[Sir John Hare, actor-manager, to Willy Clarkson, theatrical wigmaker and homosexual blackmailer.] Autograph Letter Signed ('John Hare'), giving instructions on a wig 'of great importance', required for an American tour.

Sir John Hare (1844-1921), actor and manager of the Garrick Theatre, London [Willy Clarkson [William Berry Clarkson (1861-1934), theatrical wigmaker and costume designer, homosexual blackmailer]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of 'Mr. John Hare's Autumn Provincial Tour, 1900' (Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester). 15 September 1900.
SKU: 22014

2pp, 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. The letter casts an interesting sidelight on the practicalities of the late-Victorian theatre. He begins by explaining that he is sending back a wig he made for him, which was 'an admirable one in every way', and asking that he make him 'one like it for America & to bestow your best skill on it as it is of great importance to me'. He instructs him to 'make the wig a shade darker, something of the color it is dyed behind, & put a little natural white hair on the temples each side'. He urges him to be 'very careful that the waive is a natural one & not overdone, it looks bad from the front, see Mr [?] in Julius Caesar'. He ends with the assumption that Clarkson will 'do your best for me'. James Morton, in his 'Gangland Soho' (2012), alleges that Clarkson (who has a blue plaque to his name at 41-43 Wardour Street) was not only a repeated insurance fraudster, but a notorious homosexual blackmailer, after whom the public lavatory in Dansey Place was named 'Clarkson's Cottage'.