PLAYWRIGHT

[Stan Barstow, working-class Yorkshire novelist and playwright, author of ‘A Kind of Loving’.] Typed Letter Signed to Paul Furness, discussing the literary group in The Fenton pub in Leeds, connected with the BBC radio programme 'The Northern Drift'.

Author: 
Stan Barstow (1928-2011), working-class Yorkshire novelist and playwright, author of the novel ‘A Kind of Loving’, which was made into a ‘kitchen sink’ film
Publication details: 
5 November 1982. With his printed address label from Goring House, Goring Park Avenue, Oldham, West Yorkshire.
£100.00

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. 1p, foolscap 8vo. Thirty lines of text. Signed ‘Stan Barstow’. One of a number of letters to Furness by writers, responding to his enquiry about socialist authors and British pubs. Barstow begins by discussing ‘The Fenton in Woodhouse Lane, Leeds’, which had ‘proximity to the BBC, where Alfred Bradley ran the radio drama studio.

[Earl Grey [Henry George Grey, 3rd Earl Grey], Liberal politician.] Autograph Letter Signed to Tom Taylor, editor of Punch, praising a performance of his play ‘The Ticket-of-Leave Man’.

Author: 
Earl Grey [Henry George Grey, 3rd Earl Grey], Secretary of State for War in two Liberal administrations [Tom Taylor (1817-1880), playwright and editor of Punch]
Publication details: 
2 June [no year, but 1863, and on paper watermarked with that date]; on letterhead of 13 Carlton House Terrace.
£65.00

See the entry for Grey and Taylor in the Oxford DNB. 2pp, 12mo. On first leaf of bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded twice. Begins: ‘Dear Mr Taylor - / I am just come home from seeing “the ticket of leave man,” & before I go to bed I must thank you for an evening of very great enjoyment.’ It pleased him ‘to see so good a play, not taken from the French, but really English, [the play was in fact adapted from the French] & teaching the public what is true instead of encouraging a popular delusion of the day’.

[Henry Livings, working-class Lancastrian playwright, screenwriter and actor.] Typed Letter Signed to Paul Furness, discussing the pubs he has frequented.

Author: 
Henry Livings (1929-1998), working-class Lancastrian playwright, screenwriter and actor in the first 'Carry On' film and the 'Coronation Street' television series
Publication details: 
Undated [1982 or 1983]. 49 Grains Road, Delph, ‘via Oldham’ [Lancashire].
£80.00

Livings’s entry in Encyclopaedia Britannica notes that his farces ‘convey serious truths’ with ‘both a dazzling comic flair and an unexpected force and profundity that is heightened by his use of colloquial language’. 1p, foolscap 8vo. Twenty-two lines of text. In fair condition, lightly aged and creased, with four light ink underlinings. Signed ‘Yours, / Henry Livings’. One of a number of letters to Furness by writers, responding to his enquiry about socialist authors and British pubs.

[W. G. Wills [William Gorman Wills], Irish playwright and painter.] Autograph Letter Signed to Tom Taylor, fellow-playwright and ‘Punch’ editor, recommending Walter John Knewstub, Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s assistant.

Author: 
W. G. Wills [William Gorman Wills (1828-1891)], Irish playwright and painter [Tom Taylor (1817-1880), playwright, Punch editor; Walter John Knewstub (1831-1906), assistant to Dante Gabriel Rossetti]
Publication details: 
‘76 Fulham Rd / Brompton [London] / May 4 - 77 [1877]’.
£56.00

See his entry and Taylor’s in the Oxford DNB. 1p, 12mo. Sixteen lines of closely-written text. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded once. Begins: ‘My dear Mr. Taylor / Would you allow me to introduce a friend of mine Mr. Knewstube to you.

[St John Ervine [pseudonym of John Greer Irvine], Ulster playwright and novelist.] Typed Letter Signed to Miss Esther Boyer, declining to respond to a 'cub reporter'.

Author: 
St John Ervine [pseudonym of John Greer Irvine (1883-1971)], Ulster playwright and novelist
Publication details: 
21 December 1938. On letterhead of Honey Ditches, Seaton, Devon.
£56.00

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. 1p, 12mo. On worn and aged paper, with L-shaped closed tear at left-hand edge. Folded for postage. Addressed to her at Bebington in the Wirral. Loose, smudged signature ‘St John Ervine’. He thanks her for her ‘letter and its enclosure, which I return. If I were to rebuke every cub reporter who wrote so stupidly as the young man to whom you refer, I should fill The Observer with my reproofs, apart altogether from the fact, that I should be giving the young man an exaggerated sense of his importance.

['We weren't very angry either': Arnold Wesker, radical English Jewish playwright.] Autograph Letter Signed to Paul Furness, about the part played by the pub and drinking for Jews, the ‘angry young men’, David Mercer, and in his own life.

Author: 
Arnold Wesker (1932-2016), radical English Jewish playwright, one of the 1950s ‘angry young men’
Publication details: 
9 October 1982. On his letterhead, 27 Bishop’s Road, London.
£120.00

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. 2pp, 4to. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded for postage and in stamped and postmarked envelope (with Wesker’s address printed on it), addressed to Furness in Battersea. One of a number of letters from British poets in response to enquiries from Paul Furness with regard to their pub memories. Addressed to ‘Dear Mr Furness’ and signed ‘Arnold Wesker’.

[Sean O'Casey] Autograph Letter Signed 'Sean O'Casey' to Miss Sheila Lynd, daughter of Robert Lynd, essayist, his letter of condolence

Author: 
Sean O'Casey, playwright
O'Casey
Publication details: 
[Printed heading] Tingrith, Station Road, Totnes, Devon, 9 Dec. 1949.
£500.00
O'Casey

Two pages, oblong 12mo, pencil markings, grubby in parts, text clear and complete.Down with a touch of Influenza, busy with letters & work, I'd no time to answer you. I hadn't time to think of any article. I've written Peace messages to Moscow, New Yor, Paris, Plymouth & Melbourne; so, you see, I've not been standing idle in the market place. | I was very, very sorry to hear of your father's (Bob) death. All in all, he was a grand generous lad. Too fond of Ulster, maybe, but none the worse of that same. | My sympathy to you, dear lass.

[Sir Robert Howard, Restoration playwright and Royalist politician, part-proprietor of the Theatre Royal; associate of John Dryden.] Autograph Signature, as Auditor of the Exchequer, to draft.

Author: 
Sir Robert Howard (1626-1698), Restoration playwright, part-proprietor of the Theatre Royal; friend and associate of John Dryden, Royalist politician and Auditor of the Exchequer
Sir Robert Howard
Publication details: 
Dated in Latin 30 April 1685. [Exchequer, Westminster Hall, London.]
£56.00
Sir Robert Howard

On one side of an irregular piece of paper, roughly 18 x 9 cm, torn from the foot of a document. Heavily discoloured, but neatly laid down on a 19 x 13.5 cm piece of grey paper, with the typed caption: ‘Signture [sic] of: / Sir Robert HOWARD (1626-1698) P.C. / Auditor of the Excheq: and Dramatist / (part-author, with Dryden, of ‘The Indian Queen’ etc.)’. At the head: ‘pray pay this Order out of Customes’; and beneath this the Latin draft, with date and sum (but not the name of the payee). Howard’s signature, written large and bold, is at bottom left: ‘Exam[inatus] P[er]. Howard’.

[Sir Robert Howard, playwright and politician.] Two Autograph Signatures (both ‘Ro: Howard’) among extensive manuscript endorsements of Exchequer document regarding ‘Sr Thomas Player in repaymt. of Loane.’

Author: 
Sir Robert Howard (1626-1698) of the Receipt Office, royalist politician, playwright, poet and friend of John Dryden [Sir Thomas Player (d.1686) of Hackney]
Sir Robert Howard
Publication details: 
[Exchequer Office, Whitehall.] 20 May 1679.
£120.00
Sir Robert Howard

See the two men’s entries in the Oxford DNB and History of Parliament. Howard was Auditor of Receipt from 1673 to his death. The document is damaged, with the lower part torn away, leaving an area 23cm high and the same wide, but with part of one lower corner torn away. The paper is aged, and there are chipping and closed tears to edges. Howard’s two signatures (both ‘Ro: Howard’) are both undamaged, and the item is of some interest. On the front is the printed form, completed in manuscript, with ‘Sr. Thomas Player in repaymt. of Loane./’ in manuscript in right-hand margin.

