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Oliver Neighbour

Discussion in 'WWII Era Obituaries (non-military service)' started by GRW, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    "Oliver Neighbour, who has died aged 92, was one of the 20th century’s leading musicologists and the author of an authoritative account of the marriage between Ralph and Ursula Vaughan Williams.
    Some time before her death in 2007, Ursula Vaughan Williams disclosed various details of her relationship with the composer to Neighbour in the hope that he would write a factual account that would set the record straight. Although he had seldom turned his hand to biographical accounts, Neighbour was a friend of hers, and he turned out to be an inspired choice.
    With tact, sensitivity and unflinching truthfulness, he produced a sympathetic portrait of a marriage initially built on rocky ground and family tragedy. He revealed that he had become Ursula Vaughan Williams’s confidant over supper in April 1986: “She told me that [she and Ralph] had become lovers soon after they first met in 1938. The realisation that they were in love took them both by surprise when a taxi they were travelling in stopped at some traffic lights and they suddenly found themselves clasping hands.” At the time Ralph had been married to his first wife, Adeline, who was handicapped by arthritis.
    The article – entitled “Ralph, Adeline, and Ursula Vaughan Williams: Some Facts and Speculation (with a note about Tippett)” – was published in the journal Music & Letters in 2008 and is now an essential biographical work on the composer.
    Oliver Wray Neighbour, known as “Tim”, was born at Merstham, Surrey, on April 1 1923 . From Eastbourne College he went up to St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and spent his war service as a farm labourer. In 1946 he joined the staff of the British Museum (later the British Library), where he would spend the rest of his working life."

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