STAGE

[Richard Cumberland, dramatist.] Autograph Letter Signed to George IV’s mistress the Countess of Jersey, expressing pleasure that she is pleased with his composition, and thanking her for her regret at his loss.

Author: 
Richard Cumberland (1732-1811), dramatist [Frances Villiers [née Twysden], Countess of Jersey (1753-1821), mistress of King George IV]
Publication details: 
No date or place.
£320.00

See his entry, and hers, in the Oxford DNB. From the papers of her relation Lady Theresa Lewis. 2pp, 8vo. On the first leaf of a bifolium, the recto of the second leaf being addressed by him to ‘Countess of Jersey / &c &c &c’. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. Folded for postage. Written in high eighteenth-century style.

[Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd, author, judge and Radical politician.] Autograph Letter Signed to ‘T Davis Esq’ regarding the acting of Henry Thomas Betty, son of 'the young Roscius'.

Author: 
Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd (1795-1854), author, judge and Radical politician, friend of Charles Dickens and framer of modern British copyright law
Talfourd
Publication details: 
‘Serjeants’ Inn [London], 20 May, 1841’.
£180.00
Talfourd

Talfourd’s entry in the Oxford DNB notes that he was ‘particularly loved’ by Dickens, and that he ‘provided the archetype of the idealistic Tommy Traddles in David Copperfield; his children Frank and Kate gave their names to two youngsters in Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby.’ The subject of the letter is the actor Henry Thomas Betty (1819-1897), son of ‘the young Roscius’ Henry Betty (1791-1874), whose entry in the ODNB also see. 1p, 4to. In good condition, lightly aged, and with slight traces of mount on reverse. Folded for postage. Begins: ‘My dear Sir, / Mr.

[‘the greatest theatrical comic of his age’: Ken Dodd, Liverpool comedian and singer.] Typed Letter Signed with biographical details, and signed publicity postcard with photographic portrait.

Author: 
Ken Dodd [Sir Kenneth Arthur Dodd] (1927-2018), Liverpool comedian and singer, ‘the greatest theatrical comic of his age’
Ken Dodd
Publication details: 
Letter dated ‘C/o B.B.C. Manchester. / October 9th 1957.’
£100.00
Ken Dodd

Dodd’s entry in the Oxford DNB by Michael Billington concludes with the assessment that he was ‘the greatest theatrical comic of his age and the last link with the hallowed days of music hall’. The two items are in good condition, lightly aged. ONE: TLS, 9 October 1957. 1p, 4to. Good large signature ‘Ken Dodd’. The male recipient is not named. He apologises for the late reply to the recipient’s letter. ‘May I also thank you for the compliments paid to my performance on Television. / I am a Liverpudlian, residing in Knotty Ash Liverpool.

[‘Raffles’ on stage.] Photographic montage of seven scenes from the 1906 Charles Frohman London production of the play by E. W. Hornung and E. W. Presbrey, a ‘Tuck’s “Play Souvenir” Card, with printed text on reverse.

Author: 
‘Raffles’ on stage; E. W. Hornung and Eugene Wiley Presbrey (1853-1931); Charles Frohman; Tuck’s “Play Souvenir” Cards; Raphael Tuck & Sons, Art Publishers, London
‘Raffles’ on stage.
Publication details: 
Circa 1906. ‘Raphael Tuck & Sons’ “REAL PHOTOGRAPH - PLAY SOUVENIR CARD.” No. 5275. / ART PUBLISHERS TO THEIR MAJESTIES THE KING & QUEEN.’ [London]
£100.00
‘Raffles’ on stage.

The photographic image is somewhat faded, but a nice piece of Raffles memorabilia nevertheless. 22.5 x 15 cm card, shiny on the photographic side and matt on the reverse. Seven captioned stills from the production (from ‘No. 1. At Milchester Abbey’ to ‘No. 7. “Raffles” at Bay.’), around the central word ‘ “RAFFLES” ’. On the reverse, under the heading ‘Tuck’s “Play Souvenir” Card. / (Book post).’ is printed in small type a description of the play (‘Charles Frohman presents / “Raffles” / By E. W. Hornung and E. W. Presbrey’) with scene-by-scene synopsis, beginning: ‘A. J.

[Stephen Kemble [George Stephen Kemble], Shakespearian actor-manager, uncle of Fanny Kemble.] Informative Autograph Letter Signed to solicitors ‘Messrs. Dowson, Capron and Rowley’, regarding whereabouts of actor William Shakespear Kendrick of Whitby.

Author: 
Stephen Kemble [George Stephen Kemble] (1758-1822), celebrated Shakespearian actor-manager noted for his Falstaff, husband of Elizabeth Satchell and uncle of Fanny Kemble [William Shakespear Kendrick]
Publication details: 
‘Grove. Durham / August the 11th. / 1821.’
£95.00

An interesting letter, providing a mass of interesting incormation relating to the stage in Georgian England, while responding to a request from London solicitors for information about the whereabouts of a provincial actor. See his entry in the Oxford DNB. 3pp, 4to. Forty lines of text, on bifolium addressed on reverse of second leaf ‘For / Messrs. Dowson, Capron and Rowley / Savile Place / near / Burlington Street / London’, and signed ‘S. Kemble.’ In fair condition, on discoloured and worn paper with minor damage at head, but text clear and entire.

[Ruth Draper, American actress and dramatist, whose monologues influence Joyce Grenfell and others.] Autograph Letter Signed to ?Sir David [Ross]?, going into great detail about her eating arrangements while performing at Oxford.

Author: 
Ruth Draper (1884-1956), American actress and dramatist, whose monologues influenced many including Joyce Grenfell [Sir David Ross [W. D. Ross], Provost of Oriel, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University]
Publication details: 
5 April [no year but presumably between 1941 and 1944]. Cambridge.
£56.00

Draper inspired characters in two of Agatha Christie?s books. Among others impressed by her work were Bernard Shaw, Thornton Wilder, John Gielgud, Katharine Hepburn, Maurice Chevalier, Laurence Olivier, Henry James, Henry Adams, Edith Wharton, Joyce Grenfell, Emma Thompson, David Mamet and Maureen Lipman. See Ross?s entry in the Oxford DNB. 3pp, 12mo, on bifolium of light-grey paper. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded once for postage. Addressed to ?Dear Sir David? and signed ?Ruth Draper.? Presumably written during Ross?s Vice-Chancellorship, 1941-1944.

[Gladys Cooper, star of stage and screen.] Gelatin silver print of Foulsham & Banfield photograph of Gladys Cooper in the play ‘My Lady’s Dress’, with a second photograph of her embracing Dennis Eadie in the same production.

Author: 
Gladys Cooper [Dame Gladys Constance Cooper] (1888-1971), English actress, over seven decades a star of stage and screen; Dennis Eadie (1869-1928), actor; Foulsham & Banfield, London photographers
Cooper
Publication details: 
Label on reverse dates the solo photograph to 27 February 1914, with the stamp of Foulsham & Banfield, 49 Old Bond Street, W. [London]. The photograph of Cooper & Eadie without date or place, but from the same production.
£100.00
Cooper

Edward Knobloch’s play ‘My Lady’s Dress’ (‘in which’, as one newspaper wrote at the time, ‘the heroine’s dream takes her to the foreign [and London] scenes surrounding the manufacture of a costly gown’) premiered at the Royalty Theatre in London in 1914 and was revived several times through the 1920s.

[Robert Morley, English actor, star of stage and screen.] Autograph Note Signed, with 'most abject apologies'.

Author: 
Robert Morley [Robert Adolph Wilton Morley] (1908-1992), quintessentially-English actor, star of stage and screen
Morley
Publication details: 
Undated; on letterhead of 25 Burton Court S.W.3 [London].
£35.00
Morley

1p, 12mo. On grey paper. In fair condition, lightly aged and with slight creasing. Large firm signature. Presumably responding to a request for an autograph. Reads: ‘With my most abject apologies - but I have been away for three months / Robert Morley. See Image.

[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)

Author: 
Lilian Baylis [Lilian Mary Baylis] (1874-1937), lessee and manager of the Old Vic and Sadler’s Wells theatres in London
Baylis
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.
£180.00
Baylis

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.

[Juvenile ephemera: Punch and Judy, Conjuring, Ventriloquism, Shadow Pictures.] Attractive illustrated handbill advertisement for ‘One Hour of Laughter’, ‘Entertainments for Children arranged by James Portland, The Childrens’ Entertainment Expert’.

Author: 
Juvenile ephemera: Punch and Judy, Conjuring, Ventriloquism, Shadow Pictures; James Portland (fl. 1919), The Childrens' [sic] Entertainment Expert, London
children
Publication details: 
No date, but from around the time of the First World War. James Portland, The Childrens' [sic] Entertainment Expert, 39, Sinclair Road, Kensington, W 14. [London]
£220.00
children

An attractive piece of juvenile ephemera, printed in black on one side of a piece of 23.5 x 36.5 cm wove paper. In good condition, folded twice. The document is excessively scarce, no other copy having been traced, and little has been learnt about the advertiser. In 1919 Punch carried an advertisement for ‘Punch and Judy, Conjuring, Ventriloquism, &c.’ from ‘James Portland, the Conjuror and Children’s Entertainer’. Four years later the ‘Model Engineer’ carried several advertisements from Portland as a supplier of ebonite.

[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.

[Evelyn Laye, English actress and singer, star of stage and screen.] Autograph Signature added at foot of pencil sketch of her by Kenneth Sephton.

Author: 
Evelyn Laye [née Elsie Evelyn Lay] (1900-1996), English actress and singer, star of stage and screen, associated with Noel Coward [Kenneth Sephton]
Laye
Publication details: 
No date or place. [1950s]
£90.00
Laye

See her entry in the Oxford DNB. After a stint as one of George Edwardes’ Gaiety Girls, she made her name in a number of revues, her performance in the lead role of the 1929 Broadway production of ‘Bitter Sweet’ prompting Coward to praise her grace and charm and assurance, which he said provoked one of the most prolonged outbursts of cheering I have ever heard in the theatre. She was less successful in Hollywood, starring in the Romberg/Hammerstein musical ‘One Heavenly Night’ (1931), a failure for Samuel Goldwyn.

[Ellen Terry, distinguished Shakespearian actress of the Victorian and Edwardian period.] Intimate Autograph Letter Signed (‘Nellaline’), sending her ‘very little heart [to George Meredith’s daughter]’.

Author: 
Ellen Terry [Dame Alice Ellen Terry] (1847-1928), distinguished Shakespearian actress of the late-Victorian and Edwardian periods, acted opposite Henry Irving
Publication details: 
17 March 1889; on letterhead of 22 Barkston Gardens, Earls Court, S.W. [London]
£80.00

See her entry in the Oxford DNB. An attractive and unusual item of correspondence, neatly written out in her distinctive handwriting. 1p, 12mo. On leaf of onion paper, carefully laid down on thicker backing. In good condition, slightly discoloured. Folded three times for postage. Reads: ‘A little little heart! So little! but anything “in the way of” a heart should not be flouted, nor scouted, & so I pray you to accept my very little heart - / It’s not worth the thanking for, only don’t send it back to me. / Nellaline. / March 17: 89:’.

[Sir John Gielgud, distinguished English actor.] Autograph Letter Signed to 'Mrs. Bannerman', thanking her for sending the 'enchanting' and costly flowers which she has packed 'so beautifully'.

Author: 
Sir John Gielgud [Arthur John Gielgud] (1904-2000), distinguished English actor
Publication details: 
13 May [no year - 1960s?]. On his letterhead, 16 Cowley Street, London, S.W.1.
£50.00

1p, small 4to. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. Folded twice for postage. Written in a close hand, with a larger and more forceful signature, with long underlining: ‘John Gielgud.’ Reads: ‘Dear Mrs. Bannerman. / All my best thanks for the lovely lilies, which arrived fresh and safely. They are quite enchanting - and cost a small fortune if one buys them in a florists.

[Sir John Gielgud, distinguished English actor.] Autograph Letter Signed to 'Mrs. Doubleday', wife of the publisher.

Author: 
Sir John Gielgud [Arthur John Gielgud] (1904-2000), distinguished English actor [Florence Van Wyck Doubleday, wife of New York publisher Frank Nelson Doubleday]
Publication details: 
27 October [1936]. 59 East 56th Street, New York City.
£80.00

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. 1p, 12mo. On grey paper. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. Folded once for postage. The year is given in pencil, and a note in the same hand identifies the recipient as ‘Mrs Florence Doubleday (wife of publisher) in Oyster Bay’. Ten lines of text, in a close hand, with larger, firm signature ‘John Gielgud.’ A somewhat pompous missive. He thanks her for giving him ‘so delightful an opportunity of meeting you, and to ask me to stay in your charming house and meet your friends, who were all so nice to me’.

[Dame Judi Dench, star of stage and screen.] Typed Letter Signed to Neil Hurst, responding to his expression of appreciation for her work.

Author: 
Dame Judi Dench [Judith Olivia Dench] (b.1934), star of stage and screen, widely regarded as one of Britain’s greatest actresses
Publication details: 
11 January 2000. No address, on paper headed ‘JUDI DENCH’.
£56.00

See her entry in Encyclopedia Britannica. 1p, 8vo. In fair condition, lightly aged, with some grubbiness around the top-left corner. The text of the letter and the stylish and assured signature are unaffected. Reads: ‘Dear Neil Hurst, / Thank you very much for your letter. I’m delighted to know that you have enjoyed my work, and it was kind of you to write. / I have pleasure in sending you a signed photograph, with my best wishes. / Yours sincerely, / Judi Dench’. Dench terminates the signature with a diagonal dash through a widely-spaced colon.

[Samantha Eggar, Hollywood actress.] Autograph Letter Signed to Kenneth Sephton, arranging a meeting to discuss ‘Whos Who of Hollywood Britons’.

Author: 
Samantha Eggar [Victoria Louise Samantha Marie Elizabeth Therese Eggar] (b. 1939), British stage and screen actress, active in Hollywood
Publication details: 
22 February [1985]. On letterhead of the Old Vic, London.
£80.00

Written during the 1984-5 Old Vic production of Arthur Schnitzler’s ‘The Lonely Road’, in which Eggar starred opposite Anthony Hopkin, with a young Colin Firth. 2pp, 12mo. Good bold signature: ‘Sincerely / Samantha Eggar’. Addressed to 'Mr Sephton'. In good condition, lightly aged, folded for postage. She thanks him for his ‘inquiry as to whether I would be able to talk to you about “Whos Who of Hollywood Britons’, and gives the only date that is convenient. ‘The show comes down at 5.15 approx, maybe a call to the theatre to check would be wise’. From the papers of Kenneth Sephton.

[Margaret Leighton, English actress.] Autograph Letter Signed, thanking Kenneth Sephton for his letter concerning ‘Separate Tables’ and other work.

Author: 
Margaret Leighton (1922-1976), English actress
Publication details: 
29 March [1956]. St James’s Theatre [London].
£50.00

Leighton’s entry in the Oxford DNB explains that ‘In 1954 she began a long run (nearly four years in London and New York) as Anne Shankland and Sybil Railton-Bell in the double bill of Terence Rattigan's Separate Tables, co-starring with Eric Portman and winning a Tony award as best actress.’ 2pp, 4to. Addressed to ‘Dear Mr Sephton’, with good bold signature, ‘Margaret Leighton.’ In good condition, lightly aged, folded for postage.

[Gwen Watford, English actress.] Autograph Card Signed to [Kenneth] Sephton, standing up for Jeffrey Archer (in a London production of whose ?Beyond Reason Doubt? she is acting).

Author: 
Gwen Watford (Gwendoline Watford) (1927-1994), English actress on stage, screen and television [Jeffrey Archer]
Publication details: 
8 December 1988. No place.
£56.00

Watford?s obituaries noted her sensitive acting style, and ranked alongside Peggy Ashcroft. On both sides of a 14.5 x 10 cm card, with no printing but for the name ?GWEN WATFORD? in red at the head of recto. Addressed to ?Dear Mr Sephton? and with good firm signature ?Gwen Watford?. In good condition lightly aged. Twelves lines of neatly written text. She has ?just finished another mid-week matinee?, and is writing thank him for his ?most encouraging letter?, which she will ?treasure?.

