Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ronald Gurney

Letter No.: 
May 17th 1955.

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

Dear Mr. Gurney,1

Mr. Gerald Finzi has sent me a copy of a letter which you have lately written to Mr Alan Frank of the Oxford University Press as he wanted my advice on it. Your letter says that there are two boxes of manuscripts, one box, both you and Mr Frank agree contains only worthless material, but the other contains work we which may find, on mature consideration, is well worth preserving. A later generation may see in them merits which we cannot now discern. For this reason, then, they must be preserved, partly for their own sake, and partly as a memorial to a very distinguished poet and composer.
 Could you see you way to offer them to the British Museum, or failing that, to the Gloucester Public Library? I cannot help feeling that it is your moral duty to see that they are preserved in perpetuity. If you do not agree to the suggestion, I would be willing to buy the manuscripts from you at a price to be settled by experts. In that case, of course, I should ask for permission to deal with the Manuscripts as I thought best. But, in any case, if they were accepted by the British Museum, or other public body, I would see to it that they were described as the Ronald Gurney Bequest, in which case you would feel that your name was recognised as having done all that was possible for the memory of your distinguished brother.
If it would be of any service to you I would be willing to approach the British Museum or the Gloucester Library for you.
Yours sincerely,

1. Brother of the composer Ivor Gurney.


Shelfmark of original letter: 
G8.1 (52)
General notes: 

Typewritten (copy unsigned). Another draft[?] of this letter is at VWL3009. 

Original database number: