Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Victor and Mary Sheppard

Letter No.: 
Dec 26 [1950]

The White Gates

Dear Mary & Victor
You have sent us so much and all arrived just before Xmas - where can I begin! - Your united efforts at a bedjacket excites my admiration - I can't determine what rows were knitted by each - & after that came the package of all that is most welcome. My husband was so pleased & happy with the candied fruit and we felt very rich having that bag of sugar. I wonder that you were allowed to send it.1
Last - but by no means least is Mary's delicate flower painting - I admire it very much for its accurate drawing & colour - yellow is so difficult and you have got the clear delicacy of the flower - I once knew a Major's wife who in her travels in many countries used to paint the different flowers for Kew Gardens - they had to be botanically accurate - You have the right gift and from what you write such a collection is needed. I feel so sorry that your father did not receive your gift - I know he was an invalid & that you encouraged him to enjoy more in life which was so right. He must have been made happy by your coming.
We are having a bleak winter but so far we are keeping well and hoping to have enough fuel to warm our rooms. Work still goes on steadily - My husband's opera "The Pilgrim's Progress" is supposed to be going to be given at Covent Garden on April 26 - but who can tell2 - This is independent of the much advertised "Festival of Britain" with which I feel little sympathy - however music will survive somehow?
Our affectionate thoughts and wishes
Adeline VW

1. The Sheppards regularly sent parcels of food to the VWs during post-war rationing.
2. The opera was indeed given its first performance on 26 April 1951 at Covent Garden.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1737, ff.43-44
General notes: 

Year added in pencil in another hand.