Bundle of correspondence

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 FRD1/1/61
  • Dates of Creation
      26 Feb 1932-21 Oct 1954 & n.d.
  • Physical Description
      127 pieces; 155 leaves.

Scope and Content

With Henry Osborne Mavor (1881-1951), known as James Bridie, playwright. Topics covered in this extensive correspondence include: Bridie's comedy The Switchback; his play, A Sleeping Clergyman, including some detailed comments on RD's acting in it; Bridie's opinion that "I think you will be the first really good Hamlet of my play-going life" (/3); Bridie's ideas in 1934 for a play based on the Perseus of Benvenuto Cellini; his play The Black Eye being produced on Broadway in 1936; RD's proposal for a film version of A Sleeping Clergyman in 1937; Bridie's play, The King of Nowhere, which RD praises highly in 1937; RD's initial impression of the rough cut of Knight Without Armour in February 1937 (/20); RD's asthma treatment in summer 1937; continued plans for The King of Nowhere during summer 1937 (/34 is a long letter in which Bridie sets out the ideas behind the play, which is based around an actor, Vivaldi, and based on the theme of the "Hitler legend"); possibilities for producing the play, which RD is ultimately unable to be involved in; Bridie's ideas for a film based on The Pilgrim's Progress in November 1937; his comments on theatre and film (in /52 he states that RD is the only one of the "Three White Hopes", alongside Gielgud and Olivier, who is also a good comedian); RD's opinions on the relative merits of theatre and film (/53); The Citadel (/54); Bridie's play, Launcelot; his opinion of Heartbreak House in which RD played Captain Shotover at the Cambridge Theatre (/73); Bridie's involvement in establishing the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre, and negotiations with RD over borrowing money for this (/81-85); and a film of A Sleeping Clergyman made in 1949-50.

/108 is a letter from Rona, Bridie's wife, dated 12 July 1947, in which she reports on her husband's illness. /115 is a copy letter of sympathy dated 4 February 1951, from RD to Rona on the death of her husband. /116 is typescript copy of a poem by O.H. Mavor entitled 'Farewell' which was found in his jacket pocket after his death.

/122-3 are further letters to RD from Rona Mavor (1953-4) relating to her husband and to a planned biography of him by Winifred Bannister; /124-5 is letter from Bannister with RD's copy reply (1954).

/118-121 consists of a bundle of papers relating to the James Bridie Memorial Fund, set up in 1952.

/126-7 consists of a fragment of an undated letter from Bridie and a copy letter to Bridie from RD.

/83 and /94 are both letters from Baker, Todman and Co., RD's accountants, relating to affairs connected with Bridie.

Related Material

Further correspondence with Bridie is included in FRD1/8/1.