Fonds F014 - Christopher Fry fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Christopher Fry fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Title statements of responsibility

Likely compiled by Derek Stanford.

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on the content and subject of the fonds.

Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

F014

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1955-1970, predominant 1969-1970 (Creation)
    Creator
    Fry, Christopher

Physical description area

Physical description

6.5 cm of textual records
2 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(18 December 1907 – 30 June 2005)

Biographical history

Christopher Fry was an English poet and playwright. He was born in Bristol, England, on December 18, 1907, to Charles John Harris, a master builder and lay preacher in the Church of England, and Emma Marguerite Fry Hammond Harris. Born Arthur Hammond Harris, the playwright adopted the surname Fry for his maternal grandmother. In his late twenties he adopted the name Christopher Fry. Fry attended the Bedford Modern School, where he developed an appreciation for the theater. It is here that he wrote his first play at age 11. In 1929, after working briefly as a teacher, Fry devoted himself to the dramatic arts. In addition to acting, directing, and writing, he also ran a repertory company in Tunbridge Wells, which he founded in 1932. In 1939 Fry became the artistic director of the Oxford Playhouse.

Christopher Fry was a prolific playwright. Major theatrical works include: The Boy with a Cart (1938), The Tower (1939), A Phoenix too Frequent (1946), The Firstborn (1948), Thor, With Angels (1948), The Lady’s Not For Burning (1948), Venus Observed (1950), The Dark Is Light Enough (1954), and A Yard of Sun (1970). Adaptations include Ring around the Moon (1950) and The Lark (1955) by Jean Anouilh, Tiger at the Gates (1956), Duel of Angels (1958), and Judith (1962) by Jean Giraudoux, and Peer Gynt (1970) by Henrik Ibsen. Fry was also the screenwriter for the following movies: The Beggar’s Opera (1953), Ben-Hur (1959), The Bible: In the Beginning (1966), and Barabbas (1969).

Christopher Fry was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play in 1956 for his adaptation of Giraudoux’s play Tiger at the Gates. He was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 1962. In the same year he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 1999 The Lady’s not for Burning was voted as one of the best plays of the twentieth century in a poll conducted by the National Theater. Fry died in Chichester, England, June 30, 2005.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of material accumulated and created by Derek Stanford about Christopher Fry. It also contains documents created by Christopher Fry. Materials in this fonds are primarily dated 1969-1970, though select documents are dated 1955.

Materials include correspondence, manuscripts, published essays and reviews, newspaper clippings, photographs, theater programs, and other ephemera documenting Stanford professional relationship with Fry and the British playwright’s work. Documents primarily concern Fry’s A Yard of Sun (1970) and his English translation of Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt (1970). The fonds also contains limited material regarding A Sleep of Prisoners (1951). Documents also concern essays about the life and work of Christopher Fry written by Derek Stanford.

The fonds is divided into 5 series:
F014 / A. Manuscripts and essays
F014 / B. Correspondence
F014 / C. Clippings
F014 / D. Photographs
F014 / E. Publicity and ephemera

Notes area

Physical condition

Materials are in good condition. Newspaper clippings have yellowed. Photographic print shows signs of water damage (buckling).

Immediate source of acquisition

The documents were donated to Concordia University Libraries by an unknown source.

Arrangement

Original order of the material has been maintained.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Reproductions may only be made for private study and research.
Use of material in a publication may only be done with written consent of the copyright owner.

Finding aids

File and item listings available.

Associated materials

The Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Theater and Performance holds the papers of Christopher Fry (GB 71 THM/319: Christopher Fry, playwright: papers), including correspondence, diaries, scripts and other material relating to his plays.

Related materials

Accruals

No further accruals expected.

General note

First editions of select Christopher Fry publications are housed in Special Collections at Concordia University.

Conservation

Paperclips were removed and documents were put in acid free envelopes and placed in an archival quality box. Documents were separated with acid-free interleaving when necessary.

Rights

Copyright held by the creator(s).

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Status

Final

Level of detail

Full

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