Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Edward Knoblock papers, 1904-1936



Descriptive Summary

Title: Edward Knoblock papers
Dates: 1904-1936
Abstract: Playwright, scenarist and novelist, Edward Knoblock (1874-1945) was born in New York City and educated at Harvard, but spent most of his professional life living and working in Great Britain. The Knoblock papers are comprised of two folders of correspondence received by Knoblock between the years 1904 and 1936, relating to theater in Great Britain during the early 20th century. Most of Knoblock's correspondents in this collection are well-known literary figures of the day, or prominent managers and producers from the world of the theatre, including Sir William Nicholson (1872-1949).
Identification: MS 324
Quantity: 169 items (2 folders)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX

Biographical Note

Edward Knoblock (1874-1945) was born in New York City and educated at Harvard, but spent most of his professional life living and working in Great Britain. Playwright, scenarist and novelist, Knoblock was in constant touch with many of the leading literary and artistic figures of his generation, as the ensuing collection will show. As well as working independently, Knoblock often collaborated with others. The plays, Milestones (1912), and, London Life (1924) were produced with the assistance of Arnold Bennett. Similarly, The Good Companions, originally published in 1929 by J.B. Priestley, was dramatised jointly by Knoblock and the author in 1931. Plays written by Knoblock alone include, The Faun (1911), Kismet (1911), My Lady's Dress (1914), Marie-Odile (1915), and Tiger-Tiger (1918). Among the novels written by Edward Knoblock are, The Ant Heap (1929), The Man With Two Mirrors (1931), The Love Lady (1933), and Inexperience (1941). Some of these works are referred to throughout the collection, notably by Dame Edith Sitwell and David Belasco.


Scope and Contents

The Edward Knoblock collection comprises two folders of correspondence received by Knoblock between the years 1904 and 1936, relating to theater in Great Britain during the early 20th century. The collection is 169 items in total. Folder number one contains 92 pieces, all letters or notes from various sources. Folder number two contains 34 letters from several correspondents and a group of 30 written items from Sir William Nicholson along with ten of his sketches. Correspondence relates to British theater in the early 20th century.

Most of Knoblock's correspondents in this collection are well-known literary figures of the day, or prominent managers and producers from the world of the theatre. Some of these are; Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934), the English dramatist and actor; J.B. Priestley (1894- ), the Yorkshire born novelist, essayist, playwright and critic; all the members of the literary Sitwell family, especially, Edith (1887-1964), Osbert (1892-1969), and Sacheverell (1897- ); Sir Hugh Walpole (1884-1941) the New Zealand born novelist and son of the bishop of Edinburgh; Sir Charles Wyndham (1863-1913), the English actor and stage manager; David Belasco (1854-1931), the San Francisco born New York stage manager and producer; Arnold Bennett (1867-1931), the famous English novelist and dramatist of the 'Five Towns' region; Noel Coward (1899- ), the playwright, actor, and composer; English actors, Sir John Gielgud, born in 1904, and Sir Charles Hawtrey (1858-1923); statesman, and first Labour Prime Minister, Ramsey MacDonald (1866-1937); novelist, journalist, and critic, Compton MacKenzie (1883- ); and, Cyril Maude (1863-1951), the English actor, co-manager of the Haymarket theatre in London (1896-1905) and manager and builder of the Playhouse until 1915.

Owing to the volume of correspondence from him contained in the collection (folder two), Sir William Nicholson (1872-1949) deserves a special mention. Nicholson was principally a portrait painter, although he also devoted time to painting figure subjects, still life and open-air studies. He was also a wood engraver and designed posters along with his brother-in-law James Pryde under the name of the Beggarshot Brothers. A series of woodcuts were published including, The Square Book of Animals (1896), and An Almanac of Twelve Sports (1898), this latter being produced in collaboration with Rudyard Kipling. Most of Nicholson's letters to Knoblock are accompanied by small illustrations of some kind, and the collection concludes with ten miscellaneous sketches by this artist.


 

Arrangement

The correspondence has been arranged in roder by correspondent's last name, with the exception of Sir William Nicholson's correspondence, which has been filed last.

Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Edward Knoblock papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.


Index Terms

Correspondents
Knoblock, Edward, 1874-1945.
Nicholson, William, Sir, 1872-1949- Correspondence.
Priestley, J. B. (John Boynton), 1894- - Correspondence.
Walpole, Hugh, Sir, 1884-1941 - Correspondence.
Sitwell, Edith, Dame, 1887-1964 - Correspondence.
Pinero, Arthur Wing, Sir, 1855-1934 - Correspondence.
Wyndham, Charles, 1837-1919 - Correspondence.
Belasco, David, 1853-1931 - Correspondence.
Bennett, Arnold, 1867-1931 - Correspondence.
Coward, Noel, 1899-1973 - Correspondence.
Gielgud, John, Sir, 1904- - Correspondence.
Hawtrey, Charles, 1858-1923 - Correspondence.
Mackenzie, Compton, Sir, 1883-1972 - Correspondence.
Maude, Cyril, 1862-1951 - Correspondence.
Subjects
Drama - Theatrical productions.
Playwriting.
Theater- Great Britain - History - 20th century.
English drama - 20th century.
Formats
Correspondence.
Sketches.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Edward Knoblock papers, 1904-1936, MS #324, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University]

Acquisition Information

Purchased 1955 through Friends of Fondren.

Processing Note

The abbreviations used in the following description of the collection are defined as:

ALS: Handwritten signed letter.

TLS: Typed signed letter.

AC: Handwritten card.


