John Ireland (1879-1962) had a long and close friendship with Alan Bush (1900-1995) which lasted forty years, from 1922, when John Ireland was already fifty years old, until Ireland's death in 1962. It was the relationship of master and pupil and this was clearly reflected in their letters. The two men came to know each other well once Bush had left the Royal Academy of Music in 1922 and became a student of composition with Ireland until 1927. 160 letters are published here for the first time and they provide not only a compelling and engaging narrative, but also a unique insight into the musical and day-to-day lives of the two men. The letters were written during a most interesting and turbulent period in British history: the inter-war period of the 1920s and 30s, the situation during the Second World War and the post-war era. The volume will therefore appeal to those interested in wider aspects of British musical life and social and political history, as well as followers of Ireland and Bush.