DRAMATIST

[James Kenney, Irish dramatist.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Jas Kenney.') to book-collector and bon-vivant Thomas Hill, playfully explaining that he has no portrait to offer ('I am now pluming my Crest for the first Painter that comes across me').

Author: 
James Kenney (1780-1849), Irish dramatist [Thomas Hill (1760-1840), book-collector and bon-vivant]
Publication details: 
9 Southampton Buildings [London]. 15 December 1806.
£220.00

For information on Kenney and the recipient Thomas Hill, see their entries in the Oxford DNB. 1p, 4to. Bifiolium. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. Addressed, with postmark, on reverse of second leaf, to 'Thos. Hill Esqr | Queen Hith' [i.e. Queenhithe, London]. Hill had presumably requested a representation of Kenney, and the tone of the letter is that of one man of the world addressing another, accurately caught by a dramatist: 'Dear Sir, | I have just received your note of the 10th.

[James Kenney, Irish dramatist.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Jas Kenney.') to 'Loo Loo' ('Mademoiselle Holcroft'), i.e. wife Louisa, discussing their home situation, education of children, theatrical affairs, personal news.

Author: 
James Kenney (1780-1849), Irish dramatist [Thomas Holcroft (1745-1809), author and radical]
Publication details: 
Versailles. 15 June 1822.
£350.00

3pp, 4to. Bifolium. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. Addressed, with Versailles postmark, on reverse of second leaf, 'A Mademoiselle Holcroft | Chateau de Pinon | près | Chavignon | Dep. de l'Aisne'. The background to the letter requires some explanation. In 1812 a prosperous Kenney had married Louisa Mercier (c.1780-1853), daughter of the French dramatist Louis-Sébastien Mercier (1740-1814), and fourth wife and widow of the playwright Thomas Holcroft, a leading radical who had assisted his friend Thomas Paine publish 'The Rights of Man'.

[John Van Druten, playwright.] Typed Letter Signed to theatre historian W. J. Macqueen-Pope, with personal reminiscence and touching 'many points' including British 'old theatre' in Hollywood, Dodie Smith, J. T. Grein, his theatre library.

Author: 
John Van Druten [John William Van Druten] (1901-1957), English playwright and theatre director [Walter James Macqueen-Pope (1888-1960), theatre historian]
Publication details: 
5 October 1949. A. J. C. Ranch, Thermal, California.
£120.00

It is puzzling that Van Druten, one of the most successful British playwrights of the early 1930s, should not have an entry in the Oxford DNB. The present entertaining and informative letter is written from the A. J. C. Ranch in Coachella Valley, which Van Druten purchased with his then-lover Carter Lodge and the British actress Auriol Lee (it was named after the initals of their first names).

[Dodie Smith, children's writer, author of 'The Hundred and One Dalamatians'.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Dodie') to 'Popie' [the theatre historian W. J. MacQueen-Pope], praising his writing, theatre work and latest book, discussing Vivien Leigh.

Author: 
Dodie Smith [Dorothy Gladys Smith] (1896-1990), children's writer and playwright, author of 'The Hundred and One Dalmatians' (1956) and 'I Capture the Castle' (1948) [W. J. MacQueen-Pope (1888-1960)]
Publication details: 
5 March 1958. On letterhead of The Barretts, Finchingfield, Essex.
£150.00

2pp, 18mo. In fair condition, lightly aged and creased. Folded once. Written in a close, elegant hand. Written on receipt of a presentation copy of MacQueen-Pope's latest book, the letter begins: 'My dear Popie, | Thank you so very much for St James's, Theatre of Distinction. I think I am enjoying it even more than I usually enjoy your individual-theatre books, because the St James's meant so much to me. It was the first London theatre I ever went to - long before I could read or went to a school.

[Kevin Bailey, editor of 'HQ Poetry Magazine', to playwright Christopher Fry.] Three Typed Letters Signed and one Autograph Letter Signed, discussing his magazine, its poets, his own poetry, Fry's work. With extract from one of his plays.

Author: 
Kevin Bailey (b.1954), poet and editor of 'HQ Poetry Magazine', Swindon [Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright, with Auden and Eliot a leading exponent of twentieth-century verse drama]
Publication details: 
HQ Poetry Magazine, 39 Exmouth Street, Swindon. Between 11 November 1998 and 20 July 1999.
£150.00

A total of 8pp of closely-typed text. In good condition. Also present are an additional four-page copy on pink paper of the first letter and its enclosure. First letter signed 'Kevin Bailey', two others signed 'Kevin B.' aq2 One letter lacks its last page and signature.

[Christopher Fry, playwright, a leading exponent of verse drama.] Typescript of the text of his children's book 'The Boat that mooed'. Signed 'Christopher Fry'.

Author: 
Christopher Fry (1907-2005), distinguished playwright, with Auden and Eliot a leading exponent of twentieth-century verse drama
Publication details: 
No place or date. [Book published in New York by Macmillan in 1965.]
£200.00

9pp, 8vo. Complete carbon typescript. On nine leaves, stapled together. Title at head of first page: 'THE BOAT THAT MOOED.' Fry's signature in blue ink at top left of first page: 'Christopher Fry:'. Fry has cut down the story by deleting and removing a passage. The lower part of the leaf carrying the sixth page of the story has been cut away, and the original seventh page has been removed, hence the typescript pagination 1-6, 8-10 has been amended in manuscript to 1-9. A lighthearted faux-naive story, replete with symbolism. Begins: 'Tom Crunch lived on a boat. All round the boat was water.

[Christopher Fry, playwright.] Two items from his papers: an American first edition of his play 'A Yard of Sun', together with proof leaves of a later printing of the play, entirely reset.

Author: 
Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright, with Auden and Eliot a leading exponent of twentieth-century verse drama
Publication details: 
First edition: O.U.P. [Oxford University Press], New York. 1970. Proofs undated and without publishing details. [New York: Dramatists Play Service Inc. 1998?]
£450.00

The two items are from the playwright's own papers. FIRST EDITION: [8] + 113pp, 8vo. A good tight copy in lightly-aged brown cloth and price-clipped cream dustwrapper with attractive design by Edward Blakeney in brown and black on front cover, and slight chipping to bottom edge at back. Label with English price on back of dustwrapper. No autograph interpolations. PROOFS: 96pp, 8vo. Duplicated printed pages, each page on a separate leaf. Paginated 1-96.

[Christopher Fry: BBC Schools talk on 'A Sleep of Prisoners', with reading.] Copy of typescript of BBC Home Service (Schools) talk and reading headed 'Religion and Philosophy | 9. A Play for a Church | by | Christopher Fry'.

Author: 
Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright, with Auden and Eliot a leading exponent of twentieth-century verse drama [BBC [British Broadcasting Corporation], Bush House, London]
Publication details: 
TRANSMISSION: BBC HOME SERVICE (SCHOOLS) [Bush House, London] | Monday 29th June 1953: 9.40 - 10.00 a.m.
£220.00

Contemporary duplicated typescript, from the Christopher Fry papers. 14pp, 8vo. Each page on a separate leaf. In fair condition, lightly aged. Fry's introductory talk is present in its entirety on pp.1-5, this is followed by an unpaginated page, then pp.8-15 with p.[10] also unpaginated. Hence p.6 or p.7, beginning the extracts from the play, would appear to be absent. On the front page, between the heading and transmission details is: 'Rehearsal: Thursday 4th June 1953: 10.00 onwards | Recording: Thursday 4th June 1953: 12.15 - 1.00 p.m. 3A | Recording of Insert: [BLANK]'.

[Denis Johnston's play on Jonathan Swift: 'new version' by his son Rory Johnston.] Typescript of 'The Dreaming Dust | by Denis Johnston | a new version | compiled and adapted by Rory Johnston'. With covering letter to Christopher Fry.

