Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to John Ireland

Letter No.: 
[14] Aug [1949]

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

My Dear John

I have only just discovered that your birthday was yesterday so these words of admiration and affection are a day behind the fair - but none the less sincere for that.1
- My mind goes back to very early days at the R.C.M.2 when we each heard our first orchestral works - how I admired your technical power! and how I felt (and still do) my almost amateurish bungling.
- You have always had the (apparently) masterly ease of expression (though I know it really comes from hours of hard labour) which I  have always envied.
I wish you wd write another choral work - my people loved ‘These things shall be’.
Well you have now reached the alotted2 span - but I feel sure that you have years of inspiration before you.  I have already passed the limit by 6 years and am evidently becoming a garrulous old gentleman - so it is time I stopped
R Vaughan Williams

1. John Ireland was born on 13 August 1879.
2. Royal College of Music
3. sic.


Location of original letter:

Cobbe 526
Original database number: