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Collection of material relating to The Old Vic.
A small collection of material concerning Sir Winston Churchill and the Old Vic Theatre, all from the papers of Mrs Mary St. John Hutchinson (secretary(?) of the Sadler's Wells Society) comprising: i) A 2 page typed draft (undated) for an appeal to friends of the Old Vic and Sadler's Wells for subscriptions to acquire the scenery and costumes designed by McKnight Kauffer for a production of Othello at the St. James's Theatre. Signed by Churchill, Lord Berners, Lord Balniel and Mary Hutchinson. (Small hole in page 1, tear on page 2, some staining and soiling). ii) A selection of material relating to the competition to design the safety curtain of the Old Vic in 1938. a) A typed letter (11th April 1938) to Mrs Mary Hutchinson, who was organising the competition, from Evelyn Williams the clerk of the Old Vic. This letter mentions that Churchill had been to a performance of Coriolanus and that he had expressed his disappointment that he could not judge the competition. Apparently, however, Clementine Churchill was keen for him to be involved and Churchill said that he would reconsider. (A little stained from paperclip). b) A telegram (12th May 1938) from Clementine Churchill to Mary Hutchinson which reads "Winston delighted to do what you wish." c) A carbon copy of a typed proof for the competition announcement with a couple of corrections. (A little creased and soiled with old paperclip marks) d) A copy of the final competition announcement, with Churchill, Kenneth Clark and C.B. Cochran announced as judges. (Folded) e) A handwritten note in pencil on Mrs Hutchinson's headed paper, presumably in her hand, being a draft of the announcement of the winner of the prize, Robert Medley. iii) A handwritten letter from Gwendoline Churchill (Winston's sister-in-law) to Mrs Hutchinson thanking her for an invitation to a reception. iv) A copy of the printed thank you note with a facsimile of Churchill's signature which was sent out in reply to cards received for Churchill's 90th birthday. v) A typed letter signed by Charles Pick, the Managing Director of William Heinemann Publishers, dated 16 August 1966 to Mr James Heineman, a previous owner of these items. In his letter Mr Pick thanks Mr Heineman on Randolph Churchill's behalf for allowing access to these letters. "These letters shed an unexpected light on his [Churchill's] life and Randolph Churchill is sure they will be of interest". The first volume of Randolph Churchill and later Martin Gilbert's biography of Churchill was published by Heinemann in 1966, and these documents were clearly offered as material for the biography. A fascinating glimpse into Churchill's private life and interests outside of politics. His willingness to support the Old Vic in both the McKnight Kauffer and Safety Curtain projects show his deep affection for the theatre, especially considering that at the same time as the Safety Curtain competition was being held Churchill was heavily involved with dealing with the growing threat from Germany. All these items are presented in a blue morocco backed cloth flapcase with leather label.
      [Bookseller: Henry Southern Ltd.]
Last Found On: 2002-05-03           Check availability:      Direct From Bookseller    


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