Author: 
Denis Johnston (1901-1984), Irish playwright, author and actor; his son Rory Johnston [Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright, leading exponent of twentieth-century verse drama; Jonathan Swift]
Publication details: 
Typescript play sent by Rory Johnston, 49 Upper Park Road, London NW3. Dated 31 December 1987. 'Copyright 1959, 1977 by Denis Johnston'. Rory Johnston's letter to Fry: 3 May 1988, from same address.
£400.00

A multi-talented figure, Denis Johnston was a protégé of W. B. Yeats and Bernard Shaw, and had a stormy friendship with Seán O'Casey. Jonathan Swift was a preoccupation of Johnston's (see his 1959 book 'In Search of Swift'), and his play about him, 'The Dreaming Dust', was first produced at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, in 1940. It was published in collections of Johnston's plays in 1954, 1960, 1977 and 1983. This 1988 version remains unpublished. Both typescript and letter in fair condition, lightly aged.

['John William Calcraft' (stage name of John William Cole), actor and lessee of the Theatre Royal, Dublin.] Two Autograph Letters Signed (both 'J. W. Calcraft'), regarding debts and plans for productions.

Author: 
'John William Calcraft' [stage name of John William Cole (c.1793-1870)], actor, dramatist and lessee of the Theatre Royal, Dublin
Publication details: 
4 March 1847 and 31 January 1848. Both from the Theatre Royal, Dublin.
£45.00

Both letters 2pp, 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. Cole's handwriting is difficult. The recipient is not named. The first letter, 34 lines long, concerns a bill which Cole has drawn on the recipient of the letter. It is coming due, and he is uncertain whether it is for £90 or £100. He asks him to withhold payment for a while, as 'Lent is always a dead time with me'. He is 'going to try the experiment of Mr Butter for 6 nights', and has 'good hopes of the result'. The second letter begins: 'My dear Sir | I have made most liberal offers to Farren, Mrs. Nesbitt & Mr.

['John William Calcraft' (stage name of John William Cole), actor and lessee of the Theatre Royal, Dublin.] Two Autograph Letters Signed (both 'J. W. Calcraft'), regarding debts and plans for productions.

Author: 
'John William Calcraft' [stage name of John William Cole (c.1793-1870)], actor, dramatist and lessee of the Theatre Royal, Dublin
Publication details: 
4 March 1847 and 31 January 1848. Both from the Theatre Royal, Dublin.
£45.00

Both letters 2pp, 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. Cole's handwriting is difficult. The recipient is not named. The first letter, 34 lines long, concerns a bill which Cole has drawn on the recipient of the letter. It is coming due, and he is uncertain whether it is for £90 or £100. He asks him to withhold payment for a while, as 'Lent is always a dead time with me'. He is 'going to try the experiment of Mr Butter for 6 nights', and has 'good hopes of the result'. The second letter begins: 'My dear Sir | I have made most liberal offers to Farren, Mrs. Nesbitt & Mr.

[John Maddison Morton, playwright.] Two Autograph Letters Signed (one 'J. M. Morton', the other 'John M Morton') to comic actor John Pritt Harley, in one discussing a piece he has written for Mrs Humby, in the other complaining of 'disappointments'.

Author: 
John Maddison Morton (1811-1891), playwright noted for his farces, in particular 'Box and Cox' [John Pritt Harley (1786-1858), comic actor and singer; 'Mrs Humby' [Anne Humby (1817-1863), actress and
Publication details: 
Neither dated. One from 13 North Crescent [Bedford Square, London]; the other from Briar Lodge, New Road, Hammersmith.
£120.00

The two letters in fair condition, lightly aged and worn. Both with contemporary annotation at head of first page. ONE: From 13 North Crescent, and signed 'John M Morton'. 2pp, 12mo. Addressed, with a second signature, to 'J. P. Harley Esq'. Begins: 'Tho' not quite finished, you will see enough of the drift of the piece, to enable you to say whether you fancy it or not. I have written it out without amendments, which are rarely made, if you approve - I began Dainty (you remember the name?) for Mr. [Humby?], but broke down'.

[Christopher Fry, playwright.] Programme, with illustrated cover by him: 'Christopher Fry's Coronation Revue "The Birds Began to Sing". In aid of Dr. Barnardo's Homes.' With 'Coronation Enrolment' carrying autograph note by Fry loosely inserted.