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Correspondents A-G

Folder
1 AC Sir George Alexander to Edward Knoblock An expression of thanks. 5 February 1919
ALS Sir George Alexander to Edward Knoblock Invitation to be a guest at the annual dinner of a theatrical fund. 5 March 1912
ALS William Archer to Edward Knoblock Agreeing to attend the rehearsals. 6 October 1908
ALS Enid Bagnold to Edward Knoblock Praising and discussion some of Knoblock's poems. 24 February 1918
ALS Squire Bancroft to Edward Knoblock Saying he had made use of Knoblock's name, privately. 9 June 1914
ALS Squire Bancroft to Edward Knoblock Acknowledgement of a gift to the Academy of Dramatic Art. 1 October 1914
TLS David Belasco to Edward Knoblock Praising him for his play Tiger-Tiger. 10 July 1918
TLS David Belasco to Edward Knoblock Saying how well Tiger-Tiger is progressing, and asking for more. 25 March 1919
TLS David Belasco to Edward Knoblock Saying he is glad Knoblock is out of the war and is looking forward to receiving a new Ms. 29 May 1919
TLS David Belasco to Edward Knoblock Writing about Knoblock's new play, One. 18 July 1919
TLS David Belasco to Edward Knoblock Telling of the progress of Tiger-Tiger on tour. 6 October 1919
TLS David Belasco to Edward Knoblock Asking Knoblock to write some verse for framing. This series from Belasco also contains a flier about a life of David Belasco by a William Winter. 1 December 1919
AC ? to Edward Knoblock A note of thanks. 12 October 1917
ALS Arnold Bennett to Edward Knoblock Asking Knoblock if he would like to be a secretary of a new 'entertainment-of -foreigners' committee which is being formed. 12 July 1918
TLS Irving Berlin to Edward Knoblock Thanks for a wire and hoping for a visit. 4 December 1926
Undated, ALS Louis Bromfield to Edward Knoblock Saying he will be coming to London.
Undated, ALS Louis Bromfield to Edward Knoblock About Knoblock's request for French lodgings for a freind of his.
Undated, ALS Sir Charles Cochran to Edward Knoblock Congratulaing Knoblock on producing a new play and offering his criticisms.
Undated, ALS Sir Charles Cochran to Edward Knoblock Hoping to neg tiate a West End opening with Douglas Fairbanks and 'Robin Hood'.
ALS Sir Charles Cochran to Edward Knoblock Thanks, and asking him to use his first name and not the formal mode of address. 20 August 1920
ALS Sir Charles Cochran to Edward Knoblock Asking for a lunch date. 22 October 1922
ALS Sir Charles Cochran to Edward Knoblock Glad to hear Knoblock can come up to London for rehearsals. 31 May 1924
ALS Sir Charles Cochran to Edward Knoblock Letter from the Kurhaus Hoven - a sanatorium/ convalescence home. ? August 1935
ALS Sir Charles Cochran to Edward Knoblock Letter from Freiburg 23 July 1935
ALS Sir Charles Cochran to Edward Knoblock Letter from Konstanz/Bodensee. 9 August 1935
ALS Sir Charles Cochran to Edwards Knoblock Letter from Freiburg. ? August 1935
ALS Noel Coward to Edward Knoblock 29 March 1928
ALS Noel Coward to Edward Knoblock 10 April 1929
ALS Noel Coward to Edward Knoblock 22 May 1931
ALS Noel Coward to Edward Knoblock 21 September 1933
ALS Noel Coward to Edward Knoblock 29 September 1933
Undated, ALS Edith Craig to Edward Knoblock Discussing a childrens performance of 'The Old Woman im the Shoe.'
Undated, ALS Clemence Dane to Edward Knoblock Thanking him for a gift and hoping they can meet soon.
ALS Ruth D(raper) ? to Edward Knoblock 20 June ?
TLS Eddy ? Dennis to Edward Knoblock 'Everything is much the same in London; the usual parties, the usual gang. I don't go to any of them.' 28 December 1920
Undated, ALS Lynn Fontanne to Edward Knoblock
TLS St John Simms to Edward Knoblock Trying to arrange a time to meet. 25 June 1928
Undated, ALS ? (John Geilgud) to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Helen Granville Barker to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Helen Granville Barker to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Helen Granville Barker to Edward Knoblock
ALS Helen Granville Barker to Edward Knoblock 2 November 1920
ALS Helen Granville Barker to Edward Knoblock 12 July 1922
ALS Helen Granville Barker to Edward Knoblock 1 February 1925
Undated, C Yvette Guilbert to Edward Knoblock
Undated, C Yvette Guilbert to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Yvette Guilbert to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Yvette Guilbert to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Yvette Guilbert to Edward Knoblock
ALS Yvette Guilbert to Edward Knoblock 19 May 1919
Undated, ALS Sacha Guitry to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sasha Guitry to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sasha Guitry to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sasha Guitry to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sasha Guitry to Edward Knoblock
Undated, C Sasha Guitry to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sasha Guitry to Edward Knoblock
ALS Sasha Guitry to Edward Knoblock 11 August 1912
ALS Sasha Guitry to Edward Knoblock 12 December 1912
C Sasha Guitry to Edward Knoblock 12 October 1912
ALS Sasha Guitry to Edward Knoblock 14 June 1920



 

