ForewordMichael Kennedy: Preface List of Abbreviations Introduction 1: Earliest letters (c.1895) to the Outbreak of the First World War: 1895 - 1914 2: From the beginning of the First World War until the Move to Dorking: 1914 - 1929 3: From the Move to Dorking until the Outbreak of the Second World War: 1929 - September 1939 4: The Second World War: September 1939 - May 1945 5: From the Second World War to the Move Back to London: June 1945 - 15 September 1953 6: From the Move Back to London until VW's death: 15 September 1953 - 26 August 1958 List of Sources Bibliography Index of Works of Ralph Vaughan Williams General index
Hugh Cobbe joined the British Museum Department of Manuscripts in 1967, where he was a curator of manuscript music and maps. After the department passed to the British Library, he was in due course Head of Publications in the Library for seven years before being appointed Head of Music Collections in 1985, a post which he held until 2001. He was then made Head of British Collections until his retirement. He was for 16 years a Trustee of the Britten-Pears Foundation and was President of the Royal Musical Association 2002-2005. He is Deputy Chairman of the R.V.W. Trust and a Director of the Vaughan Williams Estate. He was appointed OBE in 2003 for "services to libraries."
`Review from previous edition [a] splendid book' Diana McVeagh, Times Literary Supplement `essential for anyone interested in the wider cultural history of Britain in the first half of the twentieth century. It makes fascinating reading and OUP has done us all a service... It deserves to sell in hundreds of thousands.' Piers Burton Page, International Record Review `This handsome book has been the labour of love for Hugh Cobbe over many years... and he is to be warmly congratulated on the achievement... undoubtedly a required reference work to keep within reach.' Rolf Jordan, Finzi Friends Newsletter `exemplary scholarship... the volume greatly amplifies our understanding of V.W.' Bayan Northcott, BBC Music Magazine `For anyone with specific areas of study, not least any number of compositions, this volume is required reading.' Andrew Green, Classical Music `the editor has done a superlative job... By uncovering much fresh material, clarifying and correcting the work of previous editors, and generally bringing Vaughan Williams and his works vividly to life, Letters of Ralph Vaughan Williams joins the handful of standard reference books that are essential reading to anyone interested in this composer's music.' Julian Onderdonk, Project Muse `The letters themselves provide a fascinating insight into Vaughan Williams's wide-ranging interests' Ruth Hellen, Brio Volume 46 `Hugh Cobbe has done a superb job both in his footnotes and in his selection and the result is a fitting half centenary tribute to a truly great man...Anyone interested in Vaughan Williams will need to have these letters.' Simon Heffer, Telegraph `excellently produced... a joy to handle. Cobbe has also written a splendid introductory essay for each section of these letters.' Lionel Pike, Fontes `Cobbe has provided scholars with an invaluable resource' Ceri Owen, Tempo `Six chronological groups are separated by upheavals of war or changes of residence, and Cobbe prefaces each with an elegant and efficient explanatory essay that summarizes the letters import and sketches contemporaneous events.' Anthony Barone, Music and Letters