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ROBEY (George 1869-1954 Actor, Music Hall)
ROBEY (George 1869-1954 Actor, Music Hall) A Private Archive of 28 Passionate Autograph Love Letters from George Robey, mostly signed "G" to his mistress, Blanche Littler during his time filming Don Quixote with Feodor Chaliapin in the South of France,   September to November, 1932,.
62 pages 8vo. & 4to, some with envelopes, in pen, 1 in pencil, with a photograph 3 x 4¾ ins. 7.5 x 12.5 cm. inscribed by Robey on the reverse "This gives a good idea of the awful place we're working in",
George Robey had been invited to play Sancho Panza to the great Russian Bass Feodor Chaliapin's Don Quixote. He writes to his manager and mistress, later wife, Blanche Littler of the frustrations of their separation, the abominable weather, the lack of sun light, and of hanging around the set. The film was directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst, and with Nelson Vandor produced the film.
From the Hotel Negresco 9.9.32 "My blessed Love... We went up the mountains this morning at 7 o clock & stayed till about one, did nothing whatever as it was so wet & cloudy... They have take one or two good shots, but as usual they are making it up as they go on - and they don't seem worried about the delay. I can't make it out! The Hotel is a bastard, to start with it is a Sanatorium & the mosquitos!!!". On their blossoming relationship he writes, Hotel Negresco Tuesday 22nd (Sept. 1932) "Sweetheart, And the only one in the world to me. Have just received your two lovely letter written on Sunday & you can guess what they have meant to me !!! The naughty jealousy sounds lovely to me, but rest assured my sweet one that there is not the slightest chance of anyone coming between us. Not a thought, not a touch, not a look! You are too wonderful & too sacred to me & my one thought in my life." He continues with comment on the production "The weather was black here at 6. but they phoned to say that there was some sunshine in the mountains, so out we went and luckily did some work, alas! it came over queer abut 1-30 & we had to stop, but we have done a good chunk out of it. ( I have a little snap of the windmills). Just think of the trouble they have gone through to build them, that's why I am patient."
Sat. 19th (September 1932) "Another awful day. At 5.30 this morning I had a look out of our window & it was pouring & it hardly ceased all day... If we could only get one days sunshine we could finish it all off as far as I'm concerned - it is a calamity. Here I am sitting in the lounge listening to the most bloody & blood curdling music ? While whores and jigilos [sic] give an exhibition of public fornication." Robey hated Jazz and Jazz Bands that were fashionably sweeping the South of France at this time.
Of his fellow actor and Star he comments " I am giving Chaliapin lessons in voice production (Don't you think that's rather funny?) He says that the help that I give him in his English is the most perfect teaching he has ever experienced, he asks me to move my lips while he sings & he follows me, That's a bit of a compliment! He says I ought to make a future in teaching (if all else fails)." Towards the end of his time in France he writes, Hotel Negresco Tuesday Nov. 1st (1932) "My Dearest love What a beautiful letter you sent me & which I got this evening when I arrived back. You little dear to tell me such lovely things & I know you mean every one of them. You will see that I shall make myself worthy of your love of me. Chaliapin finished today and it seems that there will only be some clearing up to do, which can't last for many more days. We did a hard days work today getting everything finished in which he was connected." Robey left his first wife Ethel Haydon whom he had married in 1898, in 1923. He met Blanche first in 1929, but they did not marry until 1938 after he was officially divorced and was free. Blanche Littler became his manager in 1930. This collection of letters from Lady Blanche Robey's Estate were sold by the family at Toovey's Auction in Sussex in 2012. In his 1972 biography of George Robey "The Darling of the Halls", Peter Cotes [Cassell 1972] had Lady Robey's blessing to freely use her archives, and he gives a few discreet quotes from these intimate letters.
George Robey

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