MILNE, ALAN ALEXANDER. 1882-1956. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("A:A: Milne"), entitled "Mr. Pim Passes By," 82 pp, 8vo, Chelsea, London, c.1919,

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Lot 18
MILNE, ALAN ALEXANDER. 1882-1956.
Autograph Manuscript Signed ("A:A: Milne"), entitled "Mr. Pim Passes By," 82 pp, 8vo, Chelsea, London, c.1919,

Sold for US$ 21,250 inc. premium

Fine Literature

11 Apr 2016, 10:00 EDT

New York

MILNE, ALAN ALEXANDER. 1882-1956.
Autograph Manuscript Signed ("A:A: Milne"), entitled "Mr. Pim Passes By," 82 pp, 8vo, Chelsea, London, c.1919, some leaves in the hand of Daphne Milne, in black and red ink, leaves mounted to guards, some trimmed or with additional dialog pasted in. Bound in green morocco presentation binding by Bumpus of Oxford, spine lettered in gilt, with "FOR IRENE VANBURGH" in gold at the upper margin of the verso of the front cover, and INSCRIBED by the author on the front free-endpaper. light toning, hole punch to upper left.
Provenance: Dame Irene Vanbrugh (actress in this play); Sotheby's, December 18, 1986, Lot 168.

Bound for and warmly inscribed to the actress Dame Irene Vanbrugh (1879-1949) on the front free endpaper: "My dear Irene There seem to be various ways of spelling your name. The one I like best is O-L-I-V-I-A. Here, for that dear person, are the bones to which she gave life. Always gratefully and affectionately yours A:A: Milne Christmas, 1922." Prior to the publication of the four Winnie the Pooh books, A. A. Milne was a well known humorist and playwright; and none of his early works was more celebrated than his three act light comedy Mr. Pim Passes By (1919). The conflict of the play concerns Olivia Marden who thought her first husband had died but learns, after she marries a second time, that he may indeed still be alive. Irene Vanbrugh starred as the progressive wife in the original London production at the New Theatre, opening on January 5, 1920 (with her husband Dion Boucicault Jr. in the title role and Leslie Howard as a Socialist painter). The Times of London reported the following day, "It is a pleasant trifle, playing round the verge of the deeper feelings without tumbling into them, and gay with light-hearted talk ... Miss Irene Vanbrugh, who had a tremendous welcome from the house, is, by turns, tender, arch, pathetic, merry, and always delicious." Samuel French published the Acting Edition in 1921; and The Theatre Guild successfully brought it to New York in 1921, with Laura Hope Crews and Helen Westley in the cast. Born Irene Barnes, Vanbrugh was discovered by Lewis Carroll (a college chum of her father) when he cast her in an 1888 revival of Alice in Wonderland. She took the name "Irene Vanbrugh" at Ellen Terry's suggestion; and she successfully appeared in plays by J. M. Barrie, Noël Coward, Somerset Maugham, Arthur Wing Pinero, George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde (she created the role of Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest) as well as in numerous movies. Mr. Pim Pases By was made into a silent movie in 1921; and in 1922, Milne rewrote it as a novel. According to A. A. Milne's biographer Ann Thwaite, "In the early years of their marriage, before the birth of their son, Christopher Robin, Daphne Milne was seriously involved in Milne's work, as a sort of amateur secretary (answering letters as Celia Brice) and copyist," and hence her hand in this manuscript.
Contacts
MILNE, ALAN ALEXANDER. 1882-1956. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("A:A: Milne"), entitled "Mr. Pim Passes By," 82 pp, 8vo, Chelsea, London, c.1919,
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