BRITTEN

[ Ronald Duncan, poet and playwright. ] Typed Letter Signed to bookseller Barry Duncan, regarding his play 'Nothing Up My Sleeve'. With a carbon copy of Barry Duncan's letter that elicited this response.

Author: 
Ronald Duncan (1914-1982), poet, playwright and author, collaborator with Benjamin Britten
Publication details: 
On letterhead of Welcombe, near Bideford, North Devon. 20 December 1950.
£35.00

1p., 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn, with slight rusting at head from paperclip. He writes that there is 'no relationship between myself and any of the people you mention. I have no antecedents such as you suggest and I cannot recall having received a copy of your catalogue.' Turning to the character 'Horace' in his play 'Nothing Up My Sleeve' he writes: 'he's just a figment of my imagination and the whole play is just a piece of work without any intended resemblance to anyone, only types.' The carbon copy of Barry Duncan's letter is somewhat aged and worn around the edges.

[ F. Britten Austin, novelist. ] Typescripts of acts I and 3 of his unpublished only play, 'The Thing that Matters'. With numerous manuscript additions and directions, plus extra typed material.

Author: 
F. Britten Austin [ Frederick Britten Austin ] (1885-1941) [ Percy Burton, theatrical agent and motion picture pioneer; Arthur Bourchier; Helen Maud Holt (1863-1937) [ Mrs Beerbohm Tree; Lady Tree ] ]
Publication details: 
F. Britten Austin, Northgate House, Bishops Stortford, Herts. Undated [ circa 1921 ].
£580.00

126pp., 4to. (Act 1 has 55pp. and Act 3 has 71pp.) Each act bound in grey card covers. Worn and aged, with the remains of the purple ribbon used to bind the leaves into their covers. A heavily reworked typescript. As is customary, the typed text of the play is on the rectos only, but leaves with additional typed and manuscript (presumably autograph) text have been inserted. Numerous manuscript additions and deletions to the text on the rectos, with additional typed passages on pieces of paper laid down onto the facing versos, which also carry further manuscript changes.

[Janet Leeper, writer on ballet.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Janet') to the theatre director E. Martin Browne, giving a detailed analysis of productions at Aldeburgh and Southwark of Benjamin Britten's opera 'Noye's Fludde'.

Author: 
Janet Leeper, writer on ballet [E. Martin Browne (1900-1980), English theatre director; Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), English composer; the Aldeburgh Festival]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of 30 Bramham Gardens, [London] S.W.5. 15 January 1959.
£220.00

4pp., 8vo. 102 lines of neatly and closely written text. With original envelope addressed by Leeper to 'E. Martin Browne Esq | 99 Claremont Avenue | New York 27 | U.S.A.' Leeper begins by expressing her pleasure that Browne is 'going to do the first American performance of Noye's Fludde', which she describes as 'a great work - big & simple & satisfying, & very moving'.

Autograph Letter Signed ('Benjamin Britten') and Typed Letter Signed ('Ben') from the composer Benjamin Britten to the publisher Hans Juda, with seven other items including an Autograph Card Signed from Britten's secretary Jeremy Cullum.

Author: 
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), English composer [Hans Juda [Hans Peter Juda] (1904-1975), art collector, publisher of the magazine 'The Ambassador']
Publication details: 
Britten's and Cullum's letters from The Red House, Aldeburgh, Suffolk. The nine items dating from 1962, 1964 and 1965.
£600.00

The nine items are in good condition, on lightly-aged paper. Items One, Three and Four, from 1962, and stapled together, as are the other six items, dating from 1964-5. ONE: Autograph Letter Signed ('Benjamin Britten') from Britten to Juda. On letterhead of The Red House, Aldeburgh, Suffolk. 25 July 1962. Responding to Item Three below, Britten thanks Juda for 'sending the magnificent book on Graham Sutherland', which Britten is 'very glad indeed to have'.

Galley proofs of an article by the violinist Yehudi Menhuin entitled 'A Chivalrous Tradition', with a couple of minor corrections, for a volume celebrating Benjamin Britten's fiftieth birthday.

Author: 
Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999), Anglo-American violinist and conductor of Russian-Jewish extraction [Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), English composer]
Galley proofs of an article by the violinist Yehudi Menhuin
Publication details: 
Published in 'Tribute to Benjamin Britten on his Fiftieth Birthday' (London: Faber & Faber, 1963).
£80.00
Galley proofs of an article by the violinist Yehudi Menhuin

On two slips, both 15.5 cm wide, and totalling 59 cm long. Fair, on aged paper, with minor rust marks from a paperclip. The second slip headed with pagination '48', and running title 'Festschrift in Honour of Benjamin Britten'. He is grateful 'for the eerie fog, for the rain, as for the sixth sense, rich imagination and irrepressible humour of this people, as I am for all that has been absorbed of outlandish and exotic rendered proper, of wisdom and experience rendered intuitive - as I am particularly for their having absorbed and adopted me.' With one of Menuhin's compliments slips.

Typed Letter Signed and Autograph Card Signed (both 'Steuart Wilson'), one to K. W. Luckhurst, Secretary, Royal Society of Arts, and the other to Luckhurst's assistant. With copies of four Typed Letters from Luckhurst and his assistant to Wilson.

Author: 
Sir James Steuart Wilson (1889-1966), English tenor and musical administrator
Publication details: 
The six items from 1948 and 1949. Wilson's letter on BBC letterhead.
£125.00

The six items good, on aged paper, with the copies of Luckhurst's letters lightly creased. Item One: Copy of Luckhurst to Wilson. 5 October 1948. 4to, 1 p. Asking whether Wilson 'would honour the Society by consenting to deliver the third [Cantor] lecture for which the title "Music - and the Audience" is suggested. [...] the first lecture in the series will be given on March 22nd by Mr. Benjamin Britten, and the second on March 29th by Sir Malcolm Sargent.' Gives details of arrangements and fee. Item Two: Wilson to Luckhurst. Typed Leter Signed. 8 October 1948. 12mo, 1 p.

Autograph Note Signed to unnamed male correspondent.

Author: 
Edith Coates (1908-1983), English mezzo-soprano opera singer.
Publication details: 
Undated; 31 Makepeace Avenue, Highgate, London.
£28.00

12mo, 1 p. Good, on lightly-aged paper. Punch-hole in top left-hand corner. Replying to an autograph hunter, she states that she has 'signed the programme' and has 'much pleasure in returning it with every good wish'. Good, firm signature.

Autograph Signature ('Steuart Wilson').

Author: 
Sir James Steuart Wilson (1889-1966), English tenor and musical administrator
Publication details: 
Undated.
£30.00

On a fragment, roughly 11 x 16 cm, of a page of laid paper from a diary. Good, on lightly aged paper. Two signatures, under the heading 'July 22': 'Spencer <?> | Steuart Wilson.' Lightly docketed in pencil.

3 Autograph Letters Signed and 1 Autograph Card Signed [to his publishers?]

Author: 
James Britten
Publication details: 
The letters, 21 and 31 May and 29 July 1883, all from Isleworth; the card, 20 [month?] 1890, stamped '18, WEST SQUARE | SOUTHWARK, S.E.'
£125.00

Botanist and Roman Catholic propagandist (1846-1924). All but the second letter, which is addressed 'Gentlemen', are addressed 'Dear Sirs'. The letters are all 12mo, and embossed at the head of the first leaf 'NOX VENIT QUANDO NEMO POTEST OPERARI'. In letter 1 (1 page) he asks that his 'Collecting book of Flowering Plants' be sent to him: he will mention it in his 'Journal of Botany' for June.

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