Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Rutland Boughton

Letter No.: 
25th June, 1952.

The White Gates,
Dorking, Surrey.

Dear Rutland

Mr. Dunsman kindly sent me his notice of my Opera.1  I am sorry that he should see in it any particularising to certain political views in my work.  Of course everyone has the right to apply the generalisations of music to their particular views, but I do not like to be pinned down to “meaning” anything in particular, like Bernard Shaw’s ridiculous degradation of Wagner’s “Ring” into political propaganda.
All right-minded people are in theory communists insofar as they believe that everything ought to be done for the common good, but when Socialism in practice means the unholy mess which the late Government made of things and when Communism in practice means tyranny, double dealing and insincerity by Russia, one cannot join with its present manifestation.2

R Vaughan Williams
(R. Vaughan Williams).

Rutland Boughton, Esq.,

1. Pilgrim's Progress.
2. For Boughton’s reply and VW’s further reply see VWL2445 and VWL2448 respectively.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Add MS 52366, f. 115

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/19, f. 44
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Cobbe 582
Original database number: