[Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, 1953.] Typed and Autograph Drafts by playwright Christopher Fry, of prose and poetry for his screenplay of the documentary film 'A Queen Is Crowned'.

Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright [Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, 1953; Laurence Olivier; Rank Organisation, London]
Publication details: 
[Production by the Rank Organisation, London. Released in 1953.]

Seven items from the Christopher Fry papers, relating to the film 'A Queen Is Crowned', which was a British box office hit in coronation year, and was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. At the time of writing Fry was at the height of his popularity: around this time he had four plays running in the West End at once. 'A Queen Is Born' - billed as 'The only full-length feature of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II' - was made in Technicolour, produced by Castleton Knight for the Rank Organisation, with music by Guy Warrack, and with Fry's script narrated by Laurence Olivier.

[Royal Commission on Capital Punishment, 1950.] Published 'Minutes of Evidence' on Day 13 ('Howard League for Penal Reform Dr. Denis Hill and Dr. F. H. Taylor') and Day 27 ('Howard League for Penal Reform').

[Royal Commission on Capital Punishment, 1948-1953] [Sir Ernest Gowers, chairman; Gowers Report, 1953; British parliamentary papers; hanging]
Publication details: 
Both items: London, His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1950.

Two stapled pamphlets, uniform in layout, each with the ownership signature of M. Rooff at head of title. Day 13: [2] + 35pp., paginated 279-313, folio. Day 27: [2] + 25 pp., paginated 591-616. Substantially Howard League views, and mainly concerned with 'The Experience of Abolition in other Countries'. Both in fair condition, aged and worn, and each with particular wear to the title leaf.

[The Coronation, 1953.] Plans, sections and elevations, with letters and memoranda, by the Scottish architect Joseph Wilson, ARIBA, for the 'Proposed Coronation Stand' and 'Accommodation' at London booksellers J. & E. Bumpus Ltd., 477 Oxford Street.

[The Coronation, 1953.] [Joseph Wilson (b.c.1888), Glasgow architect; J. & E. Bumpus Ltd., 477 Oxford Street, prestigious London bookshop owned by J. G. Wilson [John Gideon Wilson] (1876-1963)]
Publication details: 
Joseph Wilson, 200 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, C2. [J. & E. Bumpus Ltd., 477 Oxford Street, London.] Eleven items, all dating from 1952.

For more about Joseph Wilson, ARIBA, FRIAS, see his entry in the Dictionary of Scottish Architects. From the familiar tone of his letters (Items Seven, Ten and Eleven below), there is every indication that he was closely related to his client, J. G. Wilson, proprietor of the prestigious firm of J. & E. Bumpus Ltd, and a man described by Sir Basil Blackwell (in his DNB entry on Wilson) as 'the most famous English [sic] bookseller of his time'. Eleven items, in good condition, lightly aged and worn.

[Sir John Hunt, mountaineer and soldier] Eight Typed Letters Signed and two Autograph Letters Signed to journalist, Arthur Bourne, with autograph letter from Lady Hunt, two letters from secretaries, Hunt's funeral service, copies of Bourne's replies.

Sir John Hunt [Brigadier Henry Cecil John Hunt; the Lord Hunt of Llanfair Waterdine] (1910-1998), leader of the 1953 Mount Everest expedition; President, Royal Geographical Society [Arthur Bourne]
Publication details: 
Six of Hunt's letters on House of Lords letterheads, three on letterhead of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, and one on letterhead of the Royal Geographical Society, London; the ten dating from between 1962 and 1983.

The collection contains 31 items and is in good condition, on lightly aged and worn paper. Hunt's eight typed letters (three signed 'John Hunt' and five signed 'John') total 4pp., 4to, and 4pp, 12mo; his two autograph letters (one 'John Hunt' and one 'John') total 3pp., 12mo.

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