Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Michael Kennedy

Letter No.: 
August 9th 1952.

The White Gates,

Dear Michael,

Thank you very much for your letter.  I was very much interested in your account of Cheltenham,1 and I am glad you went to Down Ampney.  Of course the interior of the church has been entirely spoiled by some local millionaire who was allowed by the snobbish eccliastical authorities to put in that terrible screen.  I shall like very much to see the photograph when it comes.
I fear I cannot put you in touch with Karsh, but I am sending you another photograph by our local photographer, which I think good.2
As regards your screed3 – I cannot even think of criticising it, but I can correct one or two facts.4 My interview with Langford5 took place in Birmingham about 1912, and I think that honorary University degrees count as public honours.
I am so sorry to hear that Eslyn has been ill.  I do hope she is well again by now.  Please give her my fond love.  I look back on our last meeting with great pleasure.



1.  The annual Cheltenham Music Festival.
2.  Otto Karsh had taken a portrait of VW in 1949; the photograph sent to Kennedy was by Douglas Styles.
3.  Probably an article which Kennedy wrote for The Hallé Magazine to mark VW’s forthcoming 80th birthday.
4.  Apart from correcting points of fact, VW persistently refused to comment on writings about him by anyone.
5.  Samuel Langford, music critic of the Manchester Guardian. See Kennedy, Works of Vaughan Williams p.94 etc.; this letter is printed in part on p.382.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 159, f.9
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Kennedy, Works of Vaughan Williams, p.382
Original database number: