Letter from Ursula Vaughan Williams to Michael and Eslyn Kennedy

Letter No.: 
February 8th [1957]

Dearest Michael & Eslyn

How sweet of you to remember us yesterday.1 We loved getting your telegram.  We celebrated by going to see – Cinemascope – some of it awful, some lovely, as always the landscapes are beautiful, & we have always intended to fly over the Alps – now we have done it!2 There were some beautiful places in America too, but as Ralph said after a particularly revolting gambling scene, & a Jazz-in-a-cellar section – only man is vile!  New York was dazzlingly lovely, & Paris dull!  Then we had a very celebratory dinner.
We are having a full time – Prince of the Pagoda’s3 tomorrow and Meistersinger on Wednesday, and the J & M.4 rehearsals  are going splendidly.  It looks as if it may be a flooded St. J. instead of a blizzard this year.  Is your car amphibious?
Lots of reading – I’ve been enthralled by the Third Eye, by Lobsang Rampa.  & we had an orgy of Sylvia Townsend Warner, whom I very much admire, & Rebecca West. I’ve found enjoyable, but not much more.  We’ve both been reading Buchan’s life of Scott.  I quite agree that the Eustace Diamonds would be fine for a film.   Talking of films, I damn Cecil Beaton for those horrible pointed shoes which I find agony.  I’m obviously going to have to live in toeless sandals forever!
Our Iris Sibirica & snowbunting crocuses are out.
Fondest love to you both from us both,


 1. The 7th February had been the VWs’ fourth wedding anniversary.
 2. Cinemascope had been developed in 1953 for widescreen films.
 3. The ballet by Benjamin Britten which had been first performed on 1 January.
 4. i.e. for the St. John and St. Matthew Passion performances at Dorking.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 159, ff.156-157
Original database number: