Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Benjamin Frankel

Letter No.: 
June 20 1955

From R. Vaughan Williams,
10, Hanover Terrace,
Regents Park,
London, N.W.1.

Dear Mr Frankel,

I am, at the present moment, simply bursting with ill-gotten gains from the P.R.S.1  I feel that others, more deserving, should share some of them.
After your victory in the Courts and your shocking treatment by the jury I hope I may be allowed to count you as one of them.
I am no politician and I am sorry that politics entered into the case - This will make it difficult to have any public expression of our regard for you.
May I therefore have the pleasure of sending you the enclosed as a personal expression of personal esteem.2
Yours sincerely,

Ralph Vaughan Williams

When we saw you at Glyndebourne we had no idea how soon this was to be and we followed the report each day with passionate interest.  May I add my love to you both.


1. Performing Right Society
2. Frankel had just successfully defended a case of slander, in connexion with Clark’s management of the International Society of Contemporary Music, brought against him by Edward Clark. For the details see Meirion & Susie Harries, A pilgrim soul: the life and work of Elizabeth Lutyens (London, 1989), chapter 12. Many musicians and composers subscribed to a fund to enable Frankel to pay his share of the costs of the case, though VW’s contribution does not appear to have been made public at the time, because of his concern at the political overtones in the case: much of the evidence was concerned with the alleged communist sympathies of Clark and his chief witnesses, Christian Darnton and Bernard Stevens.

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Cobbe 652
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