FARCE

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[John Maddison Morton, playwright, to actor-manager Ben Webster.] Sixteen Autograph Letters Signed to Ben Webster, indicating a close association, with Morton offering scripts, discussing actors and finances, and complaining of neglect.

Author: 
John Maddison Morton (1811-1891), playwright noted for his farces, in particular 'Box and Cox' (1847) [Benjamin Webster [Benjamin Nottingham Webster] (1797-1882), actor-manager who built the Adelphi]
Publication details: 
None dated with year, but one with 1837 postmark. One apiece from 12 and 13 North Crescent, Bedford Square; Red Hill; Chertsey. Seven from Hammersmith, of which: four from Vine Cottage, The Grove; two from 15 Raven's Court park; one from Grove Road.
£500.00

The collection in fair condition, lightly aged and worn. The sixteen letters having a total of 37 pp, 12mo and 16mo. Thirteen letters signed 'J M Morton', one 'J. M. Morton', two 'John M Morton'. A request for 'a couple of orders' is addressed to 'B. Webster Esqre. | Theatre Royal | Haymarket', with postmark of 17 October 1837. A very interesting and spirited correspondence, shedding light on the relationship between Victorian playwright and producer.

[John Maddison Morton, playwright.] Two Autograph Letters Signed (one 'J. M. Morton', the other 'John M Morton') to comic actor John Pritt Harley, in one discussing a piece he has written for Mrs Humby, in the other complaining of 'disappointments'.

Author: 
John Maddison Morton (1811-1891), playwright noted for his farces, in particular 'Box and Cox' [John Pritt Harley (1786-1858), comic actor and singer; 'Mrs Humby' [Anne Humby (1817-1863), actress and
Publication details: 
Neither dated. One from 13 North Crescent [Bedford Square, London]; the other from Briar Lodge, New Road, Hammersmith.
£120.00

The two letters in fair condition, lightly aged and worn. Both with contemporary annotation at head of first page. ONE: From 13 North Crescent, and signed 'John M Morton'. 2pp, 12mo. Addressed, with a second signature, to 'J. P. Harley Esq'. Begins: 'Tho' not quite finished, you will see enough of the drift of the piece, to enable you to say whether you fancy it or not. I have written it out without amendments, which are rarely made, if you approve - I began Dainty (you remember the name?) for Mr. [Humby?], but broke down'.

[ Benjamin Webster, actor-manager and dramatist. ] Corrected Manuscript (possibly autograph) of 'The Unfortunate Youth! a Farce in One Act. by B. Webster Esqre.' [ Retitled 'The Unfortunate Boy! or Always in for it.' ]

Author: 
Benjamin Webster [ Benjamin Nottingham Webster ] (1797-1882), English actor-manager and dramatist
Publication details: 
'T. R. H.' [ i.e. Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London ]. Undated [ 1840 ].
£800.00

68pp., 4to. In fair condition on lightly aged and worn watermarked laid paper. Sewn into brown paper wraps with 'The Unfortunate Youth. | T. R. H.' on cover. The title on the title-page is retitled in pencil 'The Unfortunate Boy! or Always in for it.' Possibly in Webster's hand, but with what may be the initials of the transcriber following the 'FINIS' on the final page. The text of the play is on the rectos, with occasional writing on versos. Emendations in ink and pencil, including additional dialogue.

[ Hal Collier, Victorian popular dramatist. ] Typescripts, with autograph additions, of three of melodramas: '"In the Hands of the Mormons" Or "The Mormon Peril"; 'The Broken Rosary' and 'The Secret Panel'.

Author: 
Hal Collier, Victorian popular playwright, author of melodramas
Publication details: 
One play with stamp of 209 Northumberland Road, Southampton, the other two without place. All three undated [ Edwardian ].
£1,250.00

Collier was the author of a number of melodramas and farces in the period between the Boer War and the Great War, including one written in conjunction with F. H. Dudley, but little is to be discovered about him, with no mention of these three titles. All three items in fair condition, on aged paper, in aged and worn bindings. ONE: '"In the Hands of the Mormons" Or "The Mormon Peril" A Drama in FOUR acts written by Hal Collier'. [1] + 45pp., 4to. Stitched into grey paper wraps. With pencil emendations throughout, including extensive deletions.

Autograph Letter Signed from the playwright Ben Travers to 'Miss Saunders', reporting that he is 'in the thick of this "Week in the Country" business', but that he will contribute to the 'Grand Magazine', despite being 'a rotten short story writer'.

Author: 
Ben Travers (1886-1980), English playwright, best-known for his farces at the Aldwych Theatre in London in the 1920s and 1930s
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the Queen's Hotel, Southsea. 29 June 1927.
£50.00

1p., 12mo. On aged and ruckled paper, with pinholes to one corner. He is 'in the thick of this "Week in the Country" business'. 'When I come to town I'll come & see you about your proposition of the series for the Grand Magazine, but I'm a rotten short story writer, you know.'

Four Autograph Letters Signed to J.T.J. Hewlett, author of "Peter Priggins" and other books.

Author: 
Edward Stirling
Publication details: 
[1841].
£85.00

Edward Stirling (Boase), dramatist and theatre manager, mainly discussing the dramatisation and prospective performance of Hewlett's Peter Priggins - as a farce. Originally from a larger archive, the residue of which is described in #3157 (Hewlett's papers), this and other items appear in my ABE inventory in book id#s 3124-3156.

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