Lot 319
  • 319

Williams, Tennessee

25,000 - 50,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • A fine collection of letters, documents and photographs, all relating to the playwright.
  • paper


Lady St. Just, hence by descent

Catalogue Note

Tennessee Williams. Autograph notes for a Greenwich Village production of 'A Streetcar Named Desire' starring Maria Britneva. 9 pages in pencil and red ink, early 1955 — Typed letter signed ("Tenn"), 1 page, New York, 23 March 1955, to Henry Hewes of 'The Saturday Review'; typed envelope. In this letter he comments on the characters in 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof': "About Big Daddy's estate: I don't think it matters a damn who gets it, or how much of it. Maggie hates them all except Big Daddy and Brick, she's a violent cat, under-fed and pugnacious. She's scared, rightly, that Brick will be committed to a sanitarium, drift into dependency and she won't be the one in charge and the holder of his purse-strings." — Typescript of a statement re: 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,' 1 page, n.d. "The story must be and remain the story of a strong, determined creature (Life! Maggie!) taking hold of and gaining supremacy over and converting to her own purposes a broken, irresolute man whose weakness was imposed upon him by the lies of the world he grew up in. ('The wisdom of life is deeper and wider than the wisdom of men' — Gorki). ... I don't think it reduces either Brick or Maggie for both to stay faithful to their true original character like in the play, on the contrary, I think it confirms the truth of their characters and the truth of the play, and that's the distinction and value of the work." — A portion of a typed letter comprising a poem and a postscript, 3 pages on Hotel Elysee stationery, New York, c. late 1970s, to Lady St. Just. The poem (with one autograph correction is titled "Eyes Near Blind". In the postscript, Williams writes, "I'm enclosing the first draft of a rather confused poem I wrote this morning. Save it for me and I'll try to finish it whenever I get to England. ... A very nice letter (the second from Mr. Vivian Matalon at the Hampstead Theatre Club, re-affirming his wish to produce 'Small Craft Warnings' there — I shall ask him 'When?'" — a few miscellaneous fragments of letters, etc.

Marlon Brando. Typed letter, 1 page, n.p. n.d., to Tennessee Williams, addressed to him in pencil on the verso. "I just had a look at the keys of this typewriter and I was glad to see the ashes that had fallen off your cigarette through the keys and on to the table. I am satisfidfe [sic] to see that your general obliviousness to externals still rages on, magnificent and un checked. ... I feel like a bucket of stork shit for having fucked things around so, but I've been walking around in a forest of old toilets these past three days what with having to fill out 27 visas and get passport pictures taken and finger prints for the police dept, blah blah blah." — Vivien Leigh. Autograph note signed ("Vivien"), 2 pages on stiff card, n.p. 11 December 1960 (?), thanking Lady St. Just for a gift and inviting her for a visit.

Carson McCullers. Typed letter and typescript of a poem titled "Sarabande," 2 pages (+ carbon copy of the poem), [New York, August 1954], with typed envelope. "I am living in your apartment but I miss you too much. I think it's time for you to come home and stay home. I had a royal screwing on Europe and it was enough even for me. Little brother, please come home. This is poem, it's for Oliver and for you and for me and for everybody. I hope you like it. My brother, I miss you." — Rose Williams (sister of TW). Two ALSs to her mother, March 1955. "Tell Tom I love him so much that he stole my heart away in the dark ages! Wish him a Happy Birth-day!" — Edwina Dakin Williams (mother of TW). ALS, 29 July 1955. "Your generous check has made it possible for me to hire David (neighbor's Chauffeur) and he has taken me to the hospital twice to see Rose." — Frank Merlo. ALS on 3 postcards (undated) to Maria Britneva — A collection of 12 photos of various sizes, including a fine studio portrait of Frank Merlo — A rusted cuff link in a small box, inscribed "1 cuff link prized by Tennessee Williams" — Clippings from newspapers and periodicals.