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'.
Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1852-1917), English actor and theatre manager (the Haymarket and Her Majesty's, both in London)
On letterhead of Her Majesty's Theatre [ London ]. 1 May [ no year ].
1p., 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. He thanks him for his 'kind remembrance of me on the first night', adding 'All went brilliantly on that occasion.' He concludes: 'When will you come & see the Theatre?'
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.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, founded in London in 1875 [ Eric Forbes-Robertson (1865-1935), artist and actor, brother of Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson (1853-1937) ]
The ball to be 'held in St. Martin's Town Hall, Trafalgar Square, in aid of The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, on Friday, the 1st day of February, 1895.'
2pp., small 4to. Printed in black and red ink on the rectos of the two leaves of a bifolium. The heading and the words 'Tickets 15s. each' at the foot of the page in gothic type, the rest in roman. The names of 23 'Patronesses' given in two columns on the first page, beginning with 'The Countess of Ancaster' and ending with 'Mrs. Alfred Scott-Gatty'. The names of 24 'Steward' in a column on the second page, beginning with 'Harold Bompas, Esq.' and ending with 'Roland Vaughan Williams, Esq.' At foot of second page: 'Tickets can be procured from the Hon. Mrs.
J. M. Barrie [ Sir James Matthew Barrie ] (1860-1937), Scottish novelist and playwright, creator of 'Peter Pan' [ Eric Forbes-Robertson (1865-1935), artist and actor ('John Kelt') ]
36 x 20 cm. black and white photograph on card. In worn condition, chipped and frayed at the edges and corners, with the top edge cut away in a wavy line along the heads of the top row. The photograph derives from the collection of the painter Eric Forbes-Robertson, who acted under the name of 'John Kelt'.
A. S. Pigott, general manager [ Lillah McCarthy (1875-1960) and Harley Granville-Barker (1877-1946), actors and producers; William Shakespeare; The Savoy Theatre, Strand ]
On letterhead of 'Shakespeare | THE WINTER'S TALE', production by Lillah McCarthy and Granville Barker at the Savoy Theatre, Strand [ London]. 25 October 1912.
1p., 4to. On aged and worn paper. Enquiring whether 'Mr. Kelt' will be free to play, 'at the same salary you are now receiving pro rata', in 'three special Matinees of "The Winter's Tale" on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday during the week commencing November 4th.', and also possibly a further two matinees a week during 'the run of "Twelfth Night"', the first week's matinees being on the Wednesday and Thursday. Beneath Pigott's signature Forbes-Robertson has written: 'got 10s per performance'. From the Forbes-Robertson papers.
Alfred Wareing (1876-1942), theatrical producer [ Eric Forbes-Robertson (1865-1935), artist and actor, brother of Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson (1853-1937) ]
On letterhead of 20 Old Buildings, Lincoln's Inn, W.C. 2 December 1901.
2pp., 12mo. In fair condition, on lightly-aged paper. After thanking him for his note he reports that he has written, 'bearing in mind your injunction, to Ian', i.e. the actor Ian Forbes Robertson (1859-1936). He will be going 'down to S. N. or Notting Hill to see him', and asks Forbes-Robertson to send in the coming week 'some specimens of your black & white work to Edgar Wilson, 1, Middleton Rd. Battersea Rise S.W.' Wilson is 'the art editor of a magazine', and Wareing has written to him suggesting that he take some of Forbes-Robertson's work.
'Norman Forbes' [ Norman Forbes-Robertson (1858-1932), actor and brother of Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson [ W. S. Gilbert [ William Schwenck Gilbert ] (1836-1911), librettist; Gilbert and Sullivan ]
Without place or date.
9pp., 4to. In good condition, on nine leaves of lightly-aged paper. With three deletions in pencil. A stalwart of the Garrick Club, Forbes-Robertson was a friend of Dame Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde and Sir Edward Elgar, and organised Sir Henry Irving's funeral with Bram Stoker. There is no indication that this paper was ever published. It begins: 'I have come to the conclusion after a long life that those of a passionate nature whose strong emotions, by which their mind is swayed, by anger, fear, joy, grief, love, hatred, etc., often make the ideal friend so long as anger is kept within bounds.
Allan Aynesworth [ Edward Abbot-Anderson] (1864-1959), English actor who had a leading role in the first production of 'The Importance of Being Earnest' by Oscar Wilde [ Sir Edward Marshall Hall ]
On letterhead of 78 Portland Place, W.1. [ London ] 24 February 1927.
1p., 4to. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. Addressed to 'Dear Lady Hall', and sending his 'sincere condolences on the death of Dear Ted', from whom he 'had received [...] so many acts of true friendship & kindness'. The loss is great to him and many of Hall's friends. The letter concludes: 'May it be of some solace to you & your Daughter to know how beloved he was!'
Frank E. Tours [ Frank Tours; Frank Edward Tours ] (1877-1963), English-born Hollywood composer and musical director (Marx Brothers; Citizen Kane; The Emperor Jones) [ W. J. Macqueen-Pope (1888-1960)]
South Laguna. 20 January 1951.
3pp., 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged, with slight staining to one corner from paper clip. A good letter, filled with detail. Apart from brief opening and closing paragraphs the whole of the letter is devoted to reminiscences of his life before leaving England for America. At one point he comments: 'it is only when one is thinking back, as I am now, that one realizes the speed with which time fugits; it is now 21 years since I have been home, and 30 years since Bob and I were in "Irene" at the Empire.' The reminiscences begin: 'Barring a trip to U. S. and Australia with G. P.
'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.
[The Stage Society; ?Allan Wade (1881 – 1955), actor, theatre director and writer, bibliographer of Yeats.]
Unbound, 4-16pp, 8vo and 4to, minor damage to two, mainly good condition. Articles, reviews, programmes, information, advertisements. In the first number, for example, there is an introductory, anticipations of Gorki's "Lower Depths", a Brieuz, and Shaw's "Caesar and Cleopatra", "New Members Elected" (inc. Mrs Pethwick-Lawrence), events, former productions, "Managing Committee", "Rules for 1903-1904", "Bye_law (e.g. removal of hats by Ladies), and advertisements.
[Costume designs for the 1934 production of 'Josephine' by J. M. Barrie, at His Majesty's Theatre, London] [Lady Helen Beerbohm Tree; George Grossmith Jnr; Lyn Harding; Spencer Trevor; Allan Jeayes]
1934; His Majesty's Theatre, London.
Twelve pages of illustrations, each on a separate leaf. Seven are portrait folio, four are portrait 8vo, and one is landscape 8vo. All clear and complete, on aged and creased paper. All coloured in watercolour. The seven folio portraits are: Napoleon as First Consul; Talma; Eugene; Moustache ('Mr. Lyn Harding [(1867-1952)]'); two 'Flunkies'; and Austrian Ambassador ('Mr Spencer Trevor [(1875-1945)]'). The four portrait 8vo illustrations consist of: two of Larose ('Lady Tree [Lady Helen Beerbohm Tree (1858-1937)]'); Louise ('Miss Lemand') and the overcoat of Talma ('Mr.
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'.
John Philip Kemble, eminent English actor, manager of the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden [ John Foster senior (1758-1827), Liverpool architect ]
The letter dated 'April 23d. 1802. | No. 89 Great Russel [sic] Street | Bloomsbury Square [ London ].' The copy letter of the same date, without place.
2pp., 4to. The letter takes up one side of the leaf, and the copy letter the other. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper. Docketted by recipient. In the letter he explains that he is enclosing 'a Letter I have had from Mr. Forster, and on the opposite Page my Answer to it.' (Forster's letter is not present as Kemble asks the recipient to return it.) He concludes: 'we both beg to be remembered to Mr. Currie'. The copy letter, headed '(Answer.)', is thirty lines long.
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.
James Sheridan Knowles (1784-1862), Irish dramatist and actor [ Beilby & Knotts, Birmingham; William Spencer Northhouse, editor, 'The Free Press', Glasgow newspaper ]
'July 1828 | Port Bannatyne | near Rothsay | Island of Bute | N[orth]. B[ritain].' [ Scotland. ]
3pp., 4to. Bifolium. On aged and worn paper, with some repair, and traces of stub from mount still adhering. Addressed on reverse of second leaf, with postmarks, to 'Messrs Beilby & Co | Printing Ink Manufacturers | Birmingham'. On the same page, in another hand: 'Mr Reuben Sparks.' Knowles's entry in the Oxford DNB gives the context. In 1816 he 'moved to Glasgow, where he established and ran a school for nearly twelve years [...] In 1823 and 1824 he added to his income by conducting the literary department of the Free Press, a Glasgow paper which advocated liberal and social reform.
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'.
George Grossmith (1847-1912), humourist, author, actor and singer [ George R. Sims (1847-1922), journalist and bon vivant ]
On letterhead of 55 Russell Square, W.C. [ London ] 22 June 1908.
4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. Aged and stained, with creasing along one edge. A wonderful letter, linking two notable figures in late-Victorian society, beginning: 'Do I remember it? how can I ever forget it, considering that we introduced ourselves to each other, without any introduction; & that casual acquaintanceship has developed into a friendship (without a discordant note) which has lasted for about 38 years.' Regarding their first meeting he writes: 'I was not subpoenaed as a short hand writer, as no such functionary was engaged at Bow St.
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'.
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.
'Winifred Emery' [ stage name of actress Maud Isabel Emery; later Maud Isabel Maude (1861-1924) ], wife of Cyril Maude [ Cyril Francis Maude ] (1862-1951), English actor-manager
On letterhead of 26 Cleveland Gardens, Lancaster Gate, W. [ London ] 9 May [ no year ].
3pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged. The recipient (who lived at 78 Alexandra Rd, St John's Wood, and was the wife of William Thomas Whitley) was a journalist. She writes: 'I wasn't photographed as "Beatrice", I was so besieged that I refused to sit to anyone especially as the dress was not becoming & I knew I should come out hideous! I certainly couldn't make the effort now!!! I would see you for 5 minutes with pleasure - say at the <?> Theatre on Thursday about 12. I shall be rehearsing there - but a picture I cannot give you!