Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Maud Karpeles

Letter No.: 
Thursday [1940]

Dear Maud
your letter has made me very unhappy - Perhaps we have done wrong over EFDS1 - (This is breach of confidence)
At the last Ctee we were told that Douglas2 has joined the RAF but that he expected to be able still to give a good deal of time to the EFDS. So we decided to appoint Marjorie3 as organizing secretary so as to be able to act independently - For some extraordinary reason it never occurred to me to suggest Helen4 - I think for one thing she was at the meeting - & as it still appeared then that Douglas wd be able to give a good deal of time - I think that I always think of the Director as Douglas & Helen & the idea of dividing them did not enter my consciousness - Heaven knows why -
On receiving your letter I committed a breach of confidence & communicated the substance over the telephone to Howes5 (omitting the part about him) - so I hope we shall save the situation. I am not sure still that a hard working longtimer like Marjorie would not be better for the duration than the imaginative Helen
- But I cannot forgive myself for not having thought of it
Love from

1. English Folk Dance and Song Society. Maud Karpeles had resigned from the Committee after disagreements with Kennedy's views.
2. Douglas Kennedy, director of the EFDS, had joined the Royal Air Force in 1940 for the duration of the war.
3. Marjorie Penn
4. Helen Karpeles, sister of Maud, who was married to Douglas Kennedy.
5. Frank Howes, editor of the Society's Journal.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/2/3/2, ff. 62-63
General notes: 

Date estimated; Kennedy joined the RAF in 1940.