[John Van Druten, playwright.] Typed Letter Signed to theatre historian W. J. Macqueen-Pope, with personal reminiscence and touching 'many points' including British 'old theatre' in Hollywood, Dodie Smith, J. T. Grein, his theatre library.

John Van Druten [John William Van Druten] (1901-1957), English playwright and theatre director [Walter James Macqueen-Pope (1888-1960), theatre historian]
Publication details: 
5 October 1949. A. J. C. Ranch, Thermal, California.

It is puzzling that Van Druten, one of the most successful British playwrights of the early 1930s, should not have an entry in the Oxford DNB. The present entertaining and informative letter is written from the A. J. C. Ranch in Coachella Valley, which Van Druten purchased with his then-lover Carter Lodge and the British actress Auriol Lee (it was named after the initals of their first names).

[John Van Druten, dramatist.] Typed Letter Signed ('John van Druten') to W. J. Macqueen-Pope, discussing his memories of Ivor Novello, and his new play 'I am a Camera', based on Christopher Isherwood, and Julie Harris.

John Van Druten [John William Van Druten] (1901-1957), English playwright and theatre director [Walter James Macqueen-Pope (1888-1960),; Ivor Novello; Christopher Isherwood; Julie Harris]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the A. J. C. Ranch, Thermal, California. 15 January 1952.

2pp, 8vo. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. A very good and informative letter. Written from the A. J. C. Ranch, which Van Druten had purchased with his former lover Carter Lodge (now his business manager) and the British actress Auriol Lee. Van Druten left his interest in the ranch to Lodge, together with the rights to his work, including the play discussed here, 'I am a Camera', an adapatation of Christopher Isherwood's stories. (For the relationship between Van Druten and Isherwood, see Peter Parker's biography of the latter.) This entitled Lodge to income from the film 'Cabaret'.

Five Typed Letters Signed and one Autograph Note Signed ('Gerald', 'Gérard', 'G. H.') from the arms dealer and fraudster Gerald Hamilton (model for Christopher Isherwood's 'Mr Norris') to Yvon Davis [pseudonym of Tom Driberg?] of Bradwell Lodge.

Gerald Hamilton (c.1888-1970), arms dealer, traitor and fraudster, the original of Christopher Isherwood's 'Mr. Norris' [Yvon Davis; Tom Driberg; Bradwell Lodge]
Publication details: 
The first two letters on letterheads of 91 Kinnerton Street, Belgrave Square, SW1; the fourth from London, and the others without place. The first letter dated 22 December 1939 and the last 21 January 1940; the note undated.

All in good condition, on lightly-aged paper. The letters are dated 22, 24 and 25 December 1939 and 20 and 21 January 1940; the note is undated. The letters total 6pp., 4to, with an additional 1p., 4to, carrying a translation from Spanish; the note is on the back of a scrap of Asbach Uralt packaging. The first two letters are in English, the other letters and the note in French. One envelope is present, addressed to: 'M. Yvon Davis, Bradwell Lodge, Bradwell-on-Sea, nr.

Typed Letter Signed ('John van Druten'), giving advice to an actor named 'France'.

John Van Druten [John William Van Druten] (1901-1957), Anglo-American dramatist
Publication details: 
6 December 1928; 5 Harewood Court, Hanover Square, London W1.

4to, 1 p, 21 lines. On creased and lightly-foxed paper, with a couple of closed tears (not affecting text, which is clear and entire). May refer to the 1928 revival of van Druten's play 'Young Woodley' (previously banned by the censor), or (which is more likely) to his 'After All' (1929).

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