[Dodie Smith, children's writer, author of 'The Hundred and One Dalamatians'.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Dodie') to 'Popie' [the theatre historian W. J. MacQueen-Pope], praising his writing, theatre work and latest book, discussing Vivien Leigh.

Dodie Smith [Dorothy Gladys Smith] (1896-1990), children's writer and playwright, author of 'The Hundred and One Dalmatians' (1956) and 'I Capture the Castle' (1948) [W. J. MacQueen-Pope (1888-1960)]
Publication details: 
5 March 1958. On letterhead of The Barretts, Finchingfield, Essex.
SKU: 22912

2pp, 18mo. In fair condition, lightly aged and creased. Folded once. Written in a close, elegant hand. Written on receipt of a presentation copy of MacQueen-Pope's latest book, the letter begins: 'My dear Popie, | Thank you so very much for St James's, Theatre of Distinction. I think I am enjoying it even more than I usually enjoy your individual-theatre books, because the St James's meant so much to me. It was the first London theatre I ever went to - long before I could read or went to a school. (My dear family started taking me to theatres almost before I could talk!)' She has never had a play produced at the theatre, but the rehearsals for her 1931 play 'Autumn Crocus' took place there, 'so it was there I first had the pleasure of seeing a play of mine begin to come to life'. In a possible reference to the breakdown of the actress's marriage to Laurence Olivier, she continues: 'If only Vivien Leigh could have won her gallant fight! I shall always admire her for what she did. - And I shall always admire you, dear Popie, for what you do for the theatre in general, as its devoted historian.' She reports the comment of 'Alec' - her friend and business manager Alec Macbeth Beesley - regarding the 'enormous amount of skill, knowledge and sheer hard work' which goes into MP's books, 'and how grateful posterity, as well as the present day reader, should be to you'. She continues: 'We, certainly, are grateful; and very proud of our collection of your books, many of which have an inscription from our old friend, Popie, in them.' She ends with hers and Beesley's love, 'appreciative thanks' and hope for the success of the book.