[Anthony Grey, novelist and journalist.] Five Signed Letters, three in Autograph and two Typed, to playwright Christopher Fry, with material relating to his organisation Hostage Action Worldwide.

Author: 
Anthony Grey (born 1938), novelist, journalist and author, imprisoned by the Chinese government for 27 months from 1967 to 1969 [Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright]
Publication details: 
The five letters between 1989 and 1991. Three of the letters on letterhead of The Old Granary, Charlton, West Sussex. Hostage Action Worldwide material all c/o The Charlton Foundation, 28 Nottingham Place, London.
£450.00
SKU: 21946

Nine items, all in good condition. All of the letters are signed 'Anthony', and four of them (two autograph and two typed) are each 1p, 8vo. The other letter, in autograph, is 1p, 16mo. With four items of material relating to Hostage Action Worldwide. The first letter (11 May 1989) accompanies 'our first reply to our first 350 donors – we're hoping to build rapidly now'. He reports that 'The Archbishop of Canterbury has this week responded positively to us and appointed a man, John Lyttle to our Advisory Council. Two further M.P.'s have also joined.' Other letters relate to requests for signed copies of Fry's books. Fry and he being near-neighbours, Grey writes at one point: 'I will be glad to pop up and collect the signed book sometime if you'll telephone. No need to make a social occasion of it since I know how precious the writer's time is. You could leave it for my collection with Mary & Frank in the village shop if you'd rather'. On 9 April 1991 he asks if Fry 'might like to spare the time for a chat, for half an hour or so, some time. I am just finding my way into an important novel and, although I cannot precisely explain why, I feel I would like to talk to you briefly about some of the themes of your plays, and how you feel about some of them now. I don't want this to sound onerous, and I hope it would merely be an enjoyable and relaxing chat – over a drink at your local pub or at “The Fox”, or any other place you would prefer.' On 5 June 1991, in acknowledging the gift of two works, he states that he 'enjoyed our lunch together at the Half Moon enormously. Afterwards I drove to the top of the Trundle and there I read your lecture; I read the play later in the day. The lecture in particular I found very moving – beautifully poetic despite its prose lecture form.' He is 'glad that we managed to spend an hour or two in one antoher's company at last' and reports that 'work on “TOKYO” is moving along slowly, but it is now beginning to speed up. | There are many things I could say about our conversation and although it was very brief, there was something in the companionship that, I felt, was ultimately inspiring.' On 3 August 1991 he reports that, while spending time at his 'home city' of Norwich he 'discovered' the mystic Julian of Norwich: 'She's wonderful – the first woman (1320's) to write and publish a book in English'. He is 'surprised there isn't a Christopher Fry play set around her'. He is enclosing material relating to her, which he found, with 'the two full texts – life-changingly illuminating'. He reports that he is 'off to New York […] doing lectures on the QE2 […] A nice free holiday, singing for one's supper! I think often of Caedmon and the splendid experience at Boxgrove.' The four items of HAW material include a circular letter, dated 2 May 1989, acknowledging a donation to HAW, signed by Grey as Chairman, 'Anthony'. At the head he has written: 'Christopher, | This is our formal letter to donors. I thought you might like to have it to see how we are progressing.' There is also a signed autograph postscript to Fry: 'Needless to say, much of the above is for information only. Frederick Forsyth, an old chum of mine, has also asked to become vice-president of the Charlton Foundation. We will check with you before finalising the headed note-paper.' Accompanying the circular are undated photocopied pages on separate leaves explaining HAW's 'Background' and 'Aims'. There is also a 'Draft Brochure' (3pp, 8vo).