[Jean-Baptiste Louvet de Couvray, French novelist, playwright and journalist and Girondin during the French Revolution.] Autograph Manuscript of seven political memoranda, titled ‘un mot sur notre situation.’

Author: 
Jean-Baptiste Louvet de Couvray (1760-1797), French novelist, playwright and journalist and Girondin during the French Revolution
Jean-Baptiste Louvet de Couvray,
Publication details: 
No date or place. [During the French Revoultion: 1780s or 1790s.]
£450.00
Jean-Baptiste Louvet de Couvray,

See his entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. 1p, 16mo. Twenty-two lines. On watermarked laid paper. Seven numbered memoranda, possibly an aide-mémoire for a speech. Begins: ‘1o. la loi égale pour tous.’ Later on: ‘1o Ce n’est point un droit que la loi accorde; c’est un devoir qu’elle impose. et pour imposer ce devoir, elle n’a vue que son interêt. / une fonction publique n’est pas le droit de tous; elle est le devoir de quelques uns.’ And later: ‘5o. Quoi le Pere est b[?] . . . . les Dieux de l’oncle sont confisqués.’ The seventh and last memorandum concerns ‘Les malheureux!

[Léon Gozlan, French novelist and playwright.] Autograph Letter Signed to ‘Monsieur le President des Ministres’ [Soult or Thiers??]

Author: 
Léon Gozlan (1803-1866), French novelist and playwright
Publication details: 
‘rue Meslay - 46 / ce 7. juin 1840.’
£180.00

1p, 4to. In good condition, lightly aged and creased, with thin stub from previous mounting neatly adhering to inner edge. He explains that his request for an audience is ‘exclusivement littéraire’, and that it is as a ‘titre d’honneur de lettres’ that he hopes to obtain ‘la haute faveur’ of consideration of various factors ‘soumis à ces attributions’. From the celebrated collection of Baron Houghton (in Lot acquired at Chiswick Auctions)

[Alan Bennett, playwright, screenwriter and author.] Autograph Card Signed, regarding his 'second TV play', 'Sunset Across The Bay'.

Author: 
Alan Bennett (b.1934), playwright, screenwriter and author whose career began in the Cambridge Footlights, and includes the script for the film 'The Madness of King George'
Publication details: 
No date or place.
£35.00

Plain white card, blank on reverse. In good condition, lightly aged. Reads: ‘I’m sorry I don’t have any photographs - there’s not much demand. / My second TV play (1974) was about Morecambe. Sunset Across The Bay - probably still available from the BBC / All good wishes / Alan Bennet.’

[Alan Bennett, playwright, screenwriter and author.] Autograph Card Signed, with reference to 'Sam Barnett (ex History Boys)', the Nottingham Playhouse and his health.

Author: 
Alan Bennett (b.1934), playwright, screenwriter and author whose career began in the Cambridge Footlights, and includes the script for the film 'The Madness of King George'
Publication details: 
[2021.] Place not stated.
£35.00

In good condition. Printed on one side of the card is one of Bennett's self-caricatures, and printed on the other, on a left hand panel, a note apologising for not writing in autograph, as answering so much mail would take away 'time which I would like to spend working'. On the right-hand panel, in actual autograph, is the following: 'Thank you for yr letter and I hope 2021 is a better year for you. I gather from Sam Barnett (ex History Boys) that the Nottingham Playhouse is keeping going. I'm getting slower but still coming to my desk every day. / All good wishes / Alan Bennett.'

[Alan Bennett, playwright, screenwriter and author.] Autograph Card Signed to Robert J. Drury of Cleethorpes, regarding the Academy Awards.

Author: 
Alan Bennett (b.1934), playwright, screenwriter and author whose career began in the Cambridge Footlights, and includes the script for the film 'The Madness of King George'
Bennett
Publication details: 
1 August 1995. Place not stated.
£35.00
Bennett

On a ‘Lion Brand’ plain post card. In good condition, but with the hurriedly-written text somewhat smudged, and a small staple at one corner. Addressed to ‘Robt J Drury / 141 Chichester Rd / Cleethorpes / S. Humberside / DN35 OJL.’ The message on the other side is hurriedly written: ‘August 1 1995 / Dear Mr. Drury / I’ve no thought on the Academy Awards I’m afraid. Some are well deserved some not - but thats true of a [?] Alan Bennett.’

[‘the play goes on night after night’: Alan Bennett, playwright, screenwriter and author.] Autograph Letter Signed, thanking ‘Mr Robinson’ for his letter [about his play ‘The Old Country’], stating that he likes to hear from members of the audience.

Author: 
Alan Bennett (b.1934), playwright, screenwriter and author whose career began in the Cambridge Footlights, and includes the script for the film 'The Madness of King George'
Bennett
Publication details: 
‘Queens Theatre W1 [London] / February 18 1978’.
£35.00
Bennett

1p, 12mo. On grey paper. In good condition, lightly aged. Addressed ‘Dear Mr Robinson’ and signed ‘Alan Bennett.’ A short response to a letter about his play ‘The Old Country’, whose run at the Queen’s Theatre had started on 7 September 1977. He thanks him for his kind letter, and states that ‘It’s nice to hear from people in the audience as I often feel the play goes on night after night & has nothing to do with me at all - one penalty for not performing very much.’ See Image.

[Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, leading late-Victorian and Edwardian playwright.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Arthur W. Pinero') to the daughter of the writer George Meredith, regretting that he cannot visit her and her father at Box Hill.

Author: 
Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934), leading English late-Victorian and Edwardian playwright, after beginning as an actor in Sir Henry Irving’s company at the Lyceum Theatre, London [George Meredith]
Publication details: 
25 June 1891; on copperplate letterhead of 64 St John's Wood Road, London N.W.
£56.00

See his appreciative entry in the Oxford DNB, concluding with praise of his ‘undeniable’ achievements.2pp, 12mo. On bifolium. In good condition; folded once for postage, and with the blank reverse of the first leaf laid down on part of a leaf from the autograph album of the novelist George Meredith's daughter Marie Eveleen (‘Mariette’; 1871-1933), wife of Henry Parkman Sturgis (1847-1929), American-born banker and Liberal politician. Addressed to 'Miss Marie E. Meredith' and signed 'Arthur W. Pinero'. Begins: 'It is with a heavy heart that I tell you I am pledged, wit h Mrs.

[Christopher Hampton, English playwright and two-time Oscar-winning Hollywood screenwriter.] Autograph Letter Signed to ‘Mr. Whitworth’, announcing his ‘new translation of “Uncle Vanya”’ and discussing a forthcoming interview.

Author: 
Christopher Hampton [Sir Christopher James Hampton] (b.1946), English playwright and two-time Oscar-winning Hollywood screenwriter
Publication details: 
28 October 1969; on letterhead of the Royal Court Theatre (The English Stage Company), Sloane Square, London.
£90.00

1p, 4to. In good condition, lightly aged and creased. Ten lines in a close, controlled hand. Addressed to ‘Dear Mr. Whitworth’ and signed ‘Christopher Hampton’. He writes to confirm that he will be free on the date he suggested he ‘might be able to come down to meet you’. He also gives an alternative date. ‘At the moment I’m working on a new translation of “Uncle Vanya”, which was to be finished by the end of November.

[Sir Michael Redgrave, distinguished English actor.] Autograph Card Signed to ‘Christopher’ [the playwright Christopher Fry], belatedly congratulating him on the success of his play 'The Lark'.

