Phyllis Hartnoll (1906-1997), theatre historian, musicoloist, poet and publisher [ Barry Duncan [ Horace Alexander Barry Duncan ] (1909-1985), London theatre historian ]
Three of the letters on Oxford University Press letterheads. Other items addressed from her home, Hobbits, Nether Westcote, Kingham, Oxon. 1945 and 1946.
Nine items. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper. Heavily annotated by Duncan. The letters (each 1p. long, two in 4to and two in 8vo) concern her orders and wants'. On 23 April 1945 she writes: 'I find on looking through the Play Pictorial bound volumes that No. 28 His Highness My Husband is missing. It is not a very important one, in fact I don't remember hearing of the play before, but if you happen to have a copy among your single numbers, I should be glad to have it, in order to complete the volume.
Charles Laughton (1899-1962), English stage and film actor, director and producer [ Oscar-winning Hollywood screen actor ]
Dated 12 May 1939. Without place.
On 9 x 11 cm piece of card, with rounded edges, laid down on grey paper (part of leaf from an album). Good signature, 5.5 cm high and 8 cm wide. At head of card, in another hand: 'CHARLES LAUGHTON 12.5.39'.
Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson (1853-1937), Shakespearian actor
[ Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. 1913. ]
Twelve black and white photographs, of slightly varying sizes (around 15 x 10 cm.), each mounted on a piece of grey paper 25 x 18.5 cm. paper with caption and credits printed on it. All in good condition, lightly aged and worn. The twelve are part of a set of sixteen, which were housed in a printed grey-card wallet (not present), titled 'Souvenir of Forbes-Robertson's Farewell at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane'. Dated 'London, Spring, 1913'. The front cover of the wallet carried a list of sixteen 'pictures of some of his most famous parts'.
Nathaniel Newnham-Davis (1854-1917), food writer, gourmet and 'Home Front Actor' [ Douglas Sladen [ Douglas Brooke Wheelton Sladen ] (1856-1947), author and academic ]
On letterhead of the Officers' Mess, Alexandra Palace, N. [ London ] 27 January [ no year, but First World War ].
2pp., 4to. In fair condition, on lightly aged and ruckled paper. The letter begins: 'My Dear Douglas Sladen | Fred Archer has been dead quite a time and I do not know whether Editors of Sporting Papers would consider his life a live subject.
Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson (1853-1937), distinguished Shakespearian actor [ his neice Ida Forbes-Robertson ]
Both on letterheads of Hartsbourne Manor, Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire. 11 May and 7 June 1916.
Both letters are in their envelopes, with stamps and postmarks, addressed by Johnston to his neice at 48 Hogarth Road, South Kensington. ONE: 11 May 1916. 1p., 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. He thanks her for her 'sweet letter' and explains that he is 'down here in bed with a cold'. He hopes for a meeting when he comes to town, congratulates 'Philip' (her brother Philippe (1898-1968), artist and illustrator) on doing well, and sends best wishes to her mother (the Polish artist Janina Flamm). TWO: 7 June 1916. 2pp., 12mo. Bifolium.
'Dulcie Gray' [ Dulcie Winifred Catherine Savage Bailey ] (1915-2011), actress, wife of actor Michael Denison [ (John) Michael Terence Wellesley Denison ] (1915-1998)
None of the three items with place or date. 'Looking Forward, Looking Back' published in 1991. 'Four Years', 1940s or 1950s. The prompt copies for production of 'Curtain Up' at the Guildford Theatre, 1998.
Gray - who in addition to her acting career was a crime novelist and lepidopterist - has an excellent entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, which also carries details of Denison. ONE: Typescript of 'Four Years | By | Dulcie Gray'.  + 63pp., 4to. Stapled. With front brown-paper cover with red label bearing title, with stamp of typewriting agency Ethel Christian, 36-38 Southampton Street, Strand. Signature of 'Michael Denison' at head of title-page. On aged and worn paper, and lacking the last couple of leaves and back cover.
E. A. Sothern [ Edward Askew Sothern ] (1826-1881), English actor, best-known for playing Lord Dundreary in 'Our American Cousin'
Haymarket Theatre [ London ]. Undated.
On one side of 6 x 10 cm piece cut from the end of a letter. In fair condition, aged, ruckled and a little faded. Reads: '<...> kindly pass | Very soon | If convenient | & oblige - | E. A. Sothern | Haymarket Theatre.'
'Mrs. Cargill' [ Ann Cargill, née Brown ] (1760-1784), opera singer; 'Mrs. Bishop' [ Elizabeth Sarah Bishop, née Lyon ] (1787–1831), actress, wife of Sir Henry Rowley Bishop (1786-1855), composer
[ From the Morning Post, London. ] Cuttings relating to Cargill, dating from between 1777 to 1784. Those relating to Bishop and others, London, 1809-1831.
A total of 93 newspaper cuttings, 87 of which are laid down on eleven 4to leaves of wove paper, the other six cuttings being loose, with one playbill. The cuttings - around two-thirds of which relate to Cargill, most of the rest relating to Bishop - are in fair condition, lightly-aged with a handful worn, on aged leaves worn at edges. Most of the cuttings are dated, and on the few occasions the source is given it is 'M P', i.e. the Morning Post. The first leaf carries a trimmed-down playbill for a benefit performance for 'Mrs.
Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905), eminent Victorian actor-manager
On letterhead of 15A, Grafton Street, Bond Street, W. [ London ] 15 February [ no year ].
2pp., 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. In a difficult hand. He hopes there is 'no misunderstanding about the box for tonight', which is reserved in the recipient's name at the theatre: '& you have only to ask for your box'. He ends: 'We shall meet tonight I hope after the play.'
Samuel Phelps (1804-1878), actor-manager at Sadler's Wells, London
'T[heatre]. R[oyal]. Worthing'. No date [ 1836 ].
2pp., 4to. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. The letter begins: 'My Dear Sir/ | I should like much to visit Exeter, but the distance is so great & travelling (with my family) so confoundedly expensive - that I had made up my mind, this summer should end my wanderings - however as Exeter is in the "land of my nativity" [he was born at Devonport] it is a strong temptation for me to winter with you'. He refers him to 'Mr Hughes' with regard to his 'capability', and states his terms 'for myself & wife who can play little chambermaids &c - and be useful on all occasions'.
Charles Kemble (1775-1854), English actor [ C. R. Smith [ Charles Roach Smith ] (1807-1890), antiquary and archaeologist; British Archaeological Association ]
Athenaeum Club [ London ]. 27 August 1847.
1p., 12mo. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper, with slight rust spotting around date at head. He explains that it is 'under a mistake' that he has been 'proposed as an Associate of the Central Committee of the British Archaeological Association', and he declines the 'honor intended' with 'sincere thanks'.
J. C. Williamson Ltd., Australian theatre management firm, founded by American actor James Cassius Williamson (1845-1913)
[ Printed by Whitmarks Ltd, Sydney, Australia, for the publishers City Ads. Ltd. ] The 17 numbers dating from between 1928 and 1941.
The collection is in fair condition, with rusted staples, and slight age and wear to the covers of most of the numbers, with a handful in not such good condition, the covers of one of them being almost detached. All 4to, and ranging in length between 20pp. and 64pp. Well-illustrated, with coloured covers, biographies, news and gossip, relating to actors, plays, the chain and its theatres, as well as wider topics such as 'Russian Ballet in London', 'A Few Toilet Hints. By Phyllis Monkman', 'The Grenadier Guards Band. Shortly to Tour Australia', and 'Modern Make-Up'. By Miss May Murray.
Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934), playwright [ Arthur Cecil [ Arthur Cecil Blunt (1843-1896), actor-manager and playwright ]
On letterhead of 64 St John's Wood Road, NW [ London ]. 26 May 1887.
2pp., 12mo. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. Addressed to 'Arthur C. Blunt, Esq', with salutation to 'My dear Cecil'. With regard to 'Mr. Wigram's letter' he writes that he 'would rather not dramatize a novel, and did I feel an inclination to do so I don't think I am at all a good man for the work'. He nevertheless asks the recipient to inform Wigram that he is 'complimented by his and Lord Desart's proposal'. The postscript is mildly amusing: 'P.S. I hope I am not liable to misconstruction in enquiring after your Housemaid's Knee'.
Dame Marie Tempest [ Mary Susan Etherington ] (1864-1942), English singer and actress ('the queen of her profession')
On letterhead of 'Miss Marie Tempest'. 'Monday' [ no date ].
1p., 8vo. In fair condition, aged and worn, with slight loss to one corner and creasing to another. Strengthened on reverse with a small piece of tape. Letterhead in red, with Tempest writing in green ink. She writes warmly: 'I've read your Play, and I think it charming up to the point of the two people who are crooks! It suffers from the same thing that our present Play suffers from. Too sudden a jump!' She invites him to go and see the play, 'and you will gather what I mean'. She ends by describing his play as 'amusing and witty'.