[?A bright, particular star?: Evelyn Laye, English actress and singer.] Typed Letter Signed, with some manuscript text, informing Kenneth [Sephton] that she has planted the lucky shamrock he sent her.

Author: 
Evelyn Laye (1900-1996), English actress and singer, who began her career as one of George Edwardes' 'Gaiety Girls'
Publication details: 
25 November [1969]. From the Palace Theatre, London.
£45.00

In his entry on Laye in the Oxford DNB, Sheridan Morley describes her as a ?bright, particular star?. 1p, 12mo, on grey-blue paper with monogram of her initials printed at top left. The letter concerns the 1969-70 Palace Theatre production of ?Phil the Fluter?, in which she played Mrs Fitzmaurice. Addressed to ?Dear Kenneth? and with good firm signature ?Evelyn Laye?. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded once for postage. She thanks him for the letter and ?the lovely Shamrock?, which she has planted ?in a little pot, as it was so very thoughtful of you to sentd it to me for Good Luck?.

[Geraldine McEwan, distinguished English actress on stage, screen and television.] Autograph Inscription Signed to menu for Gallery First Nighters? Club luncheon in honour of Prunella Scales and Timothy West.

Author: 
Geraldine McEwan [born Geraldine McKeown] (1932-2015), distinguished English actress on stage screen and television [Timothy West and Prunella Scales; The Gallery First Nighters? Club]
McEwan
Publication details: 
Luncheon by the Gallery First Nighters? Club on 24 April 1994, at the London Marriott Hotel.
£120.00
McEwan

See her entry in the Oxford DNB. A nice item, printed on shiny card. Bifolium folding to 21 x 14.5 cm. In good condition, lightly aged. On the front is a photograph of Scales and West by Jane Bohn. On reverse of first leaf is the menu, on recto of second the ?Toast List?, and the verso of the second a list of officers. McEwan?s inscription, in a good firm hand is at top left of the menu. It reads: ?With Best Wishes / Geraldine / McEwan?. From the papers of Kenneth Sephton. See Image.

[?A bright, particular star?: Evelyn Laye, English actress and singer.] Autograph Letter Signed to Kenneth [Sephton], regarding a broadcast she has given.

Author: 
Evelyn Laye (1900-1996), English actress and singer, who began her career as one of George Edwardes' 'Gaiety Girls'
Publication details: 
Without date or place.
£45.00

In his entry on Laye in the Oxford DNB, Sheridan Morley describes her as a ?bright, particular star?. 1p, 16mo.Good firm signature. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded once for postage. On the otherwise-blank reverse is Laye's monogram, with her initials. Reads: 'My dear Kenneth. / Thank you for your very sweet letter[.] I am so delighted you liked the broadcast[.] It brought back many happy memories to me & when I sat & listened to it all alone I must say I longed for the past. / Bless you. / Evelyn Laye.' From the papers of Kenneth Sephton.

[Angela Lansbury, Hollywood actress, star of TV series ?Murder, She Wrote?.] Typed Card Signed to Kenneth [Sephton], stating that 'the show' ['Gypsy', at the Piccadilly Theatre'] has ?turned into more of a success than I could have ever hoped for?.

Author: 
Angela Lansbury [Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury] (1925-2022), stage and screen actress, born in Britain of partly Irish extraction, who settled in America and starred in the TV series ?Murder, She Wrote'
Lansbury
Publication details: 
9 July 1973. [London.]
£45.00
Lansbury

On one side of 15 x 10 cm grey-blue card, with facsimile of her signature at the head. Addressed to ?Dear Kenneth?, and with bold stylish signature at bottom right. The subject of the letter is the Piccadilly Theatre production of ?Gypsy?, which had opened a few days before on 29 May 1973. She thanks him for his ?kind letter?, adding ?Thank god you were right about the show and it has turned into more of a success than I could have ever hoped for.? She is sorry he couldn?t attend the first night, as ?it was a good show and I know you would have enjoyed it?.

[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.

[Ruby Miller, actress, one of the ‘Gaiety Girls’.] Autograph Letter Signed to ‘Popie’ (the theatre historian W. Macqueen-Pope), regarding BBC TV, ‘the Gaiety fiasco’ and ‘Gaiety Girls who married out of the peerage & retired into the country’.

Author: 
Ruby Miller [Ruby Laura Rose Miller] (1889-1976), actress, one of George Edwardes' 'Gaiety Girls' [W. J. MacQueen-Pope [‘Popie’] (1888-1960), theatre historian]
Publication details: 
16 July 1957; on her letterhead.
£50.00

See her entry and his in the Oxford DNB. 2pp, 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded for postage. Signed ‘Ruby’. Begins: ‘Popie, darling, / What are we coming to? / You - as a pierrot with the “Fol-de-Rols”! / BBC/TV must be mad not to let you do a talk on the St. James’s. / But after the Gaiety fiasco I can believe anything of them.

[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.

[Victorian London Theatres: Adelphi, Drury Lane, Gaiety, Her Majesty’s, Lyceum, Princess’s, St James’s.] Seven large printed handbill notices, with illustration giving seating plan, details of proprietors and prices, ticket agents, advertisements.

Author: 
[Victorian London Theatres: Adelphi, Drury Lane, Gaiety, Her Majesty’s, Lyceum,Princess’s, St James’s.] [Benjamin Webster; Samuel Hayes; Keith, Prowse, and Co.; James Bromwich, florist]
Publication details: 
Circa 1878? Publication details not given.
£350.00

Each of the seven plans is on a 27 x 35.5 cm piece of paper.The source has not been established, and each carries the pencil date 1878 in a modern hand. They are uniform in layout, each with heading of the name of the theatre followed by a plan in the form of a 22 x 15 cm lithographic illustration of the respective theatre, as viewed from the stage, with the seating numbered. Beneath each plan are names of proprietors, lessees and managers, prices of admission, and in every case the details of the two ticket agents ‘Mr.

[John Counsell: the man who drafted the Second World War instrument of German surrender.] Typed Note Signed to Christopher Fry, with Typed Letter Signed to him from ‘Edward’ (Sir Edward Ford?), conveying a message to Fry from Queen Elizabeth II.

Author: 
John Counsell [John William Counsell] (1905-1987), actor, theatre manager and director, who drafted the Second World War instrument of German Surrender [Christopher Fry, playwright; Sir Edward Ford]
Publication details: 
Counsell's TNS: 11 November 1965; on Windsor Theatre Company letterhead. TLS by 'Edward': 11 November 1965; on Buckingham Palace letterhead.
£65.00

Counsell, Ford and Fry all have entries in the Oxford DNB, that of Counsell noting that he was ‘assistant to Neville Grazebrook and composed the instrument of German surrender, signed at Rheims by General Jodl, which officially ended the war’. The two items are in good condition, lightly aged and creased from folding. Counsell’s TNS is stapled to the TLS from ‘Edward’, which is laid down on a leaf of ruled paper, at the head of which Fry has written: ‘Letter from John Counsell / re possible visit of H.M. The Queen to “Lady’s Not for Burning”’. ONE: Counsell’s TNS.

[‘The Last of Mrs Cheney’, Frederick Lonsdale play made into three Hollywood films.] Material relating to first stage production, at St James’s Theatre, London, including playscript, manuscript cast rolls, furniture and upholstery lists and invoice.

Author: 
Frederick Lonsdale (1881-1954), English playwright, author of ‘The Last of Mrs Cheney’, produced at St James’s Theatre, London, made into three Hollywood films; Gladys Cooper; Sir Gerald Du Maurier
Publication details: 
Material from 1925 and 1926, relating to production at the St James's Theatre, London, including items from Ernest Williams Ltd, 27 Davies Street, Berkeley Square, W1.
£420.00

Lonsdale’s entry in the Oxford DNB has the following to say: ‘In 1925 The Last of Mrs Cheyney was produced at the St James's Theatre, with the leading roles played by Gladys Cooper, Ellis Jeffreys, Ronald Squire, and Sir Gerald Du Maurier. This, Lonsdale's most famous play, ran for 514 performances [from 22 September 1925] in London, and enjoyed comparable popularity in New York, Berlin, and Paris.

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