Author: 
Sir Michael Redgrave [Sir Michael Scudamore] (1908-1985), English actor and head of theatrical family dynasty Christopher Fry [born Arthur Hammond Harris] (1907-2005), English playwright]
Redgrave
Publication details: 
16 June 1955; on his letterhead.
£50.00
Redgrave

See the two men’s entries in the Oxford DNB. In good condition. 11.5 x 9 cm card, without illustration. Printed in red at head: ‘MICHAEL REDGRAVE.’ The message concerns the London production of Fry’s ‘The Lark’ (a translation of Anouilh’s ‘L’Alouette’), which opened at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, on 11 May 1955. Redgrave would star in Fry’s next play, ‘Tiger at the Gates’ (a translation of Giraudoux’s ‘La guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu’), which premiered in New York on 3 October 1955.

[Blanchard Jerrold, journalist and author.] Signature and autograph paraphrase of passage from his ‘Life of Napoleon III - Vol 2.’, written out for an album.

Author: 
Blanchard Jerrold [William Blanchard Jerrold] (1826-1884), journalist and author
Publication details: 
No place or date, but after the book’s publication in 1874.
£56.00

Part of leaf from autograph album, cut into an irregular shape. In fair condition, on lightly aged and discoloured paper, with film of dried glue from mount on blank reverse. The passage, which curiously enough does not correspondend with the printed text, reads (with three mistakes scored through): ‘Life of Napoleon III - Vol 2. / The Government, it is true, endeavoured to prevail upon Queen Hortense to request him to give his word that he would remain in America for ten years; but she replied that Prince Louis was master of his own actions & she would not endeavour to influence them.

[Sir Arnold Wesker, playwright.] Two Autograph Cards Signed and three Typed Letters Signed to Philip Dosse, proprietor of Plays and Players, with one Typed Letter Signed from his secretary Margaret Groom.

Author: 
Sir Arnold Wesker (1932-2016), playwright; his secretary Margaret Groom [Philip Dosse (1925-1980), proprietor of Hansom Books, publisher of arts magazines including Books and Bookmen]
Publication details: 
Wesker's letters from 27 Bishop's Road, London N6; his postcards from Munich and Poland. Groom's letter from 25 Glasslyn Road, London N8.
£180.00

Interesting content. The recipient Philip Dosse was proprietor of Hansom Books, publisher of a stable of seven arts magazines including Books and Bookmen and Plays and Players. See ‘Death of a Bookman’ by the novelist Sally Emerson (editor of ‘Books and Bookmen’ at the time of Dosse’s suicide), in Standpoint magazine, October 2018. The six items are in good condition, lightly aged, and one lightly creased with wear to one edge. The four letters are each 1p, 4to, and folded for postage. One of the letters is signed ‘A. Wesker’, the others ‘Arnold Wesker’. ONE: Wesker TLS, 10 September 1972.

[James Robinson Planché, dramatist, antiquary and herald.] Autograph Letter Signed to ‘Dear [Derrick?]’, regarding Charles Dance and a benefit.

Author: 
J. R. Planché [James Robinson Planché], dramatist, antiquary and herald [Charles Dance (1794-1863), playwright]
Publication details: 
8 July [1843]. Garrick Club [London].
£56.00

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. LETTER: 1p, 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged, in remains of windowpane mount. Folded twice. Addressed to ‘Dear [Derrick?]’ and signed ‘J: R: Planché’. The year has been supplied in another hand in pencil. He informs him that ‘Charles Dance is out of town’, and that ‘the price would be one guinea - but I am sure that being for a benefit he will make no charges’. Planché is ‘of course not authorized to say so’, but he has ‘no doubt upon the subject’ and will tell Dormer so on his return.

[‘The Beautiful Lady Craven’: Elizabeth, Margravine of Brandenburg-Ansbach-Bayreuth, playwright, travel writer and source of scandal.] Three Autograph Letters Signed, one asking ‘Mrs. Roe’ to look out for flannel and a mantua maker.

Author: 
Elizabeth, Margravine of Brandenburg-Ansbach-Bayreuth [ [née Lady Elizabeth Berkeley; Elizabeth Craven, Lady Craven] (1750-1828), playwright, travel writer and source of scandal
Publication details: 
No dates or places..
£180.00

A friend of Horace Walpole, she was described by Boswell, after a dinner with her and Dr Johnson, as ‘the beautiful, gay, and fascinating Lady Craven’. See her entry in the Oxford DNB. The three items are laid down with eight other items (see the end of this description) on pieces of paper cut down from two leaves of an album. Somewhat discoloured with age, but in fair overall condition. The recipient or recipients of the second and third letters (laid down on the same piece of paper) are not named, although the third is written to a member of her ‘fishing gentry’.

[Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, leading late-Victorian and Edwardian playwright.] Autograph Inscription Signed, with quotation from his play ‘Lady Bountiful’.

Author: 
Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934), leading English late-Victorian and Edwardian playwright, after beginning as an actor in Sir Henry Irving’s company at the Lyceum Theatre, London
Publication details: 
23 February 1897. On letterhead of 63 Hamilton Terrace, N.W. [London.]
£56.00

See his appreciative entry in the Oxford DNB, concluding with praise of his ‘undeniable’ achievements. 1p, 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged, with the blank reverse carrying very slight staining to one edge from glue from mount. Folded once. Neatly and firmly written, with the underlined signature with a deliberate upwards slope. Clearly sent in response to a request for an autograph. Reads: ‘ “A man dies but once, a woman twice - the first time when she marries, and then, as at the last, wondering at the thereafter.” / Lady Bountiful. / Act IV. / Arthur W. Pinero. / 23rd. February 1897.’

[Noel Coward’s father Arthur Sabin Coward.] Two Autograph Letters Signed (both ‘Arthur S. Coward’), respnding to a request from Sewell Stokes that he write ‘a special article about Noëls early days’.

Author: 
Arthur Sabin Coward (1856-1937), father of Noel Coward [Sir Noël Peirce Coward] (1899-1973), playwright and composer [Sewell Stokes (1902-1979), author and broadcaster]
Publication details: 
18 January and 20 February 1929; both from 111 Ebury St S.W.1. [London.]
£120.00

According to Noël Coward’s entry in the Oxford DNB, his family moved through the suburbs of south London, before finally setting in Ebury Street, where his mother Violet ‘acquired a boarding-house on the fringes of Belgravia’. The letters are written on the verge of the huge success of the revue ‘Bitter Sweet’ (1929). The recipient of these letters Sewell Stokes was an author and broadcaster who also worked as a probation officer and prison visitor, writing several works on the British penal system.

[Christopher Fry breaks America, 1950-1951.] Fry’s own cuttings, with manuscript captions, largely from English and North American newspapers, many describing the success of John Gielgud’s US touring production of ‘The Lady’s Not For Burning’.

Author: 
Christopher Fry [born Arthur Hammond Harris] (1907-2005), distinguished English playwright, leading exponent of verse drama [John Gielgud]
Publication details: 
Cuttings from North American, English, European and African newspapers and magazines, dating from between 19 July 1950 and 20 July 1951.
£650.00

Long and almost universally-appreciative articles, with photographs and cartoons, reflecting the excitement and energy of the period during which Fry was, as Michael Billington writes in his entry on the playwright in the Oxford DNB, ‘a dominant figure in British drama’. Ranging from three continents, with a few articles in foreign languages (Swedish, German, French). Among the material are John Gielgud’s long statement ‘Mr. Gielgud discovers Mr. Fry’, New York Times, 5 November 1950; and Richard L. Coe, ‘ “Lady” Delights A Packed Gayety’, Washington Post, 21 March 1951.

[Clifford Bax, playwright and author.] Autograph Letter Signed to Clifford Musgrave (‘Mr Muspratt’), regarding a lecture he gives in Brighton, accompanied by the actress and model Meum Stewart.

Author: 
Clifford Bax [Clifford Lea Bax] (1886-1962), English playwright, poet, journalist and writer, brother of the composer Arnold Bax [Clifford Musgrave, Brighton Borough Librarian; Meum Stewart, actress]
Publication details: 
14 and 24 February 1945. The first on letterhead of D2 Albany, London W1; the second from the same Piccadilly address.
£90.00

See his entry, and that of his brother, in the Oxford DNB. The recipient Clifford Musgrave (d.1993), Borough Librarian, was instrumental in the saving and renovation of the Brighton Pavilion. Both items in good condition, lightly aged. Both written in an elegant close calligraphic hand. The first is misaddressed to ‘Mr Muspratt’, and the second to ‘Mr. Musgrave’. Both signed ‘Clifford Bax’. ONE (14 February 1945): 2pp, 16mo. Nineteen lines. Regarding the arrangements for a lecture he is going to give, he has been asked by ‘Eric’ to communicate with him about his ‘Brighton visit’.

