Illuminating music and poetry
Mistress and Muse: Ursula –
The Second Mrs Vaughan Williams
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The significance of Ursula’s positive influence on Ralph Vaughan Williams through her creative work and artistic collaboration is emphasised throughout this biography. Following the composer’s death in 1958, Ursula embarked on another rich period of activity until her own death in 2007.
Ursula was a gifted poet and some of the most revealing and intimate aspects of her life are reflected in her poetry which is quoted at length. She was a vibrant, energising force, a powerful personality with a love of life who offered and received the gift of friendship. Her story is one of passion but also of sadness, particularly with the death of her first husband, Michael, and her brother, John, in the Second World War. Janet Tennant traces the remarkably varied life and loves of Ursula Vaughan Williams with affection and objectivity.
“Flesh to this meeting moves,
aware and sensual,
threading between casual
moments and things, to loves
predestined by some choice…”
… and ends, most likely written after she had fallen in love with Ralph:
“I am two fools I know
For loving, and for saying so…”
This meeting was to be the start of a most unlikely but passionate and enduring affair between Ursula Wood, a very young woman from an army background who disliked music, and Ralph Vaughan Williams, an eminent composer almost forty years her senior. They had arrived at this life-changing moment in 1938 by very different paths.
Excerpt from the Prologue
PAGES 393 including index and 45 illustrations
COLOUR Black and white
HARDBACK with dust jacket
PRICE £30.00 plus P&P
Below: The book contains 45 black and white photographs