Shop All




books & manuscripts



Katharine Hepburn

Archive of Letters from Katharine Hepburn to Freya Manston

1979 - 1985

Complimentary shipping


International shipping available

Customs duties and taxes may apply.

Ships from: New York, United States

Taxes not included

VAT and other taxes are not reflected in the listed pricing. Read more

Authenticity guaranteed

We guarantee the authenticity of this item.


Up arrow


Archive of 58 typed and autograph letters signed to her literary agent, Freya Manston.

  • Katharine Hepburn (American).
  • New York: 1979-1985.
  • Various sizes.
  • Most letters are on "Katharine Houghton Hepburn" stationery.

In 1990, Manston notably negotiated the terms of Hepburn’s 1990 autobiography with publisher Alfred A. Knopf. Most of the correspondence are brief notes thanking Manston for gifts, often of exotic flowers or plants, mentioning travel plans, Manston's cats, etc. However, one note of particular interest dates from just before filming began on Hepburn's last major film, "On Golden Pond" (1981), for which she would win a record fourth Academy Award for leading actress; she writes: "Trouble -- trouble. A month ago I tore my right arm at the shoulder (serving -- tennis) and had to have a rotor cuff operation. Very painful. And still hard to move. Going Tuesday to New Hampshire to start work on a movie. All a great bore. Tell the cats to pray that I don't do it again." Manston's penchant for gifting Hepburn flowers may have come as a response to one of the earliest letters in the group, dated January 16, 1979, in which Hepburn writes: "I have a real weakness for flowers. And they are even more valued when they represent warm thoughts from someone in our business. You make me very proud and happy. And every time I look at them I feel great pleasure." Another says, simply, "Dear Freya--They are gorgeously wicked." At the end of another note, Hepburn writes "Freya! Save your money. Don't need presents ––I enjoy our meetings."

Other excerpts:

"I'm sorry I was so 'definite' - But oh dear. And so many people keep telling me about that damned book. So you're not alone - Except that you send me lillies - You are sweet - but extravagant."

"The notions about Lizzie Borden are intriguing. She's always fascinated me--and Fall River. Many thanks for the Isak Dinesen." (February 2, 1983)

"I am sorry if you felt me insulting and I can see that it could sound idiotic. I just can't believe that anyone could choose 49th for pleasure - It is totally traffic-bound from dawn to dusk and you get arrested if you stop even to get out - to say nothing of pollution. I hope you're right about the $1,500,000." (June 16, 1983)

Recalling a 1930 Broadway play: "What an amazing thing that your old friend would remember Art and Mrs. Bottle. The old Maxine Elliot Theatre just west of 6th on 41st or 40th. Jane Cowl was an angel to me - She was alternating 'Twelfth Night' and 'Bottle.' I played three performances a week - shared a 5th floor dressing room ... It seems another life" (November 29, 1983).

Condition Report

Star iconVery Good
Like New

Occasional creases consistent with age and use.






Letters, Archives and collections, Ephemera, Film

Conditions of Business

Please note that the cancellation right for EU/UK purchasers applies to this item. Please read Condition 19 of the Buy Now Marketplace Conditions of Business for buyers for more information. Read more here.