Fonds - Lady Constance Malleson fonds

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Lady Constance Malleson fonds

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  • [189-]-1975 (Creation)

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3 m of textual records and graphic material

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Biographical history

Lady Constance Malleson, actress, author and social reformer, was born on 24 October 1895 in Castewellan castle, the country home of her parents, Hugh, the 5th Earl Annesley and his wife Priscilla. Constance Malleson was educated in Dresden and Paris as well as the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. She acted in many West End productions in London, as well as in repertory theatre, using the stage name of Colette O'Niel. She also appeared in the film Hindle Wakes. Colette toured South Africa, Egypt and Palestine with Dame Sybil Thorndike and Sir Lewis Casson in 1928. In 1915 she had married Miles Malleson. They divorced in 1923. She worked for various social causes, including mental hospital reform and the blood supply system. Opposed to World War I, she met Bertrand Russell through her association with the No-Conscription Fellowship. She lectured in Sweden in 1936-37 and in Finland during 1941 and 1946. She wrote several books including the autobiographical After Ten Years (1929). Her sister, Mabel M. Annesley was a well-known wood-engraver; Constance Malleson edited her unfinished autobiography, As the Sight Is Bent. She died on 5 October 1975 in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. For a biographical sketch of Lady Constance Malleson's mother see “French surprise,” Library Research News n.s. 6, no. 1 (spring 1996).

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds has been arranged into the following series: manuscripts and typescripts; typescripts by Phyllis Urch; personal correspondence (including hundreds of letters from Bertrand Russell); legal correspondence; correspondence with newspapers; theatre material; press reviews of her books; publications; books, journals and papers; photographs (many of them theatrical); news clippings; miscellaneous albums; photograph albums containing watercolours by Percy French and other materials belonging to Priscilla, Countess Annesley.

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The fonds was acquired from Phyllis Urch in late 1976 and l977.


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Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions. Copyright in all writings of Lady Constance Malleson belongs to McMaster University. Phyllis Urch, the executor of Lady Constance Malleson's estate and her copyright owner, trnasferred control of the archives and the copyright to McMaster University on 1 May 2004.

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Associated materials

Researchers should also consult the Bertrand Russell fonds, including several recent acquisitions which contain Malleson materials. Access via index cards.

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Further accruals are not expected.

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Accession no.: Rec. Acq. 596.

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