Author: 
Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright, noted for his verse dramas [Dr. Barnardo's Homes; Barnardo Helpers' League, Tunbridge Wells Habitation; Agra House]
Publication details: 
Advertised for Royal Victoria Hall, Southborough, 19-22 May 1937. 'Printed at The Wood Press, Printers, Hopwood Gardens, Tunbridge Wells.'
£180.00

24pp, 4to. Stapled pamphlet. Aged, and with spotting to covers, creased closed tear at foot of spine, and slight loss to bottom out corner of back cover. With one vertical fold. The cover is printed in black, with a charming cartoon by 'C. F.' in red ink of five happy birds singing and flying around with musical scores in wings, with one bird on box with conductor's baton tapping a music stand.

[Sir Henry Taylor, poet, dramatist and civil servant.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Henry Taylor') to 'Mr Scott' [E. A. Scott] of Rugby School, regarding 'the predicament' of the lack of educational progress of his son [Henry Ashworth Taylor].

Author: 
Sir Henry Taylor (1800-1886), poet, dramatist and civil servant [his son Henry Ashworth Taylor (1854-1907); E. A. Scott of Rugby School]
Publication details: 
1 January 1872. East Sheen, [London] S.W.
£250.00

4pp, 4to. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded four times. Encouraged by Scott's response to his wife's letter, Taylor is 'encouraged to ask for yr. advice in the predicament in which we stand at present. My boy has made hardly any progress in the last term & stands only four fm. the bottom of the upper Fifth.' He explains that on a former occasion he was in favour of 'a change of house & of companions', but that 'the boy was exceedingly averse & I was induced by assurances of doing better to let him go back to Mr Arnold's'.

Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd (1795-1854), dramatist, judge, Radical politician.] Autograph Letter in third person [as 'Mr. Serjeant Talfourd'] to the actress Helen Faucit, sending best wishes on her illness while describing his contribution to her album.

Author: 
Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd (1795-1854), dramatist, judge, Radical politician, friend of Charles Dickens and Charles Lamb [Helen Faucit [Helena Saville Faucit, Lady Martin] (1817-1898), actress]
Publication details: 
3 Serjeant's Inn [London]. 9 January 1841.
£45.00

1p, 16mo. On 14 x 11 cm piece of paper, with margins apparently cut down. Aged, and with slight damage to two words of text caused by removal from mount.At the time of writing Faucit's successful career had been interrupted by the recurrence of a lung condition, necessitating recuperation at a seaside resort. She has evidently asked Talfourd to contribute to an autograph album, soliciting the following response: 'Mr.

[ Bernard Shaw ] Typed Letter Signed "G. Bernard Shaw", with holograph additions, to Gilbert Murray, classicist, varied content, including a view of blank verse, the art of the writer, and his "fifth act" for "Cymbeline.

Author: 
George Bernard Shaw, playwright.
Publication details: 
[Headed Notepaper] Ayot St Lawrence and Whitehall Court addresses, 16 July 1944. Also headed "From Bernard Shaw".
£750.00

Two pages, 4to, good condition. He commences: "Your Moncure Conway lecture was entirely hidden from me by the newspapers. Meanwhile the jingo romance of Churchill and the rancorous explosions of Vansittart were shoved down my throat, and the war atrocities rubbed into me by the wireless set most sedulously. " He comments that Geoffrey Crowther of "The Economist" had praised Murray's lesser achievements (President of the League of Nations Union, etc) but "Not a word about your resuscitation of the ancient Greek drama in immortal verse [...]".

[John Van Druten, dramatist.] Typed Letter Signed ('John van Druten') to W. J. Macqueen-Pope, discussing his memories of Ivor Novello, and his new play 'I am a Camera', based on Christopher Isherwood, and Julie Harris.

Author: 
John Van Druten [John William Van Druten] (1901-1957), English playwright and theatre director [Walter James Macqueen-Pope (1888-1960),; Ivor Novello; Christopher Isherwood; Julie Harris]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the A. J. C. Ranch, Thermal, California. 15 January 1952.
£150.00

2pp, 8vo. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. A very good and informative letter. Written from the A. J. C. Ranch, which Van Druten had purchased with his former lover Carter Lodge (now his business manager) and the British actress Auriol Lee. Van Druten left his interest in the ranch to Lodge, together with the rights to his work, including the play discussed here, 'I am a Camera', an adapatation of Christopher Isherwood's stories. (For the relationship between Van Druten and Isherwood, see Peter Parker's biography of the latter.) This entitled Lodge to income from the film 'Cabaret'.

