Correspondence file

Scope and Content

This sub-class contains an extensive sequence of correspondence and related papers, originally stored together by RD in an extremely bulky file. The arrangement is broadly chronological and charts RD's activities over a period dating principally from the late 1930s to the 1950s. The material documents various aspects of his stage work, films, broadcasting, friendships, and personal activities during this time, and it includes correspondence with a large number of significant individuals, many of whom are also represented in the main sequence of correspondence in FRD1/1. Some of the topics covered include: various theatrical projects during the late 1930s and early 1940s; RD's productions of James Bridie's A Sleeping Clergyman; The Glass Slipper; RD's management of the Westminster Theatre; his production of An Ideal Husband; The Magic Box and a small amount of material on films The Adventures of Tartu, Perfect Strangers, and Captain Boycott; radio broadcasts, including RD's participation in an American radio broadcast of Galsworthy's Justice in 1949; various Old Vic proposals, resulting eventually in Murder in the Cathedral in 1953; the last years and death of William Armstrong; the death of James Bridie; various abortive projects, such as planned film versions of Beau Brummell in late 1946, and Around the World in Eighty Days in 1952-3; RD's preparation for David Lean's film of Hobson's Choice and his bitter disappointment at being turned down on medical insurance grounds in 1953; his marriage to Renée Asherson in May 1953; and his struggles with ill health over a long period. The file includes press cuttings and scripts in addition to correspondence. In the following descriptions the term 'original bundle' denotes a bundle of letters or papers on a related topic which had been fastened together by RD himself. 'Correspondence' denotes RD's copy letters as well as original letters from his correspondent; 'letter from' denotes an original letter to RD, and 'copy letter to' denotes a letter from RD unless stated otherwise. The material is as follows: /1 Certificate issued by the Government acknowledging RD's service as a Special Constable in Edinburgh City [during the General Strike] (May 1926). /2-4 Correspondence with O.H. Mavor (a.k.a. James Bridie), relating to: film rights in A Sleeping Clergyman; the possibility of staging Mary Read in 1934, with Flora Robson in the lead role; Mavor's play Colonel Wotherspoon which has failed to find a summer run in the West End in 1934; and Bridie's play based on a character named 'Vivaldi' [The King of Nowhere] (18 Oct 1934; 1 Jul-27 Aug 1937). /5 Copy letter to Tyrone Guthrie, relating to RD's attempts to free himself from his film contract with Korda in order to return to the stage (26 Nov 1937). /6 Letter from O.H. [Mavor, a.k.a. James Bridie], relating to: RD's concern for box office returns, and Bridie's refusal to alter or spoil his plays in order to attract more theatregoers (11 Jul 1938). /7 Two-page typescript extract from an unidentified play [probably Bridie's A Sleeping Clergyman]. /8 Letter from O.H. [Mavor, a.k.a. James Bridie] relating to the script of an unidentified play he is sending for RD's consideration (13 Feb 1940). /9-10 Letter from Michael Redgrave with RD's copy reply; relates to a recent interview with RD in the Sunday Express (23 Jan-3 Feb 1941). /11 Copy letter to John Burrell relating to: RD's regret at being unable to take over the role of Shotover [in Heartbreak House] for health reasons; his plans for future plays including some by Winifred Holtby; and his plans for the Westminster Theatre (28 Apr 1943). /12 Letter to from Eleanor Farjeon, who expresses her delight at the prospect of writing a play for children for RD and "for the boy and girl who know better than Disney what Pinocchio stands for" [i.e. RD's own children; this project would result in The Glass Slipper] (24 Aug 1943). /13 Copy letter from RD's company Meadway Productions Ltd to Clifton Parker, confirming their agreement with Parker as the composer of the music for a Christmas entertainment based on Cinderella [ie. The Glass Slipper] (7 Oct 1943). /14 Copy telegram to James Bridie, relating to the launching of Bridie's new theatre in Scotland (11 Oct 1943). /15 Letter from Emile Littler, who turns down The Tale of Cinderella [ie. The Glass Slipper] for Christmas production in London, claiming that traditional pantomimes are more popular (9 May 1944). /16-17 Copy letter to and telegram from Rex Whistler (currently a Lieutenant in the Welsh Guards) relating to the scenery and costume designs for RD's planned production of An Ideal Husband (24-27 Jul 1943). /18 Letter from Stephen Bagnall, who comments in some detail on the film The Adventures of Tartu and praises RD's performance (12 Dec 1943). /19 Copy letter to critic Ivor Brown, making reference to Brown's comments on RD's production of An Ideal Husband (25 Jan 1944). /20-33 Bundle of correspondence with Vivienne Black, relating to Black's work (managing, and organising contracts and publicity) at the Westminster during RD's first season there (16 Oct 1943-1 Jan 1944). /34 Draft letter to Alex [Korda] relating to the publicity [for Perfect Strangers] in which Deborah [Kerr]'s name is handled before RD's (15 May 1944). /35 Incomplete copy letter to Claud Gurney, relating to the current situation at the Westminster Theatre (16 Aug 1944). /36 Typescript copy of RD's will dated 13 Oct 1944 [later superseded]. /37 Letter from William Armstrong, who refers to: his bronchitis; RD's gift; and the play they are currently involved in [The Glass Slipper] (10 Dec 1944). /38 Typed script of an interview with RD relating to The Glass Slipper, made for In Town To-Night (26 Dec 1944). /39 A different draft of the script in /38 (n.d.). /40-47 Original bundle of correspondence between RD, M.V. Rolph (secretary at Lief's Nature Cure Resort at Champneys, Tring, Herts), Stanley Leif, and William Armstrong, relating to: visits by RD to the resort in 1944; William Armstrong's visit in December 1944; and Armstrong's regret at leaving RD to stage The Glass Slipper due to his illness (12 May 1944-3 Jan 1945). /48-49 Two letters from Irene Vanbrugh relating to the production of An Ideal Husband at the Westminster Theatre and on tour (17 Nov 1943 and 9 Aug 1944). /50 Letter from Rosalind Russell, written from America during the war and relating to: RD's Christmas broadcast; RD's wife Ella and his children who are in America; Russell's own activities and her separation from Myron [Selznick]; and the Oliviers (n.d.). /51 22-page typed script for a broadcast extract from The Glass Slipper, transmitted on 3 January 1945 on Children's Hour, and introduced by RD. /52 Copy letter from Bertie [Farjeon] relating to: RD's ill health; the success of the show [The Glass Slipper], and some suggested changes for next year's production (14 Nov 1945). /53 Copy letter to Bertie and Eleanor [Farjeon] in which RD suggests specific detailed changes he would like made to The Glass Slipper (29 Jan 1945). /54-55 Letter from Tyrone Guthrie and RD's copy reply, relating to the possibility of RD speaking at the inauguration of the Merseyside Theatre Society (21-22 Mar 1945). /56 Letter from Eleanor [Farjeon], relating to changes to be made in The Glass Slipper for the 1945-6 production, and a book by Karel Capek entitled The Absolute at Large (11 Aug 1945). /57 Telegram from Jane Browder, inviting RD to play Benedick in a New York production of Much Ado About Nothing (21 Aug 1945). /58 Letter from James Bernard, who regrets that RD is leaving The Cure [For Love], enquires about his health, comments his replacement (Wilfred Pickles), and refers to an unpublished novel of his own (28 Sep 1945). /59-60 Letter from J. Franklyn Bradshaw, who claims a childhood friendship with RD, and requests a meeting with him to discuss a play by a member of the Scenario, Play and Radio Writers' Circle which he founded; with copy reply from RD's secretary reporting that RD has no recollection of Bradshaw (10 Sep-2 Oct 1945). /61 Letter from Eleanor [Farjeon], relating to some of her misgivings about the planned 1945-6 production of The Glass Slipper and a suggested change to the Masque in Act Two (21 Dec 1945). /62-73 Envelope marked "Irving Relics" by RD and containing a miscellaneous bundle of papers as follows: /62-3: undated letter from Frank Benson and a menu for the Old Bensonian's annual Dinner on 12 Jul 1931; /64-6: 3 letters from O.H. Mavor [James Bridie] relating to the staging of his play A Sleeping Clergyman and RD's performance in it (Apr 1933-Mar 1934); /67-8: 2 letters from Charles B. Cochran referring to RD's performance in A Sleeping Clergyman and his refusal of a part in Magnolia Street (13 Jan 1934 & 16 Jan 1945); /69-71: Printed flyers dating from c. 1917-18, each of which includes an Aubrey Beardsley illustration; /72 Programme for Pinero's Trelawny of the 'Wells' at the Royal Court Theatre (Undated); /73 RD's original storage envelope. /74 Copy letter to John Boulting outlining RD's suggestions for a scene [in The Magic Box] (31 Jan 1951). /75-77 Three copies of a typescript entitled "Collings Problem: Ronnie Neame's Solution: Criticisms", in which RD outlines his suggestions for script alterations to The Magic Box (9 Feb 1951). /78 Two typescript sheets entitled "Final Script Criticisms", giving brief notes on The Magic Box script. /79 Copy letter to Ronald Neame, relating to a particular scene in The Magic Box (8 Feb 1951). /80 Annotated typescript draft of part of the script for a Children's Hour broadcast on 2 January 1946 in which RD outlines the origins of The Glass Slipper. /81 Letter from Eleanor Farjeon, who refers to a very positive account [of The Glass Slipper] she has heard from Clifton [Parker], and looks forward to visiting it herself (6 Jan 1946). /82 Copy letter from RD to Clifton Parker, requesting a meeting to discuss changes to The Glass Slipper (9 Jan 1946). /83-84 Two typescript sheets of suggested alterations [to The Glass Slipper] (n.d.). /85 Copy letter to Eleanor Farjeon, relating to The Glass Slipper, including RD's low opinion of Stephen Thomas, who was taken on at the suggestion of the Farjeons; improvements in the play; and suggested further alterations (9 Jan 1946). /86 Detailed 7-page commentary, apparently by Eleanor Farjeon, on The Glass Slipper made after seeing a matinée performance on 10 January [1946]; typescript with RD's manuscript annotations. /87-89 Letters from Eleanor [Farjeon], relating to: planned meetings to discuss RD's various points and suggestions about The Glass Slipper; the continuing popularity of the show; and further possible changes. In /89 she encloses a typescript verbatim account of the production by a 5-year old child called Guilmette, the niece of Barbara Noble (20 Jan-9 Feb 1946). /90 Letter from James Bernard, referring to: a letter from RD in the Guardian; an actress called Miss Oddie who was granted an interview by RD; and a forthcoming operation Bernard will be undergoing (12 Feb 1946). /91 Annotated proof copy of RD's entry in Who's Who, sent to him for checking (Jun 1946). /92 Four copies of a typed memorandum by RD dated 15 April 1946 and entitled "Lunch with Arthur Rank": in it he records a meeting with Rank where it was agreed that RD should undertake stage work for a year before making a film for Rank. Attached to a copy telegram to Gertrude Laurence (17 Apr) in which RD invites her to play Beatrice in his production of Much Ado About Nothing. /93-94 Letter from actor Milton Rosmer, relating to his current projects and reporting on the recent Stratford season of Shakespeare; with RD's copy reply (28 Apr-7 May 1946). /95-101 Series of letters to RD from Margaret Howard, his general manager at the Westminster Theatre. These largely relate to arrangements for RD's productions of Much Ado About Nothing and The Man Behind the Statue, and also to Howard's resignation from the staff following disagreements with Dr Leonard Browne (21 Jun-23 Oct 1946). /102 Copy letter from RD to his daughter Joanna, informing her that box office business is so bad he may have to cut short his current production [Much Ado About Nothing at the Aldwych Theatre] (25 Oct 1946). /103-4 Copy letters to Anmer B. Horne, referring to the end of RD's Aldwych Season, his Westminster venture, and asking if Horne can recommend a business adviser (9-15 Nov 1946). /105 Letter from Frank Launder of Independent Producers Ltd, inviting RD to play Parnell in the key scene of the film Captain Boycott, delivering the speech made at Ennis in Autumn 1880, commenting that "the whole picture depends on the effect which this speech and the speaker have on the audience." He encloses a typescript version of the speech which has been annotated by RD (7 Dec 1946). /106 Copy letter to Walter Greenwood, relating to RD's financial situation, and the necessity of delaying work on the film The Cure for Love until he receives his payment for The Winslow Boy which he is due to start filming shortly (n.d.). /107-113 Original bundle of correspondence between RD and Anatole de Grunwald, with an additional copy letter to RD's agent Christopher Mann. Relates to the script for a film version of Beau Brummell, prepared by Grunwald and Anthony Asquith with the assistance of Terence Rattigan, which RD rejects (27 Nov 1946-7 Jan 1947). /114-115 Letter from O.H. [Mavor, aka James Bridie], inviting RD to Scotland to see a version of his play A Sleeping Clergyman (of which RD holds the film rights) being staged by the Citizens' Theatre; with a copy letter from RD to John Burrell informing him of this forthcoming trip, and the possibility of making the play into a film (27-30 Jan 1947). /116-119 Original bundle of correspondence with Hugh (Binkie) Beaumont, relating to a planned visit by RD to see The Winslow Boy and Beaumont's suggestion that RD play in Shaw's You Never Can Tell (Feb 1947). /120-121 Letter from Henry Sherek, who asks RD to play his original part in a new production of A Sleeping Clergyman; with RD's copy reply, turning down the offer due to film commitments (10-11 Feb 1947). /122-123 Letter from Margaret Howard, RD's former general manager at the Westminster Theatre, with RD's copy reply, referring to: the excessively high charges of RD's accountant [Archibald] Todman; and RD's refusal to accept an invitation from Howard due to their past business disagreements (17-20 Feb 1947). /124 Undated press cutting entitled 'Mr J.G. Birkby: An Appreciation': an article by RD on his former schoolteacher. /125 Letter from William Armstrong (signed by Joan Glover), relating to Armstrong's ill health, and his request to hire or buy some of RD's costumes for An Ideal Husband for a forthcoming production at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre (3 Mar 1947). /126-127 Letter from John Boddington, honorary production manager with the Repertory Players, with RD's copy reply, relating to the possibility of RD finding plays for Boddington's company (23-28 Apr 1947). /128 Copy letter to Hugh (Binkie) Beaumont, relating to a stage production of The Winslow Boy RD has recently attended, and his unwillingness to play the part of Sir Robert Morton in a New York production (30 Apr 1947). /129 Copy letter to William Armstrong, in which RD recommends a young actor called Nevill King-Page (2 May 1947). /130-132 Original bundle of correspondence with Dorice Fordred relating to: Fordred's hopes of acting in a revival of A Sleeping Clergyman; RD's belief that they are both too old for the play which his film commitments prevent him from considering anyway; and the subsequent revival which did actually take place (3 Mar-15 May [1947]). /133-135 Bundle of correspondence consisting of 2 manuscript draft letters from RD to Fabia Drake and a letter to RD from Drake, relating to: their former disagreements over Ustinov's The Man Behind the Statue, of which Drake was the producer in autumn 1946; their resolution to renew their friendship; and RD's revival of A Sleeping Clergyman (20-24 May 1947). /136 Letter from William Armstrong, who announces that he is leaving Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 5 July 1947, and wishes RD success in his revival of A Sleeping Clergyman (14 Jun 1947). /137 Letter from O.H. [Mavor, a.k.a. James Bridie], who thanks RD for a great performance [in A Sleeping Clergyman], and asserts that RD's next play must be Hamlet, in direct challenge to Larry [Olivier] "who is the only English actor who comes within miles of you". (21 Jun 1947). /138-139 Letter from Frankie Lawton with RD's copy reply, relating to RD's performance [in A Sleeping Clergyman] and his criticism of the poor conditions at the Criterion Theatre (1-3 Sep 1947). /140 Copy letter from RD to Patric Dickinson, in which he agrees to read a verse play and promises to give "Hero and Leander" priority consideration for November (28 Jul 1947). /141-142 Letter from actor James McKechnie with RD's copy reply, relating to RD's performance in A Sleeping Clergyman, and his admiration for McKechnie's radio performance of "S.P. Scott" (31 Jul-15 Aug 1947). /143 Letter from Christopher Mann, RD's manager, who quotes some reviews praising RD's cameo role in Captain Boycott (28 Aug 1947). /144-145 Letter from Emile Littler with RD's copy reply, relating to the possibility of RD playing in Charley's Aunt in the West End, which he turns down due to film commitments (7-20 Oct 1947). /146-147 Letter from Wall and Eden, estate agents, regarding the possibility of buying the Duke of York's Theatre; with a letter to RD from J. Mitchelhill, on whose behalf RD was seeking the information (22-28 Oct 1947). /148 Copy letter from RD's secretary to the Fan Mail Department of Eagle-Lion Film Distributors, requesting that foreign stamps be left on all letters sent to RD as both of his sons collect foreign stamps (24 Oct 1947). /149-151 Copy letter to playwright Wynyard Browne, in which RD compliments his play Dark Summer; with Browne's reply, and a programme for the play. /152-153 Letter from Robert Siodmak of Universal-International Pictures, California, with RD's copy reply, relating to their disagreement over a planned film version of Precious Bane, from which RD withdrew (29 Oct-15 Dec 1947). /154-155 Letter to RD from "Popie" (W. Macqueen-Pope), with RD's copy reply, relating to the possibility of RD playing 'Christian' in a summer 1948 production of The Pilgrim's Progress, which he is unable to undertake due to film commitments (22-25 Mar 1948). /156 Letter from G.P. Simon, General Manager of The Daily Telegraph who regrets that RD will be unable to appear in Pilgrim's Progress at Covent Garden, and urges him to try and find the time RD (31 Mar 1948). /157 Copy letter to Anatole de Grunwald, relating some suggested alterations for certain scenes in The Winslow Boy (24 Apr 1948). /158 Copy letter to "Jo": RD regrets the film business may be losing Jo; refers to his "usual after-picture depression" on finishing The Winslow Boy; and inquires how soon Jo could help him have a go at the script [of The Cure For Love] so some initial copies can be printed for circulation (11 May 1948). /159-160 Letter from Kenneth Hare with RD's copy reply, relating to RD's broadcast reading of Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis (14 Jul 1947-19 May 1948). /161 Copy letter to Evan John Simpson, relating to a play Simpson has sent RD to read (25 May 1948). /162 Copy letter to Dr. Guy Beauchamp, in which RD requests a medical certificate to support his application for petrol, as he feels bus and train travel produces asthma (19 Jun 1948). /163 Annotated typed script of a BBC interview with RD in which he discusses The Winslow Boy (n.d.). /164 Letter from June Penny of the BBC, enclosing a script for an interview with RD on the radio programme In Town Tonight, in which he discusses The Winslow Boy and his plans for The Cure for Love (24 Sep 1948). /165 Letter from Alex Shaw, relating to possible film locations for The Cure for Love and recommending Old Glossop [Derbyshire] as the most interesting location (2 Oct 1948). /166-167 Letter from Murray McClymont with RD's copy reply, relating to RD's performance in radio play Cynara and his plans for The Cure for Love (28 Nov 1948-15 Feb 1949). /168 Letter from Sir Barry Jackson relating to plans for the British Theatre Exhibition in Birmingham in May-June 1949 (24 Mar 1949). /169 Copy letter from RD to his mother, informing her that he has had to stop work on filming The Cure for Love for a time due to a bad attack of bronchitis, and will have to delay visiting her until he is fully recovered and has finished the film (21 Jun 1949). /170 Copy telegram to Mark Smith of the Theatre Guild in New York, in which RD agrees to take part in [a radio play of Galsworthy's] Justice in New York (9 Oct 1949). /171 Copy of a telegram from Francis Head to an unidentified recipient relating to the possibility of RD playing in Justice for the Theatre Guild (n.d.). /172 Telegram from Mark Smith, who is happy RD will take part in Justice and looks forward to receiving his script suggestions (10 Oct 1949). /173 Copy telegram to Christopher Mann [RD's manager] from Francis Jonsgibscom, informing him of rehearsal dates for Justice in America (11 Oct 1949). /174 Typescript copies of the telegrams in /172-3. /175 Letter from Armina Marshall, executive producer of the Theatre Guild, New York, who thanks RD for his moving performance [in Justice] on 30 October 1949. /176-179 Original bundle of correspondence with dramatist and Old Bensonian, Graham Sutton, relating to arrangements for RD's participation in a BBC recording [We Band of Brothers] to mark the 10th anniversary of Frank Benson's death (21 Dec 1949-20 Feb 1950). /180 Copy letter to Francis Head, relating to The Cure for Love and RD's visit to America to play in Justice (10 Jan 1950). /181 Typescript by RD entitled "Notes on Anotole [sic] De Grunwalds phone call of 23/1/50": notes on this call in which the men discussed plans for a film version of A Sleeping Clergyman. /182 Copy letter to George Hill of Gainsborough Studios, sent to accompany a cheque "for the most useful viewfinder" (8 Feb 1950). /183 Typescript sheet of notes made by RD on a meeting with Hugh Hunt about the Old Vic Season 1950-51, held on 3 March 1950. /184 Copy letter from Christopher Mann, relating to the public statement explaining RD's planned long vacation abroad, which is not to give any indication that RD might be exhausted or ill (1 Mar 1950). /185 Letter from Hugh Hunt of the Old Vic Theatre Company, relating to plans for the 1950-51 Old Vic season (13 Mar 1950). /186 Copy letter to Robert Sherwood relating RD's forthcoming trip to the Mediterranean and the script for Second Threshold which Sherwood has sent him (2 Mar 1950). /187 Letter from George Devine of the Old Vic Theatre Company, discussing two of the characters in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair, one of which he thinks RD may be interested in (14 Mar 1950). /188 Copy letter to George Bernard Shaw, relating to a quote from Shaw's Our Theatre in the Nineties RD would like to use in a Memorial Programme for Frank Benson (2 Mar 1950). /189-191 Correspondence with Hugh Hunt, relating to the 1950-51 Old Vic season, which RD is ultimately unable to take part in (20-24 Mar 1950). /192 Letter to Margaret Frazer (RD's secretary) from Julie Smith of the Fan Mail Section of J. Arthur Rank Organisation Ltd, relating to problems over the removal of foreign stamps from letters sent to RD (29 Mar 1951) [see /148]. /193 Script of We Band of Brothers: a Memorial Tribute to the late F.R. Benson, written by Graham Sutton and produced by Edward Livesey; transmitted on the BBC Midland Home Service on 26 April 1950. /194 Copy letter to Frederick Burgis of Walter Burgis and Co. (RD's solicitors), relating to his financial situation, his search for a country home, and maintenance payments to Ella and the children at Brambleberry (8 May 1950). /195-196 Two copies of a typescript note detailing figures for salaries paid over a three-year period at the Old Vic (18 May 1950). /197-198 Letter from Fabia Drake with RD's copy reply, relating to an invitation to visit Drake and her family which RD is unable to accept due to ill health (22 May 1950 and n.d.). /199-200 Copy letter to Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies with her reply. Relates to: her performance as Beatrice in a Stratford production of Much Ado About Nothing which RD praises; Renée [Asherson]'s performance in Streetcar; and the Festival Film [The Magic Box] (27 Oct 1950 and n.d.). /201 Copy letter to O.H. Mavor [a.k.a. James Bridie], in which RD regrets he will be unable to play Hamlet at Bridie's Citizens' Theatre due to his Magic Box commitment, and refers to a film version of A Sleeping Clergyman (5 Dec 1950). /202-203 Copy letter to Ronald Neame from Christopher Mann (RD's manager) and a copy letter to Mann from RD, relating to RD's contract and payment for the film The Magic Box (8-11 Dec 1950). /204 Copy telegram to [O.H.] Mavor [James Bridie] stating "Very much regret impossible" (28 Dec 1949). /205 Copy letter to Christopher Mann relating to the possibility of Stratford-on-Avon making an offer for RD for 1952 (31 Dec 1950). /206 Annotated typed script of a Canadian broadcast, in which RD discusses his attitude to films, and the making of The Cure for Love (n.d.). /207-208 Letters from Hugh Hunt, relating to the Old Vic plans for 1951-2 and the possibility of RD participating (6 Feb 1951). /209 Copy letter to Tyrone Guthrie relating to the possibility of producing James Forsythe's version of Ibsen's Brand (13 Mar 1951). /210 Letter from Hugh Hunt relating to arrangements for the next Old Vic season, in which RD has agreed to participate (19 Mar 1951). /211-212 Letter from William [Armstrong] with RD's copy reply, relating to: the health of both men; Armstrong's plans to go to South Africa for the winter, and the possibility of RD accompanying him (which RD is unable to do); Armstrong's receipt of a CBE; and RD's recommendation of Mont Dore in the Auvergne as a destination for a 'cure' (17-21 Mar 1951). /213-216 Annotated draft and two copies of finished letter to Hugh Hunt, with Hunt's reply, relating to plans and suggested plays for inclusion in the forthcoming Old Vic season (29-31 Mar 1951). /217 Undated typescript list of Shakespearean plays. /218-222 Correspondence with William Armstrong relating to: Armstrong's summer plans; the possibility of visiting Mont Dore; and James Forsyth's version of Ibsen's Brand (29 Apr-15 May 1951). /223-224 Two copies of a letter to Stanley Kramer, relating to: RD's rejection of a film offer for The Fourposter with Katherine Hepburn (he claims that since Mr Chips he is "a bit allergic to what I call cradle-to-the-grave stories"); his hopes that they may work together one day; and his latest film The Magic Box (23 May 1951). /225 Copy letter to William Armstrong, in which RD regrets he is unable to come [to Mont-Dore], and refers to a poem by Wilfred Owen he is sending Armstrong (12 Jun 1951). /226 Letter from Aubrey Blackburn [of RD's management company], relating to RD's stage work, including: his decision not to appear in the play Venus Observed in America; the future of the Old Vic; and the possibility of RD taking the part of Philip Martineau in Daphne du Maurier's Treveryan. /227 Two small sheets of undated rough manuscript notes in RD's hand, apparently brief memoranda of appointments, addresses, and means of transport to Canada. /228-233 Correspondence with William Armstrong (including copy letters from RD's secretary, and a letter from Armstrong to Renée Asherson), relating to: RD's operation in September 1951; Armstrong's planned trip to South Africa; and reviews of The Magic Box (8 Sep-2 Oct 1951). /234 Typescript extract of an unattributed critical commentary on certain scenes of The Magic Box, with suggestions for improvements. /235 Typescript extracts from some biographical notes on RD dating from the time of The Magic Box and used for publicity purposes. /236 Sheet of typescript notes entitled "Notes on Conversation with Aubrey Blackburn on Old Vic 1951", outlining dates of rehearsals and performances for the next Old Vic season. (12 Dec 1950). /237 Draft letter to Rona [Mavor, widow of O.H. Mavor, a.k.a. James Bridie], in which RD sympathises with her on Mavor's death and describes how much Mavor meant to him. /238 Printed circular letter from Mrs O.H. Mavor [widow of James Bridie] and Dr Ronald Mavor, thanking everyone for their messages of condolence [on the death of Bridie]. /239 Copy letter to Hugh (Binkie) Beaumont, relating to: the play The Silver Whistle, about which RD is not enthusiastic; his recent operation; and his desire to find a play that really challenges him in every way (8 Sep 1951). /240-245 Correspondence between RD or his secretary and William Armstrong in South Africa, relating to: RD's operation; Armstrong's South African trip; RD's plans for his recovery and the possibility of making a film in California (2-9 Oct 1951). /246 Copy letter from RD to Frederic Burgis of Walter Burgis and Co (his solicitors) relating to: low salaries in the British film industry; some savings certificates in the name of his son John; and the possibility of buying back Brambleberry (9 Oct 1951). /247 Copy letter from RD to his mother in Connecticut, informing her that he has had to delay his visit to America on doctor's orders, and will be going to Switzerland first (17 Oct 1951). /248 Copy letter to Pat Hornsby-Smith, M.P., relating to a recent political broadcast (17 Oct 1951). /249 Letter to RD from Christopher Mann (his manager), relating to the script of a film, Displeasure Island, which RD has rejected (11 Dec 1951). /250-251 Letters from William [Armstrong], relating to: RD's ill health; Armstrong's suggestions of suitable destinations for recuperation; Armstrong's stay at Montagu in South Africa, which has greatly improved his own asthma; and various books Armstrong has recently enjoyed (4-8 Dec 1951). /252-259 Original bundle of correspondence with Tyrone Guthrie, which also includes a letter from Constance Tomkinson and a letter from Frederic Burgis. Contents relate to: RD's inability to take part in the 1951-2 Old Vic season; his hopes to take part in the season for 1952-3; his travels to Switzerland and Marrakech for health reasons; and a legal case referred to by Burgis (11 Jun 1951-12 Mar 1952). /260 Copy letter from RD's secretary to John B. Morrison, secretary of the James Bridie Memorial Fund, responding to a letter of his which she is forwarding to RD in Morocco (21 Apr 1952). /261-264 Original bundle of correspondence between RD's secretary and Elise Walker, relating to: the possibility of meeting up with RD on a visit to London; RD's operation; and his absence abroad (7 Apr-14 May 1952). /265 Letter from William [Armstrong], who hopes Morocco has helped RD's health, and refers to his return from South Africa, and the ill health of his sister (9 Jun 1952). /266 Letter from Hugh Hunt, inviting RD to take part in a Coronation production of Henry VIII at the Old Vic in April 1953 (19 Sep 1952). /267 Typescript list of Old Vic productions, apparently for December 1952-August 1953. /268-272 Original bundle of correspondence with Hugh Hunt, William Armstrong and John Armstrong (brother of William). The Hunt correspondence relates to RD's agreement to join the Old Vic for two plays, and Hunt's recent meeting with T.S. Eliot regarding a production of Murder in the Cathedral; and the Armstrong correspondence relates to William's last illness and death (19 Sep-12 Dec 1952). /273-274 Letter from Elaine Dakers with RD's copy reply, relating to: the death of Elaine's sister Phyll; her husband's ill health; and RD's planned comeback in Murder in the Cathedral (22 Dec 1952-2 Mar 1953). /275-276 Letter from Tyrone Guthrie, with RD's copy reply, relating to RD's inability to act in Henry VIII for the Old Vic due to his health (7-8 Jan 1953). /277 Copy letter to Alexander Korda, relating to the possibility of RD appearing in a film of Around the World in Eighty Days, and David Lean's enthusiasm for a film version of Hobson's Choice (18 Feb 1953). /278 Draft of an unsent telegram to Alexander Korda, relating to: the terms offered for Around the World in Eighty Days and Hobson's Choice; RD's inability to accept the figure quoted for Hobson's Choice, particularly as Hollywood are interested in making a film with him after his Old Vic appearance (3 Mar 1953). /279 Letter from Martin Woodliffe, the Vesturer at Canterbury Cathedral, who sends RD some information about Becket in response to his enquiry (9 Mar 1953). /280 Letter from David Lean, clarifying some points about the planned film version of Hobson's Choice (9 Mar 1953). /281-284 Original bundle of correspondence with Val Gielgud of the BBC, relating to: RD's agreement to do a poetry reading for broadcast during Coronation week, and the possibility of a broadcast of Murder in the Cathedral (11 Feb-14 Mar 1953). /285-286 Letter from Val Gielgud with RD's copy reply, relating to arrangements for a BBC recording of Murder in the Cathedral (25-27 Mar 1953). /287 Copy letter to Alexander Korda: a duplicate of /277. /288 Copy letter to David Lean, asking him to send the script [of Hobson's Choice] (18 Feb 1953). /289-293 Original bundle of correspondence with David Lean (including a further duplicate of the Korda letter in /277), relating to plans for the films Around the World in Eighty Days and Hobson's Choice. /294 Letter to RD from Alexander Korda relating to Around the World in Eighty Days and Hobson's Choice (19 Feb 1953). /295 Letter from C[hristopher] H[assall] addressed to RD as "[m]y dear Insatiable Vampire", and relating to RD's plans to move into 8, The Grove, Highgate, where Hassall currently lives (25 Feb 1953). /296 Copy telegram to Alexander Korda, in which RD expresses his delight with Around the World in Eighty Days and his belief in its possibilities (3 Mar 1953). /297 Letter from David Lean, relating to the final draft of the script for Hobson's Choice and the character of Willie (3 Mar 1953). /298-299 Notes to RD from his secretary referring to telephone calls received from Alexander Korda on the subject of Around the World in Eighty Days (9-16 Mar 1953). /300 Copy letter to Judy Guthrie (wife of Tyrone Guthrie), relating to the forthcoming production [of Murder in the Cathedral] (9 Mar 1953). /301 Copy letter from RD to his mother: he informs her that he and Renée [Asherson] have decided to be married quietly after he finishes Murder in the Cathedral, and that he has been chosen to announce the Queen's broadcast on Coronation day (1 May 1953). /302 Copy letter to Harold Brighouse relating to RD's planned role as Willie Mossop [in the film version of Brighouse's Hobson's Choice]: he asks if Brighouse can offer any hints or pictures of previous incarnations (19 May 1953). /303-304 Copy letter to Val Gielgud at the BBC, with Gielgud's reply, relating to RD's inability to make a BBC recording of Murder in the Cathedral due to ill health (20-22 May 1953). /305 Letter from David Lean, congratulating RD [on his marriage], noting that he is sending the shooting script [for Hobson's Choice] and suggesting RD drop in for a talk about costumes and make-up for the film (22 May 1953). /306 Copy letter from RD's secretary to Laurence Gilliam's secretary at BBC, confirming that RD's temporary address will be a London nursing home under the name of F.R. Adams (29 May 1953). /307-308 Letter from Harold Brighouse with copy reply from RD's secretary, relating to: Brighouse's belief that RD will be superb as Will [in Hobson's Choice]; some information on previous productions of the play which he is sending; and RD's current stay in a nursing-home which his secretary explains is due to a minor tooth operation (20 May-6 Jun 1953). /309 Brief note from Val [Gielgud] at the BBC (11 Jun 1953). /310 Copy letter to Dr. Leonard F. Browne: RD states that he is enclosing a letter (not included) listing "all the happenings" since the end of Murder in the Cathedral (17 Jun 1953). /311 Copy letter to David Lean, informing him that RD is currently awaiting a new medical report which he hopes will see him in the clear [for insurance purposes], and anticipating the role of Willie Mossop (22 Jun 1953). /312 Letter from Harold Brighouse, who expresses his bitter disappointment that RD has had to withdraw from the film of Hobson's Choice [following his failure of a medical insurance examination] (8 Jul 1953). /313-314 Copy letter to Barbara Brighouse, with Barbara's reply, relating to RD's withdrawal from Hobson's Choice and his criticism of the press over the way the affair was reported (6-7 Jul 1953). /315 Two sheets of RD's rough manuscript notes about being turned down for medical insurance [1953]. /316-317 Letter to RD and his wife Renée from the Rev. H. Edwards, Vicar of St Michael's in Highgate, with RD's copy reply, relating to an appeal for church funds (28-29 Jul 1953). /318 Copy letter to P.M. Blackman of Walter, Burgis and Co (RD's solicitors), relating to the rateable value of 23 Three Kings Yard (3 Aug 1953). /319-320 Two letters from Mary Allen of the BBC relating to a broadcast poetry reading by RD and a reading which had to be cancelled in summer 1953 (17 Jun-17 Nov 1953). /321 Letter from Harold Brighouse, relating to: the insurance doctor issue; the film Hobson's Choice with Charles Laughton as Will Mossop; and a stage production of The Big Knife he has seen with Miss Acheson [presumably Renée Asherson] in the cast (28 Feb 1954). /322 Typescript sheet entitled "Mr. Donat's Cats", giving the text of an advertisement RD inserted in the local paper in an attempt to find homes for the kittens of his cat Miss Mouse. /323-324 Original bundle consisting of a letter from Bernard [Miles] enclosing a copy of his 13-page published article 'Acting on Stage and Screen' (from British Kinematography Vol. 24, No. 1), with copy acknowledgement from RD's secretary (22 Feb-8 Mar 1954). /325 Press cutting of an article about RD's return to film with Lease of Life (1954). /326-327 Letter from Theodor Komisarjevsky with RD's copy reply, relating to: Komisarjevsky's pleasure at hearing RD is going to act again, and his appreciation of RD's continued support for him and his work during his years in America (26 Jan-18 Feb 1954). /328 Typed script of the Prologue and Epilogue for the first show in a new radio series entitled The Tony Hancock Half Hour, which was read by RD (14 Oct 1954). /329 Letter from Mary Allen of the BBC, relating to plans for RD's 1954 Christmas poetry programme (18 Nov 1954). /330-332 Original bundle of correspondence with Janet Dunbar, relating to a book Dunbar is writing about Flora Robson (23-31 Oct 1957). /333 Press cutting showing a photograph of RD and Mary Ellis in a scene from Knave and Quean produced in Blackpool [1930]. /334 Press cutting showing a photograph of RD and Leonora Corbet in Lady-in-Waiting at the St Martin's Theatre [1931]. /335 Press cutting showing a photograph of RD and Elissa Landi in The Count of Monte Cristo [1934].