Research Catalog

Michael Strange papers,

Title
Michael Strange papers, 1917-1925.
Author
Strange, Michael, 1890-1950.
Supplementary Content
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Vol/DateFormatAccessStatusCall NumberLocation
Box 1AMixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 1994-009 Box 1APerforming Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 2AMixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 1994-009 Box 2APerforming Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 3AMixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 1994-009 Box 3APerforming Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 4Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 1994-009 Box 4Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre

Details

Additional Authors
Description
1.25 lin. ft. (7 boxes).
Subjects
Access (note)
  • Original correspondence in Boxes 1-3 is restricted. Patrons are requested to use photocopy surrogates in Boxes 1A-3A. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
Source (note)
  • Gwenn Thomas-Avillez / Viviane Thomas Trimble
Biography (note)
  • Michael Strange, playwright and poet is probably best known as the second wife of John Barrymore.
Processing Action (note)
  • Accessioned / Cataloged
Call Number
*T-Mss 1994-009
Author
Strange, Michael, 1890-1950.
Title
Michael Strange papers, 1917-1925.
Restricted Access
Original correspondence in Boxes 1-3 is restricted. Patrons are requested to use photocopy surrogates in Boxes 1A-3A. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
Summary
The Michael Strange papers consist primarily of 218 autographed letters, many more then 2 pages in length, from her second husband John Barrymore. These span the years 1917-1925 and coincide with the end of her marriage to Leonard Thomas, as well as Barrymore's and Strange's courtship, marriage and divorce. Michael Strange was John Barrymore's second wife and the correspondence gives insight to the stormy nature of their relationship. Most of the correspondence is love letters which use personal terms of endearment and are almost always affectionate and sometimes sexually explicit.
Of special note are certain pet names used interchangeably by John Barrymore and Michael Strange. These include Treacle, Fig and Dringal. The letters are often written in the third person and John Barrymore usually referred to himself as father and Michael Strange as "his mother".
Much of the correspondence from late 1922 to early 1923 contains information on Barrymore's HAMLET which ran in New York during that time period. The correspondence also documents the 1925 London production of HAMLET. Other topics include some of his earlier theatrical works and discussions of events during motion picture filming in Hollywood and on location. His writing about his acting is at times introspective and gives glimpses of Barrymore's creative genius and troubled personality. Interesting aspects of the letters include drawings which Barrymore himself added to the correspondence. Other correspondence is from Michael Strange's admirer Terence, whose last name is never revealed, as well as correspondence from the critic John Jay Chapman. The collection also includes a manuscript copy of a play written by Michael Strange entitled THE DARK CROWN for which she was accused of plagiarism by Sophie Treadwell. Also included is ephemera such as clippings and gift cards.
Biography
Michael Strange, playwright and poet is probably best known as the second wife of John Barrymore. She was born Blanche Oelrichs in Newport, Rhode Island in 1890. After meeting John Barrymore in 1917, she divorced her first husband, Leonard Thomas and married Barrymore in 1920. Their marriage lasted until 1928. It was during this period that Barrymore acted in his greatest role as Hamlet.
Blanche Oelrichs took the name Michael Strange at the beginning of her literary career. Known first as a playwright, she later was known for her poetry, some of which was published with illustrations done by John Barrymore. Among her works are, Clair de Lune based on Victor Hugo's work L'Homme Qui Rit, which opened with both John and Ethel Barrymore in the cast. The play was not a success and the reviews of the critics caused John Barrymore to send letters of rebuttal to the newspapers defending his wife's literary work. Her other well known works are primarily poetry and include: Selected Poems, Resurrecting Life and Poems. Her autobiography is entitled Who Tells Me True. Michael Strange died in 1950.
Connect to:
Added Author
Strange, Michael, 1890-1950. Dark tower.
Barrymore, John, 1882-1942.
Research Call Number
*T-Mss 1994-009
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