Robert Cedric Sherriff (1896-1975), Dramatist And Novelist: Correspondence And Papers, 1862-1975
The following describes the contents of this collection in the Surrey History Centre archives. Find out more about how to see the original documents.
- SHC Ref No: 2332
- Repository: Surrey History Centre, Woking
- Date: 1817; 1862-1975
- Format: Archives
- Description: The Correspondence section (2332/1/-) covers a diverse range of subjects, including personal letters dating from largely during and just after Sherriff's army service in the First World War. A significant amount of these letters are ones sent to his mother and father, and shed light on his experiences as a soldier. He would later refer to these letters when writing the play 'Journey's End'. There is also further correspondence which relates to his later literary career (2332/1/1/9 to 2332/1/1/31 and 2332/1/2/1 to 2332/1/8), stretching from the time of 'Journey's End' to the 1970s, when he wrote the children's book 'The Siege of Castle', his final published work. It covers all three strands of his career as a playwright, novelist and screenplay writer.
The Scripts section (2332/3/-) also spans all three areas of his literary career, and includes scripts for plays he wrote on a amateur basis prior to 'Journey's End', as well as screenplays dating from the 1930s when he worked in Hollywood, through the 1940s and 1950s when he was based back in England. Scripts for successful films such as 'The Invisible Man' (1933)', 'Goodbye, Mr Chips' (1939), 'The Dam Busters' (1955) and 'The Night My Number Came Up' (1955) can all be found in this section. There also various scripts for proposed films which were never made, such as 'Dark Angel', written for film producer Dino De Laurentiis in the 1950s.
There are also newspaper cuttings (2332/5/-) which relate to Sherriff's career, in particular 'Journey's End' (2332/5/1/-). A number of cuttings refer to screenplays and other projects which Sherriff was rumoured to working on, but which never materialised. The photographs and artwork section (2332/6/-) includes photographs concerning Sherriff's army service, British and overseas productions of 'Journey's End', and set designs by James Whale for 'Journey's End' and also Sherriff's 1930 play 'Badger's Green'.
Other papers relating to Sherriff's time as a soldier in the First World War can be found in the First World War Papers section (2332/7/-), including his ''Officer's Record of Services'' and service certificates.
- Extent: 122 boxes
- Level: Collection
- Related Material: For further correspondence and papers of R C Sherriff, deposited by Elmbridge Museum, see 3813/-. Additional material can also be found at 9314/-, deposited by various donors during 2014-2015.
A guide to archive material relating to R C Sherriff held elsewhere in the UK and abroad is available at https://www.exploringsurreyspast.org.uk/themes/people/writers/sherriff/collections/
- Access Status: Open. There are no access restrictions. Any requests to publish material in this collection should be directed to Surrey History Centre in the first instance, who will seek permission from the depositor on the searcher's behalf.
- Provenance: Deposited by the Governors of Kingston Grammar School in March 1979. A second deposit was made by the School in April 2014. This catalogue was produced as part of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund during 2014-2015 to publicise and improve access to the Sherriff papers.
- Bibliography: For a definitive list of RC Sherriff's literary works compiled by Roland Wales, including both published and unpublished plays, books and films, see https://www.exploringsurreyspast.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/RCS-Work-Listing.pdf on the Exploring Surrey's Past website
- Arrangement: This detailed catalogue replaces a temporary box list which was originally the main finding aid for these papers. It was produced as part of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund during 2014-2015 to publicise and improve access to the Sherriff papers. The catalogue is arranged in the following sections:
Financial Papers: 2332/4/-
Newspaper Cuttings and Magazines: 2332/5/-
Photographs and Artwork: 2332/6/-
First World War Papers: 2332/7/-
Other Papers: 2332/8/-
Papers of R C Sherriff's Father, Herbert "Pips" Hankin Sherriff: 2332/9/-
Papers of R C Sherriff's Mother, Constance Sherriff: 2332/10/-
- For more information contact: Surrey History Centre Collections Catalogue
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