[Lilian Baylis, manager of the Old Vic and Sadler’s Wells theatres in London.] Three Typed Letters Signed, to different recipients, on a topics including her health and need to ‘appear ruthless’. With Autograph Signature to publicity portrait (Photo)

Lilian Baylis [Lilian Mary Baylis] (1874-1937), lessee and manager of the Old Vic and Sadler’s Wells theatres in London
Publication details: 
TLsS from 1921, 1932 and 1936; the first on letterhead of ‘Royal Victoria Hall (“The Old Vic.”)’, the other two on letterhead of The Old Vic (‘The People’s Theatre’ and ‘The Home of Shakespeare and Opera’), London. Post Card dated 14 March 1934.
SKU: 25347

See her entry in the Oxford DNB. The three TLsS (Items One to Three), each signed ‘Lilian Baylis’, are all 1p, 4to. They are in fair condition, creased and lightly aged, with Item Three having two punch holes for a binder. The portrait postcard is in good condition, lightly aged. ONE: TLS, 15 November 1921. Addressed to ‘Miss Ingham’. ‘I do hope you will have a big success with the enclosed card. We are up against a huge thing, and we will need the help of all our friends to see us through.’ With regard to Miss Ingham’s ‘inquiries about my health’, she writes: ‘I returned to England yesterday, but I wish I could say I was really well, although I am better than I was when I went away.’ She was interested in the recipient’s ‘account of the Poultry Farm’. Concludes: ‘I feel that we both need to pray earnestly for courage just now, as rats and lack of finance both need a lot of fighting, and nothing but pluck and perseverance will make either of our fights successful.’ TWO: TLS, 30 March 1932. Exhibiting something of the ‘legendary’ bluntness’ referenced in her DNB entry. Reads: ‘Dear Mr. Bull, / Mr. Williams and I are pleased that you have enjoyed your season here, and we have discussed the possibility of your returning. / As far as we can see at present we shall not have anything to offer you, and I would certainly look for work elsewhere. Should anything unexpected happen we could always get in touch with you.’ THREE: TLS, 17 October 1936. She thanks ‘Madame Hands’ for her letter. ‘We cannot hear Mr. Rudding at present, as we have nothing to offer him’, but will keep his letter on file. ‘Each post brings us scores of applications for the three companies, so you will understand why we often have to appear ruthless!’ She concludes in autograph, ‘We hold auditions in April & on to June, the work of 2 Theatres & 3 Companies is so great. / I wish I could do as you ask at once. / Yours sincerely / Lilian Baylis’. FOUR: Post Card with black and white photographic portrait by ‘Raphel’ of ‘Lilian Baylis C.H. M.A. OXON. HON. / Lessee and manager of the Old Vic, and Sadlers Wells.’, in academic gown. With autograph signature at top left, ‘Yours sincerely / Lilian Baylis’. Dated on reverse, possibly by Baylis, ‘Mar. 14th. 1934.’