||The Henry Hurford Janes Collection of Edith Evans consists of correspondence, address
and appointment books, articles and clippings, biographical information, a diary,
family papers, performance texts, photographs, and programs and promotional
materials belonging to English actress Edith Evans. Material in the collection
belonging to English writer Henry Hurford Janes includes research material, legal
documents, correspondence, articles and clippings, auction catalogues, personal
papers, photographs, programs, subject files, and works by Janes and others. The
papers are organized into two series: I. Edith Evans Papers, 1905-1977, undated;
II. Henry Hurford Janes Papers, 1891-1989, undated.
||As received at the Ransom Center, the bulk of the material lacked original order,
though some correspondence was sorted into groups. There is occasional overlap
between Evans’ material and Janes’ material. Many of the same correspondents are
filed in more than one category throughout the collection. A list of correspondents
represented in the collection is provided in this guide’s Index of
||Series I. Edith Evans Papers consists of four document boxes of material originally
belonging to Edith Evans. It is arranged into two subseries: A. Correspondence,
1935-1977, undated; and B. Personal and Career Related, 1905-1977, undated.
||Subseries A. Correspondence consists of personal and professional correspondence to
and from Evans. Some of the letters were grouped and labeled, such as 'good letters to her,' 'misc. personal letters,' and 'theater letters,' and those groupings have been
retained; however, overlap between the groups does exist and the folder labels
not always indicative of folder contents. The rest of the correspondence is arranged
chronologically. Within each folder, the letters are arranged alphabetically,
in cases where letters were paper-clipped or housed together, in which case they
were kept together in their original order in a paper file and filed at the end.
Letters for which a last name could not be identified or which lacked a last name
are filed at the end, followed by those with illegible signatures and unidentified
||Correspondence located in the 'good letters to her'
file include fan mail and a get-well letter from British author and playwright,
Bagnold; several letters from English actor, John Gielgud, including one in which
expresses excitement about acting with Evans in a production of Henry VIII; and a letter from Louis Mountbatten, 1st
Earl Mountbatten of Burma, thanking her for entertaining the troops during World
II. Additional correspondents in this file include American actress, Katharine
Cornell, and English actor and writer, Peter Ustinov. Also found in this folder
list containing dates, menus, and guests at dinner parties, perhaps hosted by
from 1949 to 1952.
||'Misc. personal letters' contains letters from
family, friends, and acquaintances from 1945 to 1971. Notable correspondents found
here include George Devine, Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies, Glen Byam Shaw, and Googie
Withers. This folder also includes fan mail, letters related to financial matters,
correspondence from her lawyers regarding a codicil to her will, and several
get-well cards sent to Evans when she was in the hospital.
||The 'Miscellaneous Events' group contains
correspondence from 1945 to 1971 though some items are not necessarily event-related
such as get-well letters and clippings. A folder labeled 'first night telegrams and cards' was filed within this group and consists
of telegrams, cards, and letters expressing best wishes to Evans on the first
of a performance. Senders include Bronson Albery, Norman Ayrton, Hugh Beaumont,
Lally Bowers, Sir Rayne Kruger, Iain Paul, Michael Redgrave, Francis Rose, and
Arnold Weissberger. Greeting cards from 1968 to 1971 were also included in this
||'Theater letters' consists of requests for
appearances, thank you letters, and fan mail from the public as well as from others
in the theater business. Some of the correspondents found in this file are Hugh
Beaumont, Michael Benthall, Lady Georgina Coleridge, and Bernard Miles. It also
includes letters from the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Canadian
Broadcasting Corporation. This file also contains a few outgoing letters
||The Christmas cards and postcards date from 1957 to 1971. Some of the cards are from
people in the theater business; however, many are signed with first names only
could not be identified.
||The chronological files of correspondence range from 1936 to 1971. They are primarily
business and theatre related but also include some personal letters, fan mail,
invitations, and requests from publishers for Evans to write an autobiography.
are a few outgoing letters throughout. Notable correspondents include fashion
designer Hardy Amies, Cecil Beaton, Alec Guinness, and filmmaker Thorold Dickinson.
