MICHAEL (BLANCHE OELRICHS) STRANGE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED - HFSID 18790
MICHAEL STRANGE The poet and playwright signs a handwritten letter to her lawyer concerning the tangled finances of her ex-husband, actor John Barrymore. Autograph Letter signed: "Michael" in pencil, 4p, 4¼x5¾ (integral leaf). New York, N.Y., no date.
Sale Price $270.00
The poet and playwright signs a handwritten letter to her lawyer concerning the tangled finances of her ex-husband, actor John Barrymore.
Autograph Letter signed: "Michael" in pencil, 4p, 4¼x5¾ (integral leaf). New York, N.Y., no date. On personal letterhead to "Dear Harry" [probably her lawyer, Henry Root Stern]. In full: "What is happening about Jack - I should like definitely to know if he intends to make any [word illegible] January 1st - and if so - how much. I am - like everyone else extraordinarily [word illegible] to see - or was told that the newspapers say - the sister left me money. Jack might easily have read this. The facts however are open to his examination at any time - not that any will probably ever be gotten since the estate is enormously in debt - and Harry and I between us are owed about $9000 in loans (that we have never been paid) up to this time - and probably never will be. So it is essential for me to know my position with him Jack - since he should be able to define it - considering his contracts must be arranged for at least a year in advance. Come - I always love to see you- if you can find the time. All greetings". Poet, playwright and actress Blanche Marie Louise Oelrichs (1890-1950) used the pen and stage name Michael Strange. A real estate heiress and debutante active in the women's suffrage movement, she published her first book, Miscellaneous Poems, in 1916. The second of her three husbands was stage and silent film star John Barrymore. Actress Diana Barrymore was their daughter. Strange's first Broadway play, Claire de Lune (1921), starred John and Ethel Barrymore. In 1936, Strange commenced a popular New York City radio program of poetry and music, eventually accompanied by a full orchestra. This bitter letter about disputed inheritance and unpaid debts merits further research. The Harry mentioned in the letter - as opposed to the addressee - is certainly Strange's third husband, Harrison Tweed, whom she had married in 1929 after her divorce from Barrymore. John Barrymore was called "Jack," and the references in the letter are probably to him. Barrymore's career slid sharply downhill as a result of alcoholism from the late 1930s until his death in 1942. "The sister" mentioned could not be John's sister Ethel, since she lived until 1959. Pencil notation (unknown hand) at top. Binder holes at left edge. Lightly creased. Otherwise, fine condition.
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