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Title graphic: Frank Bridge: A Life in Brief
Isolation: 63

Vaughan Williams's nationalist style had emerged at a favourable time. A greater sense of confidence had been created in English musical life both by the discovery of native folk-song and by the contemporary revival of the music of England's Tudor composers, and Vaughan Williams, drawing inspiration from both, appeared to be continuing a specifically English tradition. Influential advocates soon rallied to his side. Hugh Allen, who, in 1918, succeeded Parry as Director of the Royal College of Music, offered continued support, and invited Vaughan Williams to teach composition at the College. H C Colles, a leading music critic, whose sympathy towards Vaughan Williams's music was well known, was asked to join the staff as well. Another pro-nationalist was Arthur Fox Strangways, founder of the periodical Music and Letters and, for a period, music critic of The Times. Bridge treated Strangways, whom he nicknamed 'Foxy', as an enemy:

Our 'Times' friend, I might say, is no friend. He never loses an opportunity to make any article he writes include the name of Vaughan Williams. Sheer propaganda. And he never loses a chance of being absolutely grudging in his remarks about me - sometimes going so far as to ignore my works in some programmes that he has to write about. This may be fancy - but I think it, anyway.

To sum up, the real essence of this Times Lit[erary] Sup[plement] notice, is to prove that Vaughan Williams is a better composer than I am.

I am sure I can't help it. Over twenty-two years I expect I have utilized, at the outside, about, or less than, three months in a year working at composition. I have been compelled to earn a living. V. W. has done nothing else but composition through the whole of his life - except when doing war service - and so he ought to be the one composer of his generation that matters.1

1 Letter, Frank Bridge to Edward Speyer, 12 March 1921.