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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 372

Letters to Mrs. Patrick Campbell from others

Letters from playwrights, stage managers, actors and actresses to the British actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell.


  • 1893-1929

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


.5 linear feet (1 box)

Contains letters to Mrs. Patrick Campbell from participants in the British theatrical community of the late 1800s and early 20th century, including George Alexander, Squire Bancroft, Edith Craig, Rosina Filippi, John Hare, Sir Henry Irving, Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, Dame Ellen Terry, Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, and Sir C. Aubrey Smith. Also includes a letter from Mrs. Patrick Campbell to John Hare. Another letter written on behalf of Mrs. Patrick by her daughter, Stella Campbell, is also included. Some of this correspondence was used in Mrs. Patrick Campbell’s memoir, My life and some letters (1922) and may have been organized for that purpose with cover sheets and transcripts.

Biographical / Historical

Beatrice Rose Stella Tanner Campbell (1865-1940) was a prominent British actress. She was the sixth and final child of John Tanner (1831-1893), a successful contractor with the British East India Company, and Maria Luigia Giovanna Romanini (1835-1940), the daughter of the Italian exile, Count Angelo Romanini. In 1884, pregnant with their first child (Alan Urquhart), she eloped with neighbor, Patrick Campbell. With the birth of their second child, a daughter named Stella in 1886, Patrick went abroad to seek work. The money sent home however was insuffient to maintain the family and despite disapproval from her family, Stella made her debut as Mrs. Patrick Campbell in 1888 to generate income for herself on the stage. She played in a string of minor successes until an 1893 role as Paula in The Second Mrs. Tanqueray launched her career and garnered high praise in the press.

The following year, the family flush with Mrs. Patrick’s success, Patrick returned to England in poor health and poorer fortunes. His state ensured that Mrs. Patrick would continue on the stage to support her family in the comfort to which they had become accustomed. She performed in generally well-received plays by François Coppée, Henrik Ibsen, Maurice Maeterlinck, Arthur Wing Pinero, Victorien Sardou, William Shakespeare, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

Mrs. Patrick continued her stage career, dabbling in Hollywood productions and lecturing on acting and voice until the end of her life in 1940, when she passed away in France. Mrs. Patrick is particularly remembered for her role as Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, a part written for her by George Bernard Shaw, with whom she also had significant correspondence.


Organized into the following series:
  1. I. Letters to Mrs. Patrick Campbell
  2. II. Other letters

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

79M-54. Purchased with the F. E. Chase fund, 1943 July 29.

Related Materials

See HOLLIS for additional holdings at Harvard.

Other collections of Mrs. Patrick’s correspondence are also held by the British Library, the Bodleian Library, the Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Theatre and Performance, and University of Chicago Special Collections.

Processing Information

Processed by: Emilie L. Hardman
Link to catalog
Campbell, Patrick, Mrs., 1865-1940, recipient. Letters to Mrs. Patrick Campbell from others, 1893-1929: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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