|Description||Extensive sequence of primarily transcript copies of personal correspondence retained by Noël Coward's secretaries; covering the late 1920s to the early 1970s. |
The material is mainly incoming correspondence received by Noël Coward. There are some copies of letters sent from Coward and in some cases an accompanying poem or other enclosure.
The name of the sender is often typed at the top of the letter and underlined; this appears to be the name by which they were most commonly known. This name has been retained as the title for the file level description. Nicknames have been included in the file level description and any further information, such as the individual's full name, has been provided in square brackets as it comes from external sources.
The letters were originally stored in lever-arch files. The files covering surnames A-K were labelled 'Personal letters' and L-Z were labelled 'Celebrity letters'. The letters were filed alphabetically by the name typed at the top of the letters; this is, therefore, often not the individual's full title or birth name. This original order has been retained, although it is idiosyncratic; in particular where letters have been filed under:
/ Nicknames or the individual's relationship to Coward; for example Coward's mother, Violet Coward, is filed at 'M' for 'Mum'
/ Duplicated entries for correspondents, who have more than one place in the sequence; for example Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, features under 'Philip, Prince HRH'. 'Edinburgh, Duke of' and in the folder entitled 'Royal family letters'. This duplication has been identified in the appropriate file level descriptions and cross-references provided where known.
/ Particular plays or themes, which were inserted into the same alphabetical sequence; for example 'Cavalcade' under 'C'
In addition, 'Mc' and 'Mac' were filed first under 'M' and have been treated the same.