Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Evelyn Sharp

Letter No.: 
VWL617
July 26th [1927]

The Rew Cottage
Abinger Common
Dorking

Dear Miss Sharp1

Does Garnett mean 10% of the monies earned by us or earned by our publisher?  If the latter there would be practically nothing left for us, in which case our work would be a pure labour of love.  I don’t mind this but I think it wrong on principle for I consider the labourer is worthy of his hire.  Would it in that case be better to drop it altogether2
I haven’t got very far with it yet for other things have surged up in my mind which it was imperative I should fix before I lost them.
If Garnett means 10% of what we earn I should feel inclined to accept that because then if we fail to bring the work to a satisfactory conclusion or to persuade a manager to take it we shall not have paid anything.
I hope to write to you when I have done the job I am on suggesting some alterations & extensions in your 1st Act.
Yrs sincerely

R Vaughan Williams


1. Evelyn Sharp was the sister of Vaughan Williams’s friend and fellow folk-song collector, Cecil Sharp. She married the writer Henry Nevinson in 1933.
2. Evelyn Sharp was preparing a libretto for the opera The Poisoned Kiss (Catalogue of Works 1936/2) whose plot was developed from a short story ‘The Poison Maid’ from Twilight of the Gods by Richard Garnett. The negotiations regarding royalties were with Richard Garnett's literary executor, Robert Garnett; see also VWL621 re the financial arrangements.

Subjects:

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 161, f.90
General notes: 

 In the hand of AVW signed by VW.

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 159
Original database number: 
270726