[Edward Laman Blanchard, playwright.] Autograph Letter Signed ('E. L. Blanchard') to 'C. Osborne', explaining his plans for the Era Almanack, while regretfully declining his offer of literary assistance.

Author: 
E. L. Blanchard [Edward Litt Laman Blanchard] (1820-1889), playwright and author, for 37 years writer of the Drury Lane pantomimes
Publication details: 
London Road, Rosherville, Kent. 27 August 1867.
£80.00

1p, 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded twice. 'My dear Sir | The Era Almanack will entirely consist of Theatrical information and general literature is not contemplated in the plan. Otherwise I need hardly say I should have been most happy to have availed myself of your aid.' The Era Almanack ran from 1868 to 1919, and was one of the more reliable theatrical annuals.

[Sir Arnold Wesker, playwright.] Two Typed Letters Signed (both 'Arnold Wesker') to Israeli author Aubrey Hodes, regarding his touring festival Centre 42, the English attitude to 'culture outside the commercial framework' and Israeli arts funding.

Author: 
Sir Arnold Wesker (1932-2016), playwright and author [Aubrey Hodes, Israeli author; Centre 42; New Wave; Kitchen Sink Drama; Angry Young Men; Jewish writers]
Publication details: 
20 Fitzroy Square, London, N1. 17 October 1962.
£220.00

Both 1p, 4to, and in good condition, lightly aged and folded once. Both letters addressed to Hodes at Beit Rosenberg, Keron Heyesod Street, Herzlia-on-Sea, Israel. The subject of the letters is Centre 42, the touring arts group Wesker formed to bring culture to the masses on his release from prison, following a sentence for civil disobedience with the Committee of 100 in opposition to nuclear weapons. The group moved to the Roundhouse in London in 1964.

[Sir Arnold Wesker, playwright.] Typed Letter Signed ('Arnold') to playwright Bernard Kops, appealing for copies of his plays to send to Cuba, which he has visited, finding that they have 'very bad theatre', due to 'their intolerable isolation'.

Author: 
Sir Arnold Wesker (1932-2016), playwright and author [Bernard Kops (b.1923), playwright; New Wave; Kitchen Sink Drama; Angry Young Men; Jewish writers]
Publication details: 
27 Bishop's Road, London, N6. 24 November 1964.
£120.00

1p, 4to. In fair condition, aged and lightly creased. Folded twice. The letter begins: 'Dear Bernard, | You probably know that I have just returned from Cuba and it was an exciting trip. | Unfortunately, one of the most depressing things was their very bad theatre; this is particularly because it is new and has no tradition, but also, to a great extent, due to their intolerable isolation.' Although there is little that they can do, Wesker promised to 'send as many plays and books' as he can.

[Christopher Fry, playwright.] Fry's own copy of his book 'Can You Find Me: A Family History', with autograph notes, containing correspondence from relatives, photographs, and a typed transcript of a radio interview, with autograph additions by Fry.

Author: 
Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright [Oxford University Press]
Publication details: 
Book: Oxford University Press, 1978. Correspondence between 1982 and 1987. Interview [1979].
£750.00

The book is 272pp, 8vo. A good copy, lightly aged, with binding sunned along top, in worn dustwrapper. The volume contains – along with autograph corrections of incidentals – a couple of autograph notes in pencil, one of a minor nature and the other reading: 'Daisy & Charles attended the funeral – March 26 – as recorded in Archibald Marshall's diary'; also one minor emendation in ink. The material inserted in the volume is described below. Accompanying the volume is a long typewritten radio script of an interview between Fry and 'Leslie', with autograph additions in pencil by Fry.

[Christopher Fry, playwright.] Typescript of a cinematic 'Story Treatment' of 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens: 'A 90 Minute Animated Color Version', 'Adapted by Christopher Fry'.

Author: 
Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright; Charles Dickens
Publication details: 
With address of Fry's agent: ACTAC (Theatrical & Cinematic) Limited, 16, Cadogan Lane, London S.W.1'. Without date [1970s or 1980s?].
£400.00

In addition to his distinguished career as a playwright, Fry had some success in Hollywood. He completely rewrote (uncredited) the screenplay of 'Ben-Hur' (1959), and was responsible for the screenplay of the Dino De Laurentiis epic 'The Bible: In the Beginning' (1966), directed by John Houston. The present item is a treatment for a film that did not make it into production. It is [1] + 71pp, 8vo. Each page on a separate loose leaf. With thin card covers, also loose, the front cover carrying a duplication of the title-page, and the back cover blank. In good condition, lightly aged.

[Christopher Fry makes directorial suggestions.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Christopher') to 'Dear George', giving detailed comments on a production of Congreve's 'Way of the World', with reference to Joan Plowright and John Moffatt.

Author: 
Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright [Joan Plowright; John Moffatt; William Gaskill; Chichester Festival]
Publication details: 
[From the 1984 Chichester Festival?]
£250.00

The item would appear to relate to William Gaskill's 1984 Chichester Festival production of Congreve's 'Way of the World', in which Joan Plowright played Lady Wishford, and John Moffatt played Witwoud, although it is not clear why Fry should have been making directorial suggestions in this case. 2pp, 8vo. Written in pencil. In fair condition, aged and worn. Folded twice. From the Fry papers, and so possibly either a draft or not sent. The identity of the recipient is not clear.

[Rolando Pieraccini, Italian sculptor, author and publisher ('Eurographica').] 43 Typed Letters Signed to playwright Christopher Fry, regarding the publication of signed limited editions of his works.

Author: 
Rolando Pieraccini [Roland Pieraccini], Italian sculptor and publisher ('Eurographica'), settled in Finland [Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright]
Publication details: 
Earlier letters on letterheads of his Helsinki publishing house Eurographica; later letters on his personal Helsinki letterhead. Between 1984 and 1996.
£800.00

43 letters in 8vo and 12mo, making a total of 44 pp. Signed 'Rolando Pieraccini' and (latterly) 'Rolando'. Thirteen of the letters (1984-1986; all 8vo) on 'Eurographica' letterhead, the others (1986-1996; 27 in 12mo and 3 in 8vo) on Pieraccini's personal letterhead. Also present is a carbon copy of a two-page letter from Pieraccini to Penny Eckley of Oxford University Press, regarding copyright matters. The collection in good condition, lightly-aged.

[Herbert Whittaker, Canadian theatre critic, designer and director.] Eight long Signed Letters (six typed and two in autograph) to English playwright Christopher Fry, on theatre matters including a reading at the Toronto Arts and Letters Club.

Author: 
Herbert Whittaker (1910-2006), Canadian theatre critic, designer and director [Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright; Canadian Players; Hart House Theatre; Crest Theatre; Montreal Repertory Theatre]
Publication details: 
From his address in Lamport Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; between 11 July 1998 and 7 April 2002.
£850.00

An interesting correspondence on theatre matters, from one of Canada's most influential critics and designers to 'a favourite poet', the English verse dramatist Christopher Fry. Whittaker discusses, among other matters, mutual acquaintances including Sir John Gielgud and Leonard White, past productions of Fry's plays, a 1998 meeting with the playwright at his West Dean home, and a reading he organises of Fry's 'A Ringing of Bells' at the Toronto Arts and Letters Club. The eight letters are in good condition, lightly aged.

[Anthony Grey, novelist and journalist.] Five Signed Letters, three in Autograph and two Typed, to playwright Christopher Fry, with material relating to his organisation Hostage Action Worldwide.

Author: 
Anthony Grey (born 1938), novelist, journalist and author, imprisoned by the Chinese government for 27 months from 1967 to 1969 [Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright]
Publication details: 
The five letters between 1989 and 1991. Three of the letters on letterhead of The Old Granary, Charlton, West Sussex. Hostage Action Worldwide material all c/o The Charlton Foundation, 28 Nottingham Place, London.
£450.00

Nine items, all in good condition. All of the letters are signed 'Anthony', and four of them (two autograph and two typed) are each 1p, 8vo. The other letter, in autograph, is 1p, 16mo. With four items of material relating to Hostage Action Worldwide. The first letter (11 May 1989) accompanies 'our first reply to our first 350 donors – we're hoping to build rapidly now'. He reports that 'The Archbishop of Canterbury has this week responded positively to us and appointed a man, John Lyttle to our Advisory Council.

[John Mortimer, author and barrister, creator of 'Rumpole of the Bailey'.] Two Typed Letters Signed and one Autograph Card Signed to the playwright Christopher Fry, suggesting meetings and commenting on his busy schedule

Author: 
John Mortimer [Sir John Clifford Mortimer] (1923-2009), author, dramatist and barrister, creator of 'Rumpole of the Bailey' [Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright]
Publication details: 
All three on letterheads of Turville Heath Cottage, Henley-on-Thames. Letters dated 11 November 1995 and 1 March 1997. Card undated.
£56.00

All three items in good condition, with both letters lightly-creased at the foot. ONE: TLS. Signed 'John Mortimer'. 11 November 1995. 1p, 8vo. He was delighted to receive Fry's letter and would 'like to visit a writing group with which you're connected. If I'm free on May 10th I'll come. I'm just waiting to hear about a trip to Florida – so do let the committee write to me. I'll know by then more clearly what I'm doing.' TWO: TLS. Signed 'John', with Mortimer deleting the typed word 'sincerely'. 1 March 1997. 1p, 8vo. He found it 'a delight' to hear Fry's 'lecture at the RSL'.

[Jon Silkin, poet.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Jon Silkin') to the playwright Christopher Fry, asking permission to print Fry's poem on Edmund Blunden, with reference to his own book 'Out of Battle'.

Author: 
Jon Silkin (1930-1997), poet and editor of the literary magazine 'Stand' [Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright; Edmund Blunden]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of Stand Magazine, 179 Wingrove Road, Newcastle upon Tyne; 19 July 1997.
£80.00

2pp, landscape 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. Begins: 'Dear Christopher Fry, | I am sorry to contradict you, but I showed my co-editor, the poet Rodney Pybus, your poem “For Edmund Blunden”, and we both [last word underlined] feel it should be published, and that we would like to publish it. Please.' In the hope that Fry will agree, he asks him to 'sign and return an acceptance form and send us the biog. note you would like to print alongside the poem'. He continues: 'I do hope you'll agree.

[Christopher Fry, verse dramatist, on William Shakespeare.] Unpublished printed paper, titled 'Shakespeare Thoughts in 1964'.

Author: 
Christopher Fry (1907-2005), verse dramatist [William Shakespeare]
Publication details: 
No place or date. [1964.]
£320.00

A scarce item: privately printed and unpublished. No other copy traced, on WorldCat or COPAC. 8pp, 8vo. A piece of workmanlike printing, on the rectos of eight leaves, stapled into light-brown wraps, with the cover bearing the title ('SHAKESPEARE THOUGHTS IN 1964' at head) and Fry's name ('Christopher Fry' at foot), and with black tape along spine. Drophead title on first page 'SHAKESPEARE', and with 'CHRISTOPHER FRY' at end. Minor autograph emendation by Fry on p.4. In good condition, lightly aged, with dogeared corner.

[William Gorman Wills, Irish dramatist, novelist and painter.] Autograph Letter Signed ('W G Wills') to 'Chepmell' [i.e. the society homeopathist Edward Charles Chepmell], expressing thanks for 'the cure you accomplished'.

Author: 
W. G. Wills [William Gorman Wills], Irish dramatist, novelist and painter [Edward Charles Chepmell (1820-1885), society homeopathist]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the Garrick Club [London]. No date.
£56.00

1p., 12mo. In fair condition. He has 'from week to week been purposing a visit to you to express my gratitude & sincere thanks for your kindness to me & the cure you accomplished'. He can only write his thanks, having been overwhelmed by 'the arrears of work that followed my illness', and leaving for Paris the following day.

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