The correspondence from 1960 includes several letters of condolence sent to Evans
after the death of her close friend, Judith Wilson. A small group of letters from
1944 to 1954 was originally located in an envelope addressed to Evans from Joseph
Reed, though nothing from that sender was found in the envelope. It includes a
letter dated 1944 from Alec Guinness (signed with his birth name, Cuffe) in which
expresses his admiration for Evans, his longing for the theatre after being away
during the war, and his recently completed adaptation of The
||A small group of outgoing letters, some photocopied, from 1935 to 1975 are arranged
chronologically. The bulk of these letters are typed carbons, but a few handwritten
letters and letter drafts are also present and include a photocopy of a letter
wrote to her parents after the death of her husband in 1935.
||Subseries B. Personal and Career Related consists of two undated address books, two
appointment books from 1955 and 1956, and various other personal and career related
papers. It is arranged alphabetically by name or topic.
||A large amount of clippings from 1925 to 1977 covers Evans’ professional life
beginning with articles on her early performances to reviews of her last appearance
on stage in Edith Evans and Friends in 1974. These
files also contain clippings announcing Evans’ surprise marriage to Guy Booth
1925, announcements of her death and obituaries, and reviews of two books published
shortly after her death, her biography and a memoir by her long-time former
||The biographical information in this subseries was compiled for Who’s Who in the Theatre for 1952 and 1955. It includes
lists of Evans’ performances as well as awards and honors.
||A small diary from 1945 documents Evans’ daily activities beginning in March that
year. Entries referencing who she dined with on that day are common and people
mentioned include Alec Guinness, Glen Byam Shaw, and Googie Withers.
||Family papers consist of certified copies of Evans’ birth certificate, and the birth
and death certificates of her older brother who died at the age of four. Also
included is a small amount of her father’s correspondence—a letter he wrote to
soon after the death of her mother, and a photocopy of a letter he received from
acquaintance in 1913. A photocopy of Evans’ Indenture of Apprentice to Milliner
1903 is also in this file.
||Performance texts include partial scripts of several Shakespeare plays for a
production, "A Homage to Shakespeare," and several
poems and other partial scripts, some unidentified. Some of the typescripts include
||The photographs of Evans range from 1936 to 1972 and are made up of professional as
well as personal photographs depicting Evans in candid moments as well as on
||The programs and promotional materials in this subseries are for productions and
readings in which she participated.
||The organizations with which Evans was involved represented in the Theatrical
Organizations files are the London Theatre Council, the Westminster Society, and
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Minutes from meetings of the Central School of
and Drama are also included here.
||Series II. Henry Hurford Janes Papers consists of four boxes of material belonging
Janes and is divided into three subseries: A. Evans Biography, 1943-1987, undated;
B. Correspondence, 1928-1987, undated; and C. Personal and Career Related,
||Subseries A. Evans Biography contains material about Edith Evans collected by Janes
in preparation for writing his biography about Evans. The file 'E.E. Important' is made up of research material,
handwritten and typed notes and note fragments, and correspondence, some of which
unrelated to Evans. Some outgoing letters from Janes to Evans are included, as
as several empty envelopes addressed to Janes possibly from Evans.
||The correspondence regarding Evans consists of incoming letters, and some outgoing,
from 1965 to 1978, and includes letters from Evans’ lawyer to Janes about her
and furniture when she was moving out of her home. Outgoing letters to Evans are
chiefly typed carbon copies beginning in 1943 to 1976. The evolution of their
relationship from acquaintanceship to friendship is evident in these letters.
||Janes’ diary notes contain detailed accounts written by Janes describing his
encounters with Evans from 1958 to 1970, including holidays which she spent with
and his wife, Peggy, at their home, their visits to Evans’ home, their attendance
her performances, and various personal tasks which Janes took care of for her
her health declined. A transcript of a conversation which Janes recorded between
himself, Peggy, and Peggy’s daughter regarding Evans is included, as well as
preliminary drafts of an introduction to his Evans biography.
||The folder labeled 'Trial' contains material related
to a legal dispute between Janes and Bryan Forbes, Evans’ biographer and literary
executor. It includes a copy of Evans’ will, a statement written by Janes detailing
the background of his friendship with Evans, correspondence primarily from Janes
Evans, but also between Janes and Forbes, and their respective lawyers. Letters
other notes which Janes had compiled for use as evidence in the trial with Forbes
are also included here.
||Writings about Evans include short handwritten poems and a typescript of an article
written by Janes.
||Subseries B. Correspondence contains letters to and from Janes and consists of both
personal and professional correspondence. The original order of 'personal,' 'stars,' and 'theatre' groupings of
letters were retained. The rest of the letters are arranged chronologically. All
the letters are arranged alphabetically within each folder.
||Personal letters range from 1943 to 1981 and include letters from friends and family,
letters dealing with matters related to Janes’ house and church, and condolences
sent to him after the death of his wife. Some outgoing letters are included in
||The 'stars' folder includes both incoming and
outgoing letters from 1941 to 1971, most of them regarding Janes’ plays and one-act
scripts that he would send out to various people in the industry hoping they would
be interested in producing or starring in his work, or to elicit feedback.
Correspondents in this file include William "Billy"
Armstrong, Lilian Braithwaite, Betty Ann Davies, Jeanne De Casalis, Alice Delysia,
Joyce Grenfell, Stanley Holloway, and Naomi "Mickie"
||The theatre correspondence from 1934 to 1987 consists of incoming and outgoing
letters from theatre actors and writers with which Janes was acquainted such as
Beaumont, Peter Cushing, Clemence Dane, Alice Delysia, Sir Herbert Dunnico, Leslie
Henson, Stanley Holloway, Collie Knox, Sybil Thorndike, and Adza Vincent. The
letters are primarily business related and, like the letters in the 'stars' folder, are responses to Janes’ request for
feedback and interest in his work.
||The chronological files contain incoming and outgoing, personal and professional
correspondence from 1940 to 1986. Correspondents in this file include Peter Cushing,
Basil Dean, Louise Hampton, and Naomi Jacob.
||Letter fragments, third party correspondence, and letters for which a recipient was
not able to be determined are filed at the end of this subseries.
||Subseries C. Personal and Career Related is made up of other papers belonging to
Janes including articles and clippings by and about him, auction catalogues,
engravings, personal papers and notes, and assorted programs, catalogues and
||The photographs include family photographs and professional headshots of people with
which Janes was acquainted, some inscribed to him. The bulk of the photographs
unidentified. The earliest photographs include portraits of a man and woman that
be Janes’ parents, as well as a family photo taken during World War I which may
depict Janes as an infant with his parents, siblings, and two soldiers.
||The subject files primarily contain research material, notes, and clippings. Drafts
of works by Janes are found in some of the folders especially in the New Watergate
Theatre Club and Lord Southborough files. The assorted clippings consist of
obituaries, reviews of books and plays, wedding announcements, and general news
small towns. Notable in this section is the Entertainments National Service
Association (ENSA)/Basil Dean file which contains correspondence, both incoming
outgoing, a magazine article about ENSA, photographs, and a book of clippings
statement written by Janes titled "The Liquidation of
||Works by Janes include the play, "Don’t Call Me
Sir;" short stories, "Lucky,"
"My Address Was," and "The First Year, Some Thoughts on the War;" and
several short poems. "Four in Hand" was a
collection of four plays written by Janes and produced at the Torch Theatre in
January-February 1947. This file contains correspondence that consists mostly
telegrams wishing good luck and letters addressed to the press representative
Torch Theatre, as well as handwritten notes, promotional material and a synopsis
the four plays.
||Notable in the Works by Others section is three versions of the play "Cathedral Steps" by Clemence Dane, which was
performed on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London during World War II and
whose cast included Edith Evans and Sybil Thorndike. All three typescripts contain
handwritten corrections, including one with corrections by Dane, Janes, and Basil