Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Joan Bray

Letter No.: 
July 19th 1958.

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

Dear Mrs Bray,
Thank you for your letter.1 I enclose, with your returned press cuttings, a copy of the E.F.D.S. Journal which will show you in what honour we hold the name of Lucy Broadwood.
This year we are celebrating the sixtieth year of the Folk Song Society and I feel sure that in our Journal we shall also celebrate the name of Miss Broadwood. It is curious that Cecil Sharp also was born a hundred years ago, and so we shall be able to show how much they both did in their different ways for Folk Song.
In my article for the Journal which I send you I have given my opinion that Miss Broadwood was mistaken  in keeping the Folk Songs as a study for the few, and also misunderstood Cecil Sharp's attitude towards our duty to disseminate Folk Song as broadly as possible.
I was interested to read the late Mr Fuller-Maitland's  article: in discussing the Folk Song Society he characteristically omits all mention of Cecil Sharp. Sharp was not a persona grata to Fuller Maitland and his circle, - he had no musical degree, probably was not much good at counterpoint, had had a quarrel with one of the Vice Presidents of the Folk Song Society, and all together did not belong to the right musical set! Therefore he must be ignored, or his work denigrated.
I feel sure that the Times will have an article by Mr Howes, its musical critic, who is an active member of the E.F.D.S. on the anniversary so there will be no necessity for anyone else to write as well - in fact I think it would be a mistake to do so.
Yours sincerely, 

1. Joan Bray had written to VW on 14 July 1958 to request that a memorial to Lucy Broadwood be published in the English Folk Dance and Song Society Journal to mark the centenary of her birth. The draft letter is in the Surrey History Centre, shelfmark 2297/7.


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Typewritten with manuscript addition in the hand of VW, but not signed.