Letter from Ursula Vaughan Williams to Michael and Eslyn Kennedy

Letter No.: 
March 16th 1958

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

Dearest Michael & Eslyn,

How angelic of you to remember my birthday, & to send the perfect book for me to take to Ischia.  Thank you, thank you.
I had a lovely birthday party on Thursday with Bill Brown singing Gerald’s posthumous songs Till Earth Outwears.1  With Howard2 playing, then Jean playing ‘her Dittersdorf’,3 & then B Brown singing Ralph’s Blake songs with Janet Craxton playing4– then food & drink – about fifty of us, and everything fine.  Then on the real day, Ralph & I went to the Jardin des Gourmets for dinner.  Its where he took me to lunch the day we first met – twenty years ago!
How lovely to see you on Friday.5  We don’t quite know how to live till then – trumpet & kettledrum to while away the time (or wile? Yeats is upstairs) but we’re going to try Round the world in 80 days6 & the Passion recording!7
All love.


1.  The cycle by Gerald Finzi published in 1956.
2.  Howard Ferguson.
3.  Jean Pougnet had recorded a concerto in G major by Dittersdorf with the London Baroque String Ensemble (Parlophone 1004).
4.  Ten Blake Songs for voice and oboe (CW 1957/5).  Wilfred Brown and Janet Craxton were the dedicatees of this work.
5.  i.e. at the rehearsal of the Ninth Symphony (CW 1957/4).
6.  The film of Jules Verne’s novel starring David Niven directed by Michael Anderson.
7.  See VWL3305.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 159, f.220
Original database number: