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Lennox Robinson papers

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

William Butler Yeats correspondence

General correspondence

Fiction Writings

Non fiction writings

Miscellaneous manuscripts and scrapbooks

Lady Gregory and Robinson correspondence


Lennox Robinson papers, 1892-1954 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: Lennox Robinson papers, 1892-1954Add to your cart.

ID: 1/4/MSS 091

Primary Creator: Robinson, Lennox, (1886-1958.)

Extent: 18.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Organized into six series:  (1) William Yeats correspondence, (2) General correspondence, (3) Fiction writings, (4) Non fiction writings, (5)  Miscellaneous manuscripts and scrapbooks, and (6) Lady Gregory and Robinson correspondence.

Date Acquired: 00/00/1960

Subjects: Abbey Theatre, Authors, Irish, English literature - Irish authors - 20th century, Robinson, Lennox, 1886-1958.

Forms of Material: Gregory, Lady, 1852-1932 - Correspondence, O'Casey, Sean 1880-1964. - Correspondence, Shaw, Bernard, 1856-1950 - Correspondence, Yeats, W. B. (William Butler), 1865-1939 - Correspondence

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

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.

Biographical Note

Esmé Stuart Lennox Robinson (October 4, 1886 - October 15, 1958) was an Irish dramatist, poet and theatre producer and director who was involved with the Abbey Theatre.

Robinson was born and raised in County Cork in a Protestant and Unionist family. His father was a middle-class stockbroker who in 1892 decided to become a clergyman in the Church of Ireland. A sickly child, Robinson was educated by private tutor and at Bandon Grammar School. In August 1907 his interest in the theatre began after he went to see an Abbey production of plays by W. B. Yeats and Lady Gregory at the Cork Opera House. He published his first poem that same year.

His first play, The Cross Roads was performed in the Abbey in 1909 and he became Manager of the theatre towards the end of that year. He resigned in 1914 as a result of a disastrous tour of the United States but returned in 1919. He was appointed to the board of the theatre in 1923 and continued to serve in that capacity until his death.

As a playwright, Robinson showed himself as a nationalist with plays like Patriots (1912) and Dreamers (1915). On the other hand, he belonged to a part of Irish society which was not seen as fully Irish. This division between the "pure" Catholic Irish on one side and the Anglo-Irish on the other can be seen in a play such as The Big House (1926), which depicts a burning of such a Protestant manor by Irregulars, or extreme Republicans.

Robinson's most popular play was The Whiteheaded Boy (1916). His fiction includes Eight Short Stories (1919). In 1951 he published Ireland's Abbey Theatre, the first full-length history of the company.

Subject/Index Terms

Abbey Theatre
Authors, Irish
English literature - Irish authors - 20th century
Robinson, Lennox, 1886-1958.

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright.  Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection.  Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Acquisition Source: Purchased.

Acquisition Method: Purchased some letters and 1 manuscript from John Wilson 2003.

Related Materials: Lennox Robinson papers, Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Preferred Citation: [after identification of item(s)], Lennox Robinson papers, Special Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Processing Information: Processed by:   Karl Kageff, Jill Hampton and Patricia Ireland


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[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],
[All]

Series 5: Miscellaneous manuscripts and scrapbooks, 1903-1950Add to your cart.

1.5 linear feet.

This series is a conglomeration of material and contains many poems written by other writers, George Bernard Shaw correspondence, various copies of drafts of plays and a short story.

Box 15Add to your cart.
Volume 1: Scrapbook, 1908-1910Add to your cart.
Contains one large, blue scrapbook of news cuttings, including reviews of plays and programs, about Abbey Player Productions in Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Manchester & London from 1908-1910
Box 16Add to your cart.
Folder 1: The Hour Glass AMs William Butler Yeats [corrections list for this one-act morality play] pp5, 1903 March 14Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Miscellaneous manuscripts and scrapbooksAdd to your cart.

Bookplates of Lennox Robinson, 32

Tomorrow Irish monthly periodical, August 1924, Vol. 1, No. 1 [includes The Madonna of Slieve Dun by L. Robinson] pp6

Tomorrow Irish monthly periodical, September 1924, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2 copies, pp6 each

Folder 3: "Crazy Jane and the King" TMs (Xerox) of William Butler Yeats (holograph corrections)Add to your cart.
Folder 4: original inventory (Xerox) of Yeats to Robinson correspondence, pp11Add to your cart.
Folder 5: "The Need for Audacity of Thought" by Yeats AMsS (initialed) [obviously a draft; many revising marks] pp15 + many versoAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: "The Need for Audacity of Thought" by Yeats TMsS (with ANS at top of pg. 1) pp8Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Ever the Twain AN title page [screen version; bound in notepad; 2 copies] pp80 eachAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Fathers and Sons TMs (ditto) [in brown two-hole folder with dividers by act; 2 copies] pp103 eachAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Note: This folder includes general correspondence between George Bernard Shaw and L. Robnson from 1919 to 1950.  There are 10 letters altogether.  In addition, there are two calling card type cards of Shaw's with holograph notes on them., 1919-1950Add to your cart.

George Bernard Shaw, TLS pp2 13 Nov. 1919 L. Robinson

George Bernard Shaw, ACS (initialed) 13 Nov. 1919 L. Robinson

unknown, TL (explaining following letter) [n.d.] unknown

George Bernard Shaw, ALS pp1 26 July, 1928 L. Robinson

Charlotte Shaw, ALS, pp1 + copy 27 July, 1928 L. Robinson

George Bernard Shaw, ALS, pp1 3 Aug. 1928 L. Robinson

L. Robinson, TLS, pp1 2 Feb. 1934 George Bernard Shaw

with ANS (initialed) from GBS 8 Feb. 1934 L. Robinson

George Bernard Shaw, TLS, pp1 [n.d.] L. Robinson

with ANS by GBS 6 July 1944 L. Robinson

George Bernard Shaw ACS (initialed) 6 July 1944 L. Robinson

George Bernard Shaw ALS, pp1 23 June 1950 L. Robinson

George Bernard Shaw ACS [n.d.] L. Robinson

L. Robinson, TLS (copy) pp1 4 May, 1943 George Bernard Shaw

with ANS from GBS on it 20 July 1943 L. Robinson

L. Robinson, TLS (xerox) pp1 27 Sept. 1930 George Bernard Shaw

with ANS from GBS (initialed) 1 Oct. 1930 L. Robinson

Folder 10: The King of the Great Clock Tower by Yeats TMs, pp17Add to your cart.
Folder 11: untitled poem by Yeats (Make way for Oedipus…) AMs pp1Add to your cart.
Box 17Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Miscellaneous manuscripts and scrapbooksAdd to your cart.
The Eloquent Dempsey AMs 2 pieces [a play by William Boyle; L. Robinson's first production in Abbey as director; 1 Ms appears to be a letter used in the play pp1; 1 Ms is a fragment from the play; pp1 + verso
Folder 2: Miscellaneous manuscripts and scrapbooksAdd to your cart.

Contributions TMs ditto Vol. II, No. 5 [in fragile 3-hole folder] pp23

Contributions TMs ditto Vol. III, No. 9 [in fragile 3-hole folder] pp25

Folder 3: AMsS (initialed) critique by Lady Gregory of O'Casey's Crimson in the Tricolour pp2Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Padraic O. Conaire" TMs poem by F.R. Higgins, pp1Add to your cart.
Folder 5: all the poetry in this folder is written by Ralph HodgsonAdd to your cart.

small black book filled with clippings of both typed and handwritten poetry by Ralph Hodgson, pp24

"To Deck A Woman" printed copy from The Saturday Review 3 Sept. 1910, pp4

"The Call" AMs 1 May [n.y.] pp3

"Silver Wedding" AMsS (initialed) pp1

"Silver Wedding" AMsS (initialed) 1921 pp1

I cannot make out the title AMs, pp1

"The Swallow" printed poem pp1

"Ghoul Care" printed poem pp1

Folder 6: "To E.F." TMsS by Geoffrey Holdsworth pp2Add to your cart.
Folder 7: "Proclamation of Dail Eireann" TMs (ditto) by Padraig O'Ruitleis; 2 copies, 1923 March 14Add to your cart.
Folder 8: "A Warning to Conquerors" TMs by Donagh McDonagh 1 p.Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Miscellaneous manuscripts and scrapbooksAdd to your cart.

"Startling Case of the Effect of Mess Champagne!" AMsS by G.B. Manwaring pp1

"November 1918" TMs G.B. Manwaring pp1

Folder 10: "Henry IV by Luigie Pirandello" TMsS (initialed) review by Frank J. Hugh O'Donnell, pp3Add to your cart.
Folder 11: brochure of L. Robinson's American Lecture Tour, 3pp, 1918 October-1929 JanuaryAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: "Pilgrimage" AMsS by Thomas Wilkinson Riddle, 1918 December 21Add to your cart.
Folder 13: AMs note on Marsh's library taken from a book in L. Robinson's library, pp1Add to your cart.
Folder 14: AMs note taken from book in L. Robinson's library, pp1Add to your cart.
Folder 15: "A Memory of John Quinn" AMsS by AE, pp3Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Tomorrow Irish monthly periodical Vol. 1, No. 1, 3 copies, includes The Madonna of Slieve Dun, 1924 AugustAdd to your cart.
Folder 17: AMs notes taken from O'Donoghue's Life of Robert Emmet different pieces totaling 39 pages; photo captioned "An Irish Farm Kitchen" taken from a bookAdd to your cart.
Folder 18: critique of Sean O'Casey's Crimson on the Tricolour by W.B. Yeats AMsS, pp1, 1922 June 19Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Miscellaneous manuscripts and scrapbooksAdd to your cart.

List of poets, poems, and page numbers AMs, pp1 + verso

AMs note, pp1

[both above taken from From the Realm of Poetry by Stephen J. Brown, in Robinson's library]

printed advertisement for rooms to let, pp1, found in Sara Allgood's copy of The Whiteheaded Boy by Robinson


Browse by Series:

[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],
[All]

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