ROBINSON, LENNOX, 1886-1958.
Lennox Robinson collection, 1940-1958

Emory University

Robert W. Woodruff Library

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8ztk1


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Robinson, Lennox, 1886-1958.
Title: Lennox Robinson collection, 1940-1958
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 246
Extent: 1 linear foot (2 boxes) and 3 oversized papers boxes (OP)
Abstract:Collection of materials relating to Irish dramatist Lennox Robinson including correspondence regarding the Yeats Memorial Fund, manuscripts of Robinson's work on W.B. Yeats, and materials relating to Robinson's 1956 trip to China.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Information on copyright (literary rights) available from repository. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Related Materials in This Repository

W.B. Yeats collection and in the Gregory family papers.

Source

Purchase, 1982 with subsequent additions.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], Lennox Robinson collection, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Collection Description

Biographical Note

Esme Stuart Lennox Robinson, Irish dramatist, was born on 4 October 1886, in the town of Douglas near Cork, Ireland. His father, Andrew Craig Robinson, originally a stockbroker, became a protestant minister at age 50, taking his family to Kinsdale in 1892. During this time Robinson was educated at home. A subsequent move in 1900 to Ballymoney brought the family in the proximity of a protestant school which Robinson attended for three years. Ill health plagued Robinson throughout his childhood, shortening his school career and leaving him leisure time to fish, read voraciously, and come to know the people of his town and country. This time also allowed him to begin his writing career. His first poem was published in 1907 and in 1908 his first play, The Clancy Name was produced at the Abbey Theater, Dublin. The next year saw his second play produced, and near the end of 1909, Robinson was asked by W.B. Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory to be director of plays and manager of the Abbey Theater.

The rest of Lennox Robinson's life was tied to theater in some form or another. He served as manager of the Abbey Theater from 1910-1914 and 1919-1923. In 1922 he was appointed a member of the Board of Directors of Abbey Theater for life. Robinson also served as librarian for the Carnegie Trust (1915-1925), was on the staff of the Irish Convention (1917-1918), and he continued to write plays, essays, and books throughout his life. Lennox Robinson also served as the chairman for the Yeats Memorial Fund Committee until his death in 1958.

Lennox Robinson married Dorothy Travers Smith in 1931 in London. Dorothy Smith, the daughter of Dr. Smith of Dublin and granddaughter of Edward Dowden, was an artist, and she worked at the Abbey Theater as a scene designer. The couple had no children. Lennox Robinson died on 14 October 1958 in Dublin and he is buried at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.

Through his career as a dramatist, Robinson met many prominent literary and theatrical figures including W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, George Bernard Shaw, and Micheal Mac Liammoir. He travelled in America during his lifetime, and this exposure, as well as his work with Yeats and Lady Gregory, influenced his life and work. Robinson was awarded an honorary D. Litt. degree from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1948.

Lennox Robinson's works include plays, books, poems, and essays. Some of his plays include The Clancy Name (1908), The Cross Roads (1909), The Patriots (1912), The Whiteheaded Boy (1916) one of Robinson's most famous works, The Round Table (1924), The Big House (1926), The Far Off Hills (1928), Ever the Twain (1929), Drama on Inish (later renamed Is Life Worth Living?)(1933), Church Street (1934), and Killicreggs in Twilight (1937). Robinson's books include two autobiographies, Three Homes (1938) and Curtain Up (1942), and two biographies, Poems by Thomas Parnell (1927) and Bryan Cooper (1931). There is also a published volume of his essays, I Sometimes Think (1957). Sources of information about Lennox Robinson include a comprehensive biography, Lennox Robinson by Michael J. O'Neill (Twayne Publishers, New York, 1964). Also used were the London Times (October 15, 1958, p.15d, obituary notice), The Oxford Companion to the Theater, edited by Phyllis Hartnoll (4th ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1983, p.701), and Contemporary Authors, edited by Hal May (Gale Research Co., Detroit, 1987, v.120, p. 309-310).

Esme Stuart Lennox Robinson, Irish dramatist, was born on 4 October 1886, in the town of Douglas near Cork, Ireland. His father, Andrew Craig Robinson, originally a stockbroker, became a protestant minister at age 50, taking his family to Kinsdale in 1892. During this time Robinson was educated at home. A subsequent move in 1900 to Ballymoney brought the family in the proximity of a protestant school which Robinson attended for three years. Ill health plagued Robinson throughout his childhood, shortening his school career and leaving him leisure time to fish, read voraciously, and come to know the people of his town and country. This time also allowed him to begin his writing career. His first poem was published in 1907 and in 1908 his first play, The Clancy Name was produced at the Abbey Theater, Dublin. The next year saw his second play produced, and near the end of 1909, Robinson was asked by W.B. Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory to be director of plays and manager of the Abbey Theater.

The rest of Lennox Robinson's life was tied to theater in some form or another. He served as manager of the Abbey Theater from 1910-1914 and 1919-1923. In 1922 he was appointed a member of the Board of Directors of Abbey Theater for life. Robinson also served as librarian for the Carnegie Trust (1915-1925), was on the staff of the Irish Convention (1917-1918), and he continued to write plays, essays, and books throughout his life. Lennox Robinson also served as the chairman for the Yeats Memorial Fund Committee until his death in 1958.

Lennox Robinson married Dorothy Travers Smith in 1931 in London. Dorothy Smith, the daughter of Dr. Smith of Dublin and granddaughter of Edward Dowden, was an artist, and she worked at the Abbey Theater as a scene designer. The couple had no children. Lennox Robinson died on 14 October 1958 in Dublin and he is buried at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.

Through his career as a dramatist, Robinson met many prominent literary and theatrical figures including W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, George Bernard Shaw, and Micheal Mac Liammoir. He travelled in America during his lifetime, and this exposure, as well as his work with Yeats and Lady Gregory, influenced his life and work. Robinson was awarded an honorary D. Litt. degree from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1948.

Lennox Robinson's works include plays, books, poems, and essays. Some of his plays include The Clancy Name (1908), The Cross Roads (1909), The Patriots (1912), The Whiteheaded Boy (1916) one of Robinson's most famous works, The Round Table (1924), The Big House (1926), The Far Off Hills (1928), Ever the Twain (1929), Drama on Inish (later renamed Is Life Worth Living?)(1933), Church Street (1934), and Killicreggs in Twilight (1937). Robinson's books include two autobiographies, Three Homes (1938) and Curtain Up (1942), and two biographies, Poems by Thomas Parnell (1927) and Bryan Cooper (1931). There is also a published volume of his essays, I Sometimes Think (1957). Sources of information about Lennox Robinson include a comprehensive biography, Lennox Robinson by Michael J. O'Neill (Twayne Publishers, New York, 1964). Also used were the London Times (October 15, 1958, p.15d, obituary notice), The Oxford Companion to the Theater, edited by Phyllis Hartnoll (4th ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1983, p.701), and Contemporary Authors, edited by Hal May (Gale Research Co., Detroit, 1987, v.120, p. 309-310).

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of 105 items, and is made up of correspondence (75 items) and manuscripts (30 items). The correspondence, which is filed first in the collection, dates from 1953 until the time of his death in 1958 and consists of letters to and from Robinson concerning the Yeats Memorial Fund. The manuscripts which form the remainder of the collection are undated, but seem to have been written shortly after Yeats's death in 1939.

The collection also includes a variety of materials relating to Robinson’s 1956 trip to China to participate in a lecture honoring George Bernard Shaw. Also present are approximately 150 drawings, including stage designs, costume designs, and other sketches, by Dorothy (Dolly) Robinson and, perhaps, others. Among these drawings is a painting for Hyacinth Halvey by Lady Gregory that was designed and painted by Dolly Robinson.

Arrangement Note

Organized into four series: (1) Correspondence and (2) Manuscripts and (3) Chinese trip, 1956 and (4) Artwork.


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