Garry Black, Irish actor [ Barry Duncan, theatrical bookseller; 'Jimmy Lynton' [ Charles Parsons ] (1887-1970), actor, grandfather of British Prime Minister Tony Blair ]
Four letters to Duncan from his private address, Pier Gates, Fenit, County Kerry, Eire [ Ireland ]; letter to Lynton from 'Tower Players', Currans, Farranfore, County Kerry, Eire [ Ireland ]. All from 1968.
Black's five letters total 9pp. Present in addition are two copies of Typed Letters Signed from Duncan to Black (both written in 1968 from 209 Northumberland Road, Southampton), totalling 3pp. In fair condition, with light signs of age and wear. In his first letter to Duncan (1 September 1968), Black explains: 'I run a small fit-up Drama Show around the villages in Ireland. There are only two fit-up shows left over here. We only run in a small way (five people), we find that is the only way we can make a living out of it. We only have a three week Rep.
Cyril Maude [ Cyril Francis Maude ] (1862-1951), English actor-manager; his wife 'Winifred Emery' [ stage name of actress Maud Isabel Emery; later Maud Isabel Maude ] (1861-1924)
On following letterheads: four from 26 Cleveland Gardens, Lancaster Gate, W. [ London ]; two from 33 Egerton Crescent, S.W. [ London ]; one from the Playhouse, Northumberland Avenue, Charing Cross (from 1907); one from the Haymarket Theatre, London.
The eight items are in good condition, with light signs of age and wear. Maude's six letters (all signed 'Cyril Maude') total 8pp., and his wife's two (both signed 'Winifred Emery') total 3pp. In the typed letter the recipient is named as 'Mrs. Whitley, | 78 Alexandra Rd., | St. John's Wood, | N.W.' All eight items deal with interviews conducted by her with the couple. On 20 December Maude writes, 'as I told you I fear there will be nothing in particular for me to tell you, as it is very necessary for me to avoid telling anyone anything just yet awhile.
Cyril Maude [ Cyril Francis Maude ] (1862-1951), English actor-manager of the London theatres the Haymarket and Playhouse
Letter on letterhead of 60 South Audley Street, W. [ London ]. 19 October [ no year ]. Funeral Service [ by Vacher & Sons, Westminster ] for 28 February 1951, at.St Margarets, Westminster.
Letter: 1p., 8vo. With mourning border. In fair condition, lightly aged and creased, with small pin-hole to one corner. Reads: 'Dear Sir | I suppose the finest part I ever played and one I am always hoping to play again someday [sic] was Sir Peter Teazle. Grumpy was a fine part too though. | Yours truly | Cyril Maude'. Funeral Service: 4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In fair condition, lightly aged and with one vertical fold. Slug: 'Vacher - 32959'. Cover reads: 'St.
Janet Achurch [ Janet Achurch Charrington ] (1864-1916), English actress and actor-manager [ 'Robert Farquharson', stage name of Robert de la Condamine (1877-1966), English actor ]
'Bourne Cottage | Beenham | Nr. Reading'. 6 May 1904.
1p., 8vo. On aged and worn paper. Addressed on reverse, with stamps and postmarks, to 'Robert Farquharson Esqre | Haxtead House | Bromley | Kent'. She invites him to 'run down on Saturday [...] The garden is lovely - We shall probably go ahead to Glasgow so this may be our only chance of rehearsing till the day we open in Glasgow.' She wants 'everything "just so" to soothe our feelings after the Scramble of last Thursday - surely last Thursday year!' She has found 'a wonderfully fine notice' in the Guardian newspaper, 'for the "smoothness & freshness" of our doings | ye gods!
Robert Keeley (1793-1869), English actor-mananger, comedian and female impersonator
Place and date not stated.
On 3 x 11 cm. strip of paper, cut from a letter, presumably in response to a request for an autograph. In fair condition, on lightly aged paper folded twice. Reads: 'send another to me? There is plenty of time | Yours truly | R. Keeley'. In 1823 Keeley originated the role of 'Fritz' in 'Presumption; or, the Fate of Frankenstein', a stage adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein.
Frank Pettingell [ Frank Edmund George Pettingell ] (1891-1966), English film actor [ Barry Duncan, theatrical bookseller ]
Two from Highfield Lodge, Wise Lane, NW7 [ London ], and two from Broadstairs, Kent. Dated items from between 1946 and 1954.
The collection of seventeen items in fair condition, with light signs of age and wear. Two of the letters are signed 'Frank Pettingell', the others signed 'Frank (P.)' and 'Frank'. Two of the letters are in their original envelopes. They total 5pp., 12mo. On 22 August 1947 he writes regarding his collection of playscripts, mostly acquired from the son of the comedian Arthur Williams, and now at the Templeman Library, University of Kent: 'We are on holiday here [in Broadstairs] since "Fifty-Fifty" finished [...] When I get back next month I would like to sort the old M.S.
