Scope and Content

Papers originally stored in a file labelled "Autobiogs etc". These principally consist of autobiographical articles written by RD for publication, and biographical articles by others focusing on his life and work, often intended as publicity material for specific films. There is also a small quantity of miscellaneous material such as a theatre programme and some manuscript notes. The papers are as follows: 

  • /1 Programme for The Devil's Disciple (in which RD played Richard Dudgeon) at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, April 1940.
  • /2-9 Bundle of manuscript notes listing plays RD appeared in during the 1920s and apparently also recording some of his favourite reading matter and music.
  • /10 Page extracted from a cuttings volume (possibly one of RD's own), displaying two mounted cuttings from the News Chronicle's 'Northern Success Story' series: 'There's Nowt Like Reality' by RD and 'I'm the man with the money' by Barney Colehan (28 Aug 1950 and n.d.)
  • /11 Undated signed black and white publicity photograph of RD (8.5 x 13 cm).
  • /12 Manuscript draft of RD's script for a broadcast entitled 'In Town Tonight': a light-hearted piece in which he describes his early screen tests, and refers to a bizarre asthma cure which was recommended to him involving a nanny goat; with one additional typescript page.
  • /13 Carbon copy of a 4-page anonymous typescript article entitled 'Portrait of a Successful Actor: biography of Robert Donat', outlining RD's career; with a typescript fragment of a different version of the same article.
  • /14 Two-page annotated typescript article by RD entitled 'Tribute to Alex': a piece about Alexander Korda, written the month after his death (21 Feb 1956).
  • /15 Two-page typescript article by Gordon Phillips entitled 'Donat as Croaker' taken from theManchester Guardian, on RD in Goldsmith's Good-Natured Man; signed by Phillips. (30 Sep 1939).
  • /16-19 A series of four annotated biographical articles about RD by Sylvia Terry-Smith, charting his life and career and incorporating interview material; annotated and edited by RD himself. Originally a series of five separate articles, from which No. 2 is missing.
  • /20 A 22-page annotated typescript article by RD, entitled 'High Lights of my Career': the fifth instalment of a series by RD written for the News of the World and published during Mar-Apr 1937.
  • /21 Carbon copy of a 6-page typescript article by Lewis Mather entitled 'This Man Donat', about RD's life and work, written at the time of Lease of Life [1954].
  • /22 Carbon copy of a five-page article by RD entitled 'Fan-Mail'; there is a duplicate copy of all the pages except p. 1.
  • /23 Annotated eight-page typescript article by Brenda Cross entitled 'Robert Donat', outlining RD's career up to Captain Boycott (1947).
  • /24 A 5-page carbon typescript article by John Shand, entitled 'Mr Robert Donat's Return: A New film set in Yorkshire', an article on RD's career with interview material included, written at the time of Lease of Life (1954); with a copy letter to Shand from RD.
  • /25 An earlier version of Shand's article which has been annotated and edited by RD.
  • /26-27 Two copies of an undated 5-page typescript article by RD entitled 'Myself When Young', in which he describes experiences from his school days. /25 is annotated.
  • /28 A 4-page anonymous typescript article entitled 'Robert Donat - Producer-Director-Star', about RD's career, written at the time of The Cure for Love [1949].
  • /29 Another copy of /27, but half of page 3 has been cut off.
  • /30 Unfinished 4-page manuscript by RD entitled 'Jongleur': a thinly disguised autobiographical account of his own childhood, based on a character called 'Jongleur'.

Related Material

The published version of the 'Highlights of my Career' articles can be found in the cuttings book at FRD1/6/1/2. The missing duplicate page from the 'Fan-Mail' article in /22 is in FRD1/8/15/2. FRD1/8/15/3 contains a further manuscript draft of the 'Jongleur' piece.