Lennox Robinson papers, 1892-1954 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
The Lennox Robinson Collection contains several correspondence series, 40 play manuscripts including, in most cases, multiple drafts, 3 short stories, much of his non-fiction writings as well as his scrapbook of newspaper clippings and playbills. In the latter boxes there are some manuscripts of lesser-known writers Robinson collected himself. Nearly every aspect of this series has to do with Robinson's involvement in Irish Theatre.
Included in the correspondence are the William Butler Yeats letters, the Lay Gregory letters, as well as letters from AE, George Bernard Shaw, Shawn O'Casey, Gerard Fey, Sean O'Faolain, Nora Robinson, Oliver, St. J. Gogarty, And James Stephens. The letters date, in general, from 1909 to 1954, but also include several postcards sent to his wife Dolly, after his death.
The manuscripts of Robinson's plays include drafts of his earliest plays like Harvest, the more well-known plays like The Clancy Name, White-Headed Boy, The Big House, and The Lost Leader. The play manuscripts are in carious stages of drafting and completion. Consequently, they provide an illuminating glimpse into Robinson's composing process from the earliest, roughest sketches through to the final polished products. He appeared to be continually revising even as he directed the plays on stage.
The non-fiction writings consist of 43 of Robinson's "At the Play" columns as well as several of his essays on Irish topics. Drafts of his partially autobiographical novel The Boy from Ballineen are collected here. In addition, this series contains 11 of the "I Sometimes Think" manuscripts as well as over 20 other essays on primarily Irish artists. These non-fiction manuscripts give insight into Robinson's opinions about theatre and the interplay between director, writer, and actor/actress. A series of lecture notes, in various staged of completion, show how Robinson approached historically the subject of the Irish Theatre.
Finally, there are three scrapbooks of press cutting, play programs, and posters from the years of Robinson's activity with the Abbey Theatre.
Series 1: William Butler Yeats correspondence, 1892-1935
Series 2: General correspondence, 1909-1966
Series 3: Fiction Writings, 1918-1954
Series 4: Non fiction writings, 1919-1924
Series 5: Miscellaneous manuscripts and scrapbooks, 1903-1950
Series 6: Lady Gregory and Robinson correspondence, 1919-1930