[Ruby Miller, actress.] Three Autograph Letters Signed (all ?Ruby?) to W. J. Macqueen-Pope (?Popie?), expressing great grief at the death of Ivor Novello, whose spirit form she describes seeing at his memorial performance at Drury Lane.

Ruby Miller [Ruby Laura Rose Miller] (1889-1976), English actress, one of the ?Gaiety Girls? [W. J. Macqueen-Pope (1888-1960), theatre historian; Ivor Novello, actor, composer and matin?e idol]
Publication details: 
14 March, 6 April and 8 October 1951; all three from 57B York Street, Baker Street, W1 [London].
SKU: 23793

See the entries for writer and recipient in the Oxford DNB. The three items in good condition, lightly aged, with the last carrying minor rusting from paperclip. ONE: 3pp, 8vo. She got his office number from ?Mrs. Popie?, ?but the line has been busy all the time?. She asks for ?a pass for darling Ivor?s [i.e. Ivor Novello?s] memorial service?. The previous week she was ?playing at the Regent Theatre, Hayes, & on the Monday night I was weighed down by a dreadful foreboding of disaster?. The play was a ?psychic thriller? by Evadne Price, ?Through the Door?, in which she was playing the medium, and ?Sitting in the cabinet, during the place, I could not shake off this dreadfull depression, & when Lea Seidl rang me on Tuesday & told me the tragic news of Ivor, I realized why I had felt so awful?. She regards Novello?s ?passing? as ?a national disaster, [...] quite apart from the personal loss we all feel?. Her ?heart aches for all his friends at the Palace [Theatre], as it must be torture for them to have to play, & hear his music now?. She feels that Novello?s death is ?almost like losing Max [her second husband the concert pianist Max Darewski, who died five months into their marriage in 1929] all over again?. She considered Novello ?a great & wonderful soul, (& still is), as well as a genius. Despite the grimness of the world today, he brought light & beauty to everything he touched, & everyone he contacted?. At least he ?gained his wish to go out on the crest of the wave, & in harness. Bless him.? TWO: 2pp, 12mo. With thin mourning border. She thanks him for ?the memorial sheets? (to Novello?s service). ?Evadne was so glad to have one, [...] I am air-mailing the other to Evelyn at Melbourne?. She agrees that it is ?very strange about Peter Noble & Ivor?s book?. She hopes MP will ?do a book about him later on? (MP?s biography of Novello would appear at the end of the year), as she feels it would be ?the only way to put the authentic Ivor before later generations?. THREE: 8 October 1951. 4pp, 8vo. Bifolium on grey paper. She thanks him for a ?wonderful night!? (the Memorial Performance for Novello at Drury Lane, 7 October 1951) and feels sure that ?Mrs. Popie will be interested to hear that I saw Ivor. Max was ith him, & Ivor stood with Noel during his [lovely?] speech, [Coward recited his own ?Tribute? in blank verse] & then with Tom Arnold. / He smiled & waved to us all & was looking radiant. Wearing a grey cloak like the one in ?Perchance to Dream?. Many spirit forms filled the stage until it looked rather like that last scene in ?Perchance?.? She has written to Arnold about a ?curious coincidence? regarding ?the sum raised? and Novello?s ?Keep the Home Fires burning?. She offers to sell programmes at the preview of ?South Pacific?. The letter continues with a discussion of her lack of a telephone and coming departure from her flat. She will be ?pretty busy speaking on political platforms for the next two weeks?, after which she hopes to do ?another Gaiety show at the Players?. She mentioned MP?s book in the last Gaiety show, ?which we had to take off, despite enormous success, through some very ridiculous rule connected with the Stage Rights Society, that forbids numbers to be presented, usually, without the entire book of the Show.? As a result, ?numbers from famous old Gaiety Shows can only be heard on the radio!? Accompanying Item Three is a carbon copy (1p, 8vo) of MP?s typed reply. He thanks her for her ?most interesting and thrilling? letter. ?I am putting your name forward in respect of your kind offer to help at Drury Lane.?