Correspondents H-S

Folder
1 ALS Sir Charles Hawtrey to Edward Knoblock 24 October ?
TLS Sir Charles Hawtrey to Edward Knoblock 22 December 1919
Undated, ALS Anita Loos to Edward Knoblock
ALS E.V. Lucas to Edward Knoblock 20 October ?
ALS E.V. Lucas to Edward Knoblock 6 November 1919
ALS E.V. Lucas to Edward Knoblock 3 June 1934
ALS E.V. Lucas to Edward Knoblock 16 July 1934
ALS E.V. Lucas to Edward Knoblock 18 July 1934
ALS Sir Edward Lutyens to Edward Knoblock 15 March 1928
TLS Ramsey MacDonald to Edward Knoblock 18 November 1935
ALS Compton MacKenzie to Edward Knoblock 15 October 1917
ALS Compton MacKenzie to Edward Knoblock 10 November 1917
ALS Compton MacKenzie to Edward Knoblock 15 October 1918
TLS Compton MacKenzie to Edward Knoblock 7 February 1919
TLS Compton MacKenzie to Edward Knoblock 18 November 1935
Undated, ALS Eddie Marsh to Edward Knoblock
ALS Eddie Marsh to Edward Knoblock 29 April 1922
ALS Eddie Marsh to Edward Knoblock 8 May 1922
ALS Eddie Marsh to Edward Knoblock 24 March 1931
ALS A.E.W. Mason to Edward Knoblock 14 August ?
ALS A.E.W. Mason to Edward Knoblock 13 August 1934
ALS A.E.W. Mason to Edward Knoblock 20 March ?
ALS A.E.W. Mason to Edward Knoblock 20 December 1934
ALS Cyril Maude to Edward Knoblock 20 March ?
ALS Cyril Maude to Edward Knoblock 10 March ?
ALS Cyril Maude to Edward Knoblock 20 September ?
ALS Cyril Maude to Edward Knoblock 8 June ?
ALS Cyril Maude to Edward Knoblock 24 April ?
ALS Cyril Maude to Edward Knoblock 22 September 1904
TLS Cyril Maude to Edward Knoblock 29 December 1908
TLS Cyril Maude to Edward Knoblock 7 March 1911
ALS Mary Moore to Edward Knoblock An invitation to dinner and an apology for missing Knoblock earlier. 1 January 1910
Folder
2 Undated, ALS Margot Oxford to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Margot Oxford to Edward Knoblock
ALS Margot Oxford to Edward Knoblock Dinner invite. 11 July 1930
ALS Arthur Pinero to Edward Knoblock A note of thanks. 29 August 1916
ALS Arthur Pinero to Edward Knoblock 23 October 1920
ACS Arthur Pinero to Edward Knoblock 20 February 1921
ALS Arthur Pinero to Edward Knoblock 28 May 1928
TLS J.B. Priestley to Edward Knoblock 3 March ?
TLS J.B. Priestley to Edward Knoblock 15 February 1932
Undated, ALS Edith Sitwell to Edward Knoblock Offering her opinions on Knoblock's novel The Ant Heap.
ALS George Sitwell to Edward Knoblock 10 August 1930
TLS Osbert Sitwell to Edward Knoblock Asking if he can convert a book into a play. 6 October 1934
ALS Osbert Sitwell to Edward Knoblock 5 January 1935
ALS Osbert Sitwell to Edward Knoblock 4 March 1936
ALS Sacheverell Sitwell to Edward Knoblock 14 August 1930
Undated, ALS Eleanor Smith to Edward Knoblock



 

Correspondents T-Y

Folder
2 ? ALS Herbert Tree to Edward Knoblock
ALS Herbert Tree to Edward Knoblock 18 November ?
TLS Herbert Tree to Edward Knoblock Also contains an incomplete letter in the hand of Tree, but not listed as a separate item. 17 February 1914
TLS Lewis Waller to Edward Knoblock 8 July 1912
ALS Lewis Waller to Edward Knoblock 12 July 1912
? ALS Hugh Walpole to Edward Knoblock
ALS Hugh Walpole to Edward Knoblock 2 June 1918
ALS Hugh Walpole to Edward Knoblock 6 October 1919
ALS Hugh Walpole to Edward Knoblock 27 August 1925
ALS Hugh Walpole to Edward Knoblock 25 September 1925
ALS Hugh Walpole to Edward Knoblock 14 May 1919
ALS Hugh Walpole to Edward Knoblock 14 March 1925
ALS Hugh Walpole to Edward Knoblock 11 March 1923
? C Lord Wyndham to Edward Knoblock
? ALS Lord Wyndham to Edward Knoblock
ALS Lord Wyndham to Edward Knoblock 11 May 1911
ALS Lord Wyndham to Edward Knoblock 5 February 1913
ALS Francis Brett Young to Edward Knoblock 18 June 1921
Following is the inventory of the William Nicholson correspondence.



 

Sir William Nicholson correspondence and sketches

Folder
2 ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock 29 June 1936
ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock 14 August 1917
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
Undated, C Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock 20 March 1913
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
C Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock 23 October 1912
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock 10 November 1907
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock 29 December 1919
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock 30 December 1913
ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock 10 December 1917
ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock 14 October ?
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
Undated, ALS Sir William Nicholson to Edward Knoblock
The collection ends with 11 sketches/pictorial items sent by Nicholson to Knoblock at various times.