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Caryl Brahms

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Category: Literature
Reference No: 9063
Status: Available
Price: £30.00
  Caryl Brahms  Caryl Brahms

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Prolific English novelist and playwright.

As a student at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Brahms was dissatisfied with her own skill as a pianist and left without graduating. She contributed light verse, and later stories for the great David Low’s cartoons, to the London Evening Standard in the late 1920s. Finding it difficult to keep up the supply of new stories for Low, Brahms enlisted the help of a Russian friend, S. J. Simon, whom she had met at a hostel when they were both students. The partnership was successful, and the two started to write together, collaborating on a series of very popular comic novels, including A Bullet in the Ballet (1937), Don't, Mr.Disraeli! (1940) and No Bed for Bacon (1941).

Brahms also published charming volumes of poems for children in the 1930s – The Moon on My Left (1930), Sung Before Six (1931) and Curiouser and Curiouser (1932). The Evening Standard published many of these.

After Simon's sudden death in 1948 at the age of just 44, Brahms wrote solo for some years, but in the 1950s she established a second long-running collaboration with the writer and broadcaster Ned Sherrin, which lasted for the rest of her life.

With Sherrin, Brahms wrote and adapted prolifically for the theatre and television. Their collaborations include Sing a Rude Song, a musical biography of Marie Lloyd, (1969), adaptations of farces by Georges Feydeau (Fish Out of Water, 1971, and Paying the Piper, 1972), a Charles Dickens play, Nickleby and Me (1975), Beecham, (1980), a celebration of the great conductor, and The Mitford Girls, 1981. For BBC television, they adapted a long sequence of Feydeau farces between 1968 and 1973 under the series title Ooh! La-la!

This is a listing of two rare items, a charming handwritten and ink-signed very early (1930) letter to a fan and a handwritten and signed copy of one of her children's poems the fan has requested.
The letter, on a sheet of 9" x 7" lined paper (The Studio, 4 Albany Street, Regent's Park, NW1, 3-12-'30) reads (in full):

Dear Mr Bramley
I am very glad that you have decided on 'Awful Thought': it is one for which I have a warm affaction. I have written it out in beautiful writing (the original was rattled off on a 'Corona' & consigned to the flames after its initial appearance in the Evening Standard) on lined paper, which is one of my idosyncracies.
It was kind of you to comply with my condition and I am forwarding your p.o. to the Hospital with instructions to send the receipt to you.
Finally, if my work has given you pleasure I am more than repaid for any time  for any time I have spent in the (to me) laborious & (indeciferable) art of (indeciferable)-guiding.
Very sincerely
Caryl Brahms.


The poem "Awful Thought", handwritten and signed in ink, is best read from the second scan and concerns the dangers of being a fly on a ceiling.

Both items have a vertical and horizontal correspondence fold and are in very good condition.