if we do it it will be “under-rehearsed” - & there is no later date that is possible for him. So I have told him that I cannot urge him to do it under those circumstances and that I never urged him to do it unless he was keen & that he himself chose the date. I am so sorry my dear but what else is to be done.
Love from


1.  Douglas Kennedy had written to Ursula in the same vein on 25th July and therefore this must have been written a day or so later.
2.  Ernest Rhys had shown UW's poems to Alfred Noyes, the poet and writer, and had taken her to tea with him.
3.  Douglas Kennedy, Director of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. On 25th July he wrote to UW: "I am worried to death about the question of rehearsal and also over the programme. Amy Stoddart in writing to me about her Schubert Trio asks for a lot of rehearsing and for space for the rehearsals here at awkward times. The response to my invitation to dance in the Ballet is only mildly successful and I am in a real flap now about whether we can do it in the time. I wouldn't mind if it was just Epi[thalamion] but the problem of dealing with Amy Stoddart's Ballet as well fusses me. I think it is partly that I don't like the Ballet very much and rather resent having it in the programme and yet that seems so ungrateful and unhelpful considering our position!! I see there is a danger of a General Election on October 25th. That would put the 'Kibosh' on the whole scheme, for I know that many dancers are terribly political". See further in VWL1218.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/12, ff. 23-24
Cobbe 316
Original database number: