||One of the finest actresses of her time, Edith Evans began her career as a milliner
London before making her first stage appearance as an amateur under William Poel's
direction. Subsequently she toured with Ellen Terry as a professional actress. She
the Old Vic Company for the 1925-26 season where her roles included Portia, Rosalind,
Beatrice, and the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet. Outstanding
parts in her distinguished stage and film career were in The Way of the World (1924), The Chalk Garden (1964), and The Whisperers (1967); she portrayed her most famous role, Lady
Bracknell in Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, on stage in 1939
and on film in 1952. In 1946 she was made D.B.E. Evans gave her last stage performance
the age of 85 in a one-woman show at the Haymarket, "Edith Evans ... and Friends."
||The bulk of the Edith Evans Papers consists of correspondence, clippings, scrapbooks,
performance-related materials such as rehearsal copies of playscripts. The papers
arranged in three series: I. Correspondence, 1910-1976 (5.5 boxes), II. Theater Papers,
1899-1976 (15 boxes, 10 bound volumes), and III. Miscellaneous, 1893-1976 (1.5 boxes).
Within each series, materials are arranged alphabetically by title or subject, with
materials further sorted chronologically.
||The Correspondence series consists of incoming correspondence from Evan's husband,
Booth, her parents, and from Margot Asquith, Enid Bagnold, Noel Coward, John Gielgud,
Katharine Hepburn, George Moore, Terence Rattigan, George Bernard Shaw, Edith Sitwell,
Terry, Sybil Thorndike, and Thornton Wilder, among others. Also included is an index
correspondents, perhaps compiled by Evans' biographer Bryan Forbes.
||The Theater Papers series is divided into four subseries. Subseries A. Performance
and Works, 1937-1973, contains marked rehearsal copies, presentation copies, and typescripts
for stage and film projects, poems, radio broadcasts, and works by Evans. The Publicity
Materials subseries, 1899-1976, consists chiefly of photographs, programs, clippings,
scrapbooks of press cuttings. Nearly all of these materials pertain to performances
Evans. Item-level descriptions of the newspaper and magazine clippings are available
Theatre Arts card catalog, and separate item-level lists of the newspaper clippings
assorted poems and play excerpts are also available. Subseries C. Administrative and
Financial Records, 1920-1971, includes weekly financial summaries for The Chalk Garden and The Millionairess as well as contracts and lists of tour dates and
production personnel for other productions. The Sponsorship of Others subseries, 1952-1968,
contains materials related to Evans' charitable activities, nearly all of which supported
||The Miscellaneous Series, 1893-1976, includes papers of the Evans and Booth families,
Evans' honorary degrees, and other materials collected by Evans. Although the material
this series is not directly related to Evans' work as an actor, much of it is of a
theatrical nature, e.g., theater programs for performances attended by Evans.