[ Warwick Deeping, novelist. ] 5 Autograph Letters Signed and 3 Autograph Notes Signed to Margaret Greenwood, regarding the adapation of his work for film. With 3 Autograph Letters Signed from his wife, and 13 copies of Greenwood's letters.
21 items. In good condition, lightly aged, held together with a brass stud. Deeping's eight items of correspondence - all signed 'Warwick Deeping' - total 9pp. His wife's three letters total 4pp. One of Deeping's letters is in its envelope, addressed by him to 'Miss Margaret Greenwood | 15 Horsham Road | Bexleyheath | Kent'. The copies of Greenwood's typed letters, totalling 16pp., date from between 27 July 1949 and 22 July 1950, bookending the whole correspondence. They are written on the backs of discarded typed drafts of pages from Greenwood's screenplays. Something of a bluffer (other items in her papers indicate that she had worked in a bank, and as secretary to the actor Robert Donat, but that she was now living with her mother), she begins her first letter grandly: 'As you will see from the letter heading we are a company devoting our time to the writing of film scripts, based upon original or existing stories and plays. These are chosen because of their human appeal and potential entertainment value.' She claims that the firm's 'reader' has brought to her attention Deeping's book 'Blind Man's Year', and that a 'well known actress' is 'anxious to portray Rosamund Gerard'. The first two replies are by Deeping's wife, the second signed 'M P D per pro Warwick Deeping'. The Deepings grant consent to the adaptation, subject to approval by Deeping, and Deeping's response (13 September 1949) to the first sample of the adaptation is positive: 'Excellent! The tale comes out with direction & simplicity.' He suggests £600 for the rights. Greenwood finds this 'very reasonable', revealing that Sonia Dresdel (1909-1976), the actress she had in mind for the female lead, 'is delighted with the part'. On 26 October 1949 Deeping declares the complete adaptation 'excellent', explaining that 'Writing is a difficult business as I had a stroke about nine months ago.' Four days later he agrees that 'John Mills would be a very good choice' for the male lead, 'especially if he could produce the book himself', and reports that his wife is 'as pleased with your rendering of the book, as I am, & she is a <?> critical person'. Four weeks later Greenwood writes to tell him that she is writing to Mills, and asks for permission to adapt 'Corn in Egypt'. He feels that there is 'a lot of good stuff' in the book, and that she 'would make a very fine picture' out of it. In a two-page letter she describes points in the book she is uneasy about, and this elicits a two-page response from Deeping, in which he discusses 'the machinery' which plays a prominent part in the story, explaining that he and his wife 'had all these things on our small farm'. He finds her adaptation of the second book better than the first, concluding: 'I was doubtful about the end, but when I had read your treatment of it, I was moved to let it stand.' A three-page letter from Greenwood, at the beginning of 1950, meets with a terse reply from Deeping: 'You have the exclusive rights of “Blind Man's Year” & not just a temporary lease. | Good luck to it.' On 21 April 1950 she sends a letter of condolence to Mrs Deeping, with a pushy business letter regarding the rights to 'Woman at the Door' three months later. In her response (21 July 1950) Mrs Deeping thanks her for her sympathy ('I need it.') and explains about the large amount of correspondence she has to deal with. A further query from Greenwood, made the following day, appears to have gone unanswered.