Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to G.O. May (OUP)

Letter No.: 
VWL3101
July 1st 1955.

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

Dear Mr May,

We must try and do something about Mrs Child.1  I am not quite sure whether the £300 was for words and music, or only for the music, but as I suppose we could now get nothing for the words from America, we had better divide the £300 into two halves.  I suggest that I should send her £150 myself, explaining the circumstances.  This would not upset your accounts and would be simpler.  I shall then see if I can get her elected as a member of the P.R.S. They are so ridiculously pompous in all their methods; after all, they are merely a collecting agency, but they treat membership of their society as a sort of Holy Brotherhood to which one can only be initiated by Bell Book and candle. Let me know if you approve of my scheme & I will then act immediately.2
Yours sincerely,

R. Vaughan Williams


1.  The widow of Harold Child, the librettist of Hugh the Drover, who had also written the words for The New Commonwealth.  He had died in 1945.
2.  This concerned a payment from the Performing Right Society concerning The New Commonwealth, Catalogue of Works 1940/3/3.  May replied that the payment was in respect of the music only. He approved of VW’s proposal to send £150 to Mrs Child and offered to contact the Performing Right Society about her being accepted as a member.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
File 2008C
Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 653
Original database number: 
550701a