Letter from Jean Stewart to Ralph Vaughan Williams

Letter No.: 

7½ Thayer Street:

My beloved Uncle Ralph,

The shortest day and the longest night - so of course I write you a letter anyhow. Even if there were nothing special to say you would get a letter. This time there is something special to say & I don't know any more than I did on Sunday how to say it. You have made me so happy that I am walking on air. Without exaggeration this Quartet is the most lovely thing that has happened to me in my life, & it will continue to be a joy to me as long as I live. I am longing to get my teeth into it & for you to come & hear it with the Quartet, and then to work it & really get to know it. It's so lovely when you're learning something new how you rehearse it & something goes on inside you & it develops by thinking of it & sometimes even by sleeping on it!
Oh we are going to have a great time with “my” Quartet bless you! Incidentally it has been lovely having it in instalments1 because I have had twice the thrill of getting it. When will you be in town with time to spare when we could have a session on the viola part (& all that ??). In case these are any use to you I am at present free during the day time on Jan. 1,3,5 & 7 (I am away from Thursday - back next Monday). Bless you & bless you & thank you & thank you. I wish I could tell you how deeply moved I feel and how happy.
All my love


1. VW had finally delivered to Jean Stewart, whom he had met through Ursula Wood, the third and fourth movements of String Quartet No. 2 in A minor inscribed ‘For Jean on her birthday’ (Catalogue of Works 1944/2). The earlier movements had been given to Jean the previous February. The quartet was first performed on 12 Oct. 1944 at a National Gallery concert by the Menges Quartet in which Jean Stewart played the viola.

Cobbe 422
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