Dramatist in America: Letters of Maxwell Anderson, 1912-1958

By Laurence G. Avery; Maxwell Anderson | Go to book overview

I don't have a recent picture. Fact is, there isn't any recent one. But I can write to Bill Fields at the Playwrights' Co., and ask him to send you one. As for the work I'm doing at the moment, I hesitate to tell anybody what it is because it may come to nothing--and any information given out about it then becomes destructive. It is spoken of, or written of--as a project abandoned. And that has happened too often lately.

However, it's not likely that what you say to the Richburg girls will get to the N.Y. papers, so I'll venture to tell you what I'm at work on. I'm writing a play that has the title of The Masque of Queens and it's about the death of Queen Elizabeth--of England. The first Elizabeth --that is. The story runs that after she was stricken--and it was probably a stroke--she refused to go to bed--refused to lie down --and stood for 15 hours before the poor old muscles couldn't take any more, and she sank to her knees. I've built a story around the episode and it may get to the stage--but the thing isn't finished yet. Don't be surprised if it never is.

I'll be in New York on May 26th to receive the gold medal for drama from the Institute of Arts and Letters. The gold medal has been given for playwriting only four times before, I believe. Robert Sherwood is the only other living playwright who has received it, now that Eugene O'Neill is gone. 2

Gilda Oakleaf and I will be married in May, too, as soon as her divorce is final, and we'll go east to live. Where, I don't know. But wish us luck. Best to Dan.

Love Max

1.
Lela had asked about Anderson's current work in preparation for a talk she was to give at a woman's club in Richburg, a town near her home at Belfast, New York.
2.
O'Neill, who had died on November 27, 1953, received a Gold Medal from the American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1922, and Sherwood received the award in 1941. The other two playwrights so honored were Augustus Thomas ( 1913) and William Gillette ( 1931).

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