Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Lucy Broadwood

Letter No.: 
7th November 1928

St Pauls Road

Dear Miss Broadwood

I hasten to answer the business part of your letter.1
There is of course no necessity for you to consent to the leaflets if you do not wish to.  It is entirely for you to decide what you think best.
Yrs sincerely

R. Vaughan Williams

1. Lucy Broadwood had written to VW on 3 November: ‘Dear Ralph, A bad impasse connected with the Oxf. B. of Carols has arisen.. Can you help? I was approached directly (by yourself) when asked to contribute my two carols to the book and  gave my consent directly. I purposely did not consult Boosey (as I believe I told you at the time) because when arranging for the publication of Eng. Trad. Songs and Carols I reserved the right to do what  I like with my tunes & words apart from my harmonised arrangts in that book. The other day when the musical edition of Ox: B. of Cs was sent to me I was vexed to find that in the “Acknowledgements” Messrs Boosey are thanked for the use of my “folk carols”. In the small edition no such acknowledgement appears, otherwise I shld have pointed out the mistake directly it was published. And now Mr Burghes tells me that a leaflet-form, not mentioned to me till now, is contemplated, in the case of my carols. As Boosey issue a reprint of my arrangts in Eng. Trad. Songs and Carols in leaflet form (or rather, single form (with staff notation)) this raises an initial difficulty, though, as it is for unison voice & piano only, that is not insuperable. But a worse difficulty arises: Boosey’s leaflet costs 4d. The specimen leaflet sent me by Mr Burghes is priced three halfpence! If I sanction the issue of the Oxford Un: Press leaflet, and inevitably wiping out our edition and resultant profits, I see myself traitor, murderer and suicide! … What way is there out of it? Can you devise any solution?’


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