[Elsa Shelley, American dramatist and actress.] Two Typed Letters Signed to theatre historian W. J. Macqueen-Pope, giving and asking for news, and announcing her approaching arrival in England.

Author: 
Elsa Shelley (c.1903-c.1971), Russian-born American dramatist and actress, wife of producer Irving Kaye Davis (1900-1965) [W. J. Macqueen-Pope (1888-1960), theatre historian]
shelley
Publication details: 
ONE: 7 December 1951; 685 West End Avenue, New York, on her letterhead. TWO: 15 December [1946?]; on Cunard Line letterhead of R.M.S. Mauretania.
£120.00
shelley

See the recipient's entry in the Oxford DNB. Both letters signed ‘Elsa’. ONE (7 December 1951): 1p, 8vo. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. Folded three times. Thirty-eight lines of text. She received his letter while wishing to contact him, and wonders if this is a coincidence. ‘And my wanting to write you grew out of an intense yearning to be in London again’.

[Evelyn Lake, playwright and children’s author.] Typed Letter Signed to theatre historian W. J. Macqueen-Pope, regarding a play she has written and is offering to ‘Mr Tom Arnold’. With accompanying printed poem by her.

Author: 
Evelyn Lake, playwright and children’s author [W. J. Macqueen-Pope (1888-1960), theatre historian]
Publication details: 
24 August 1953; 5 Valley Road, Bude, N. Cornwall.
£65.00

See the recipient’s entry in the Oxford DNB. 1p, 12mo. Signed ‘Evelyn Lake’. In good condition, lightly aged, with minor traces of paperclip. Folded once. She enjoyed his ‘article in yesterday’s Reynolds News’, and thinks it is ‘Lovely to be able to make people laugh spontaneously.

[‘Too serious an affair for the taste of the ordinary playgoer’: Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, English playwright.] Autograph Letter Signed to ‘Mrs. Hughes’, regarding matters including his play ‘The Thunderbolt’.

Author: 
Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934), leading English playwright, after beginning as an actor in Sir Henry Irving’s company at the Lyceum Theatre, London
Publication details: 
12 May 1908. On letterhead of 14 Hanover Square, W. [London.]
£50.00

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. 2pp, 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded once. The valediction reads ‘Yours alway faithfully / Arthur W. Pinero’, and it is written with quite a flourish: the ‘y’ of ‘faithfully’ hooks downwards in a long squiggle, exrending downwards past the right of the termination of Pinero’s signature, which rises upwards, being dotted above and below the signature’s underlining. He feels that her ‘kind letter is all the more welcome inasmuch as it gives signs’ that she is recovering from her recent illness.

[Sir Edward Parry [Sir Edward Abbott Parry], judge and dramatist.] Autograph Signature to cutting of newspaper article by him on ‘Brach of Promise / The Law, the Lady, and Sex Equality’.

Author: 
Sir Edward Parry [Sir Edward Abbott Parry] (1863–1943), judge and dramatist
Publication details: 
Dated by Parry to April 1930.
£30.00

See the account of his life in the entry for his father the serjeant-at-law John Humffreys Parry (1816-1880) in the Oxford DNB. Signed ‘faithfully yours / Edward Parry / April . 1930’, across the headline of a 22 x 21 cm. cutting of a newspaper article, with text in three columns, the headline reading: ‘BREACH OF PROMISE / THE LAW, THE LADY, AND SEX EQUALITY/ By His Honour SIR EDWARD PARRY’. In good condition, on browning high-acidity paper. Folded once and with one crease. Begins: ‘Marriage is not the gilt-edged security that it was. Its stock is not rising.

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