Frank Pettingell [ Frank Edmund George Pettingell ] (1891-1966), English film actor [ Gainsborough Productions ]
Letter on letterhead of Highfield Lodge, Wise Lane, Mill Hill, N.W.7. [ London ] 26 August 1945. Movie still: Renown Pictures Corporation Limited, Gainsborough Production [ 1937 ].
ONE: Letter. 2pp., 4to. In fair condition, lightly aged. He apologises for the delay in returning 'Purple Dust', explaining that he has only recently learnt 'definitely that the film will claim me until the end of October'. He asks Capur or his secretary 'to call in any time at the Theatrical bookshop in your court - I cannot remember the name of the shop - nor its proprietor except that his first name is Barry. [ i.e.
PhIlip Ridgeway (1891-1954), theatrical producer, broadcaster, radio entertainment producer [ Theodore Komisarjevsky; Thomas Hardy; Charles Laughton ]
Without place or date. Written after the Second World War.
6pp (the first three in folio, the last three in 4to), with an additional slip of paper from a seventh page. Each page on a separate leaf, all of them stapled together. In fair condition, aged and with slight ruckling and damp spotting to first leaf. Minor autograph emendations and additions throughout. It is puzzling that more information is not available concerning Ridgeway's eventful career, for which see his obituary in The Times, 28 October 1954. The present document is unsigned and untitled, and is clearly a draft synopsis of a proposal for an autobiography.
Charles Lefeaux [ Charles Treoning Lefeaux ] (1909-1979), English actor and producer, Vice-President of the Repertory Players, London
On letterhead of 4 Turner Close, Meadway, NW1 [ London ]. 1 and 17 August 1948.
ONE: Note. 1p., 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged. In envelope addressed to Duncan at 11 St Martin's Court, London. Reads simply: 'Please let me have your catalogue when its ready | C L'. Lefeaux's name in capitals at head. TWO: Letter. 1p., 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. He asks him to 'put the enclosed leaflet about the Repertory Players' in his window as agreed, offering two tickets as a mark of the commitee's gratitude.
Edward Loomis Davenport (1816-1877), American actor [ Thomas Francis Dillon Croker (1831-1912), son of Irish antiquary Thomas Crofton Croker (1798-1854) ]
'T[heatre] R[oyal]. D[rury] Lane | Mar 19 [ 1853 ]'.
1p., 12mo. In good condition, on aged paper. In envelope with Penny Red stamp and postmarks (including one dated 21 March 1853), addressed by Davenport to 'J F. D. Croker Esq | 3 Gloucester Road | Old Brompton'. He thanks him for sending 'his Dramatic Register of 52 (& one also 51 while in Scotland)', and congratulates 'Mr C upon the very excellent style in which he has put the facts together'. Also present are a cutting relating to Davenport, from the New York Albion, 24 February 1855, and a small engraved portrait of 'MR.
Bernard Miles [ Bernard James, Baron Miles ] (1907-1981), English actor, writer and director
One typed note (28 September 1948) on letterhead of Duff House, Acacia Road, London, NW8, the other on letterhead of the Mermaid Theatre, Blackfriars, 16 November 1964. The autograph note without place or date.
The two typed notes in good condition, lightly aged; the autograph note in fair condition, on aged paper. Two items signed 'Bernard Miles' and one 'B. M.' The first typed note suggests an exchange of material, with the autograph postscript 'One or two of the appeals for charity are endorsed by H. I. [ Henry Irving? ] himself.' The second typed note declines a collection: 'I managed to pick up an almost complete set in Leeds soon after we talked - nearly 200'. The autograph note simply acknowledges the sending of a cheque for a 'little lot of photographs I took away'.
[ Luther Munday, Secretary of the Old Lyric Club; Constance, Countess of Romney; the Green Park Club, London; the Old Lyric Club; Herbert Beerbohm Tree ]
'at the St James' Theatre, kindly lent by Mr. George Alexander, On Friday, June 7th, 1907, at 3 p.m.'
4pp., folio. Bifolium. In fair condition, on aged paper slightly worn at head. The front page is headed 'H.R.H. Princess Christian and the Royal Members, are Patrons of a Private Farewell Matinee arrranged by Lady Romney on behalf of the Green Park Club for Mr. and Mrs. Luther Munday'. The names of twenty performers are listed beneath this, headed by Herbert Beerbohm Tree, with various other individuals named.