Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Herbert Howells

Letter No.: 
Tuesday [10th September 1935]

From R. Vaughan Williams,
The White Gates,
Westcott Road,

Dear Herbert

I have heard from Marion Scott of your terrible loss.1
I know that letters & words can do little at these times - but I felt I must write just to tell you that one of your old friends is feeling for you.  I have never had to suffer such a loss as this - but I sometimes try to imagine what it would be to lose one of those who are really ones own.
One feels the futility of all the things one usually sets value on when one is faced with reality.
I don’t think it is really any comfort - indeed ‘comfort’ would be just an impertinence, but I cannot help believing that a life once begun can never really stop - though it has stopped for us and that there may, after all, be a real joining up some day.
Please do not mind my writing to you - though words are such inadequate things.
And of course I want no answer

R. Vaughan Williams

1.  Herbert Howells’s son, Michael, had died at the age of nine of poliomyelitis. Howells’s Hymnus paradisi was written in his memory.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS 7832/376 k
General notes: 

Date from postmark.

Cobbe 267
Original database number: