[Matheson Lang, London-based Canadian Shakespearian actor.] Autograph Letter Signed to W. J. Macqueen-Pope, containing reminiscences of his early London career at the St James’s Theatre, written in response to MP’s book ‘Carriages at Eleven’.

Matheson Lang [Alexander Matheson Lang] (1879-1948), Canadian actor-manager based in London [Walter James Macqueen-Pope (1888-1960), theatre historian]
Publication details: 
10 December 1947; ‘c/o Canadian Bank of Commerce / Bridgetown / Barbados / B. West Indies’.
SKU: 24531

From the Macqueen-Pope papers. See the two men’s entries in the Oxford DNB. Air Mail letter, 2pp, 4to, written within a few months of his death. With large signature ‘Matheson Lang’, and addressed to ‘My dear Pope’. Lightly-aged and worn, with slight damage from removal of postage stamp. Thirty-three lines of text, neatly-written and complete. He has just read MP’s recently-published ‘Carriages at Eleven’, and feels he must ‘write you a line to congratulate you on it, [...] It was a real feast, that brought back the early older days that seemed alas like a happy memory that is all too far away no under present conditions’. Lang found the book ‘doubly interesting’ to him ‘as a young actor those days, just getting his foot on the ladder’. He asks where MP got ‘the idea that the casting of “Paolo” by Sir George Alexander was a toss up between Ainley and me?’ Lang ‘never knew or thought’ that he was ‘being considered, although funnily enough when Benson played “Paolo & Francesca” on his tour during Alexanders run of the play’, Lang ‘was cast for “Paolo” and played it quite a lot during that tour’. A ten-line paragraph follows, containing personal news, with Lang and his wife (the actress Hutin Britton) ‘jogging along in our quiet way in our “island fastness”’.