Edward Gordon Craig Correspondence
Scope and Content of the Collection
Letters, mainly from Edward Gordon Craig to Guido Morris of The Latin Press, written between 1936 and 1940 and a few sent in 1945.
Several letters include original sketches and prints by Craig and specimens from The Latin Press. Also included is correspondence (1911-1926) from Craig to Harold Monro, English poet and proprietor of the Poetry Bookshop in London, and a few carbons of Monro’s letters to Craig. Interspersed are some letters from Eric Gill to Guido Morris and a few letters from other correspondents to Monro. The letters to Morris contain much entertaining news about Craig’s artistic projects, theatrical reminiscences, advice from Craig to Morris about the ongoing challenges of making a go of The Latin Press, and a fair amount of personal information; those to Monro are more businesslike and concern chiefly publication projects.
Additional correspondence by and about Craig is to be found in the Harry Kessler Letters (Wing Modern MS Kess), the Floyd Dell Papers (Midwest MS Dell), and the Will Ransom Papers (Wing Modern MS Rans). A survey of this material was published by Carolyn Sheehy, “‘Radure noscoste e bellezze inospettate,’ i manoscritti di Craig alla Newberry Library di Chicago,” in Gordon Craig in Italia (Rome, Bulzoni, 1993), 261-273. Books, ephemera and proofs regarding the Latin Press are found in the Wing collection. See especially: Wing oversize ZP 945 .M83.
- Creation: 1911-1945
- Craig, Edward Gordon, 1872-1966 (Person)
Materials are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The Edward Gordon Craig Correspondence are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Edward Gordon Craig Correspondence are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.
Biography of Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966)
British stage actor, director, designer, printmaker, producer and author of major works on modernist theater.
He began his theatrical career in Henry Irving's company where his mother, Ellen Terry, was the leading lady. He had abandoned acting by the time he designed his first sets for several English productions at the beginning of the 20th century. He also studied printmaking with James Pryde and William Nicholson (the "Beggarstaffs"). Craig moved to Germany in 1904 and began his theatrical writings while continuing his printmaking. From there he moved to Italy in 1908 where he set up a school of theatrical design and published the theatre magazine "The Mask" (1908-1929). In 1912 he co-produced the Moscow Art Theatre's "Hamlet" with Konstantin Stanislavsky to whom he had been introduced to by his former lover, the American dancer Isadora Duncan. He later designed illustrations for the Cranach Press "Hamlet" (German edition, 1928 & English edition, 1930) based on this co-production. Craig remained in self-imposed exile from England and settled in France in 1931 where he lived for the rest of his life.
Biography of Guido Morris (1910-1980)
Morris (born Douglas Morris) began printing in 1934 on a home-made press while a student at Oxford University. The following year he acquired two professional presses and some type and set up The Latin Press in Langford, near Bristol, England. Throughout his career his work consisted mainly of artistic job printing ranging from exhibition catalogs and pamphlets to posters and letterheads. In 1936 he began a small literary publication, "Loquela Mirabilis," in which he reprinted some of Edward Gordon Craig's writings. He suffered a nervous breakdown while serving in World War II. After the war he moved to St. Ives where he published the "Crescendo Poetry Series" (1951-1952) and printed pieces for the local art community. Although he aspired to print books his one attempt (Treasures of a London Temple, 1951) ultimately led to his bankruptcy in 1953.
Biography of Harold Monro (1879-1923)
British poet and publisher.
Monro began publishing his and other poets’ work at his Samurai Press in 1909. He founded and edited "The Poetry Review" and "Poetry and Drama" before World War I, and opened The Poetry Bookshop in London in 1913. The bookshop, which closed in 1926, specialized in poetry and drama books and related literature. After the war Monro continued to published works by contemporary poets and other artists in his monthly, "The Chapbook" (1919-1925), and in the "Georgian Poetry" series (1916-1922).
0.6 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
Letters from Edward Gordon Craig to Harold Monro of the Poetry Bookshop in London (1911-1926) and from Craig to Guido Morris of The Latin Press (1936-1940, 1945).
Correspondence arranged chronologically.
Collection Stack Location
4a 28 3
The Craig correspondence with Guido Morris was purchased in 1954 from G.F. Sims; the Monro letters were purchased from the same source in two lots in 1956.
Amy Nyholm, 1954-1956; Robert Williams, 2015.
- Inventory of the Edward Gordon Craig Correspondence, 1911-1945
- Robert Williams
- Language of description
- Script of description