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The Emperor Constantine Archive

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Wade-A-61
The Emperor Constantine archive contains 12 folders of materials relating to the religious play of the same title by Dorothy L. Sayers. Printed copies of the play are found in folders 1-4, 11-12, and in the list of books at the end of the contents listing. The books, while remaining part of the archive, are now stored in the Wade Center book holdings, and may be retrieved by the archival staff upon request. Correspondence relating to the play is found in folders 5-10. Those folders were originally stored in a multi-tabbed folder, the cover of which is photocopied in the front of folder 5. The folder itself resides with the originals of this archive.

Dates

  • Created: 1949-1952
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1951-1952

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Copies or publication of unpublished materials by Dorothy L. Sayers require permissions from the Sayers Literary Executor.

Extent

1.00 box : 12 folders, 2 books

0.5 Linear Feet

Abstract

The Emperor Constantine archive contains materials relating to the religious play of the same title by Dorothy L. Sayers including: various copies and scripts of the play, some production notes, and related correspondence primarily regarding the Colchester Festival  where the play was first performed in 1951.

Biographical or Historical Information

In 1949 the Bishop of Colchester asked Dorothy L. Sayers to write a play for the Festival of Britain, which was to take place in Colchester in 1951. Early suggestions were to focus the play on St. Helena, mother of Constantine and daughter of King Coel of Colchester. Sayers ultimately decided to have the play center on Constantine himself, spanning from his meeting at Colchester in A.D. 306 to his death at Nicomedia in A.D. 337. Special emphasis is placed on the Council of Nicaea. The play was first published in book form by Victor Gollancz in 1951. In February of 1952, a shortened version of the play entitled Christ's Emperor was performed at St. Thomas's Church, Regent Street.

The material in this archive was acquired at auction from Sotheby's in London by the Wade Center in 2000. The original Sotheby's lot(s) included in this archive are: Lot 290 via-g. Lot 290 vig included the books in the listing at the end of the finding aid.

Source of Acquisition

01/1a

Related Materials

Researchers interested in this archive may also wish to consult the following resources in the Wade Center holdings:

THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE : A CHRONICLE : Preface. (ca. July 1949-July 1951) 9 pp. AMs. in 9 lvs. with revisions. (DLS manuscript #74)

THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE : A CHRONICLE : "Prologue." 7 pp. AMs. in 7 lvs., with revisions. (DLS manuscript #75)

THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE : A CHRONICLE : Acts I, II, and III. Incomplete. 226 pp. AMs. in 226 lvs., with revisions. (DLS manuscript #76)

THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE : A CHRONICLE : "Epilogue." 7 pp. AMs. in 7 lvs.: 6 pp. by DLS with revisions, 1 p. in unknown hand. (DLS manuscript #77)

THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE : A CHRONICLE : "Cast - addresses, measurements, etc.". 79 pp. AMs. in 75 lvs. by unknown authors; in blue notebook with AMs. inscription on verso of front cover. (DLS manuscript #78)

THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE : A CHRONICLE : Miscellaneous notes. 26 pp. in 23 lvs.: 4 pp. AMs. by DLS, 19 pp. AMs. by unknown authors, 3 pp. TMs. with revisions in unknown hand. (DLS manuscript #79)

THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE : A CHRONICLE : Chronology of characters' lives and related events. (1951) 16 pp. AMs. in 12 lvs.; in black notebook. (DLS manuscript #80)

THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE : A CHRONICLE : Programme Note. 2 pp. AMs. in 2 lvs. with revisions, signed. (DLS manuscript #81)

THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE : A CHRONICLE : Prompt Copy. 198 pp. in 120 lvs.: 189 pp. printed text with AMs. marginal notes by unknown authors, 9 pp. AMs. by unknown authors; in green notebook with AMs. inscription on recto of front cover; plus blue folder. (DLS manuscript #82)

THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE : A CHRONICLE : Misc. related materials. 11 pp. AMs. in 11 lvs., signed. (DLS manuscript #83)

Harbus, Antonina. "Colchester's Legend on Stage: The Emperor Constantine by Dorothy L. Sayers." Modern Drama 48 n.1 (Spring 2005): 87-107. (AF-18200)

Lambourne, Norah. "Recollections of Designing for the Religious Plays of Dorothy L. Sayers." Costume, the Journal of the Costume Society n.25 (1991): 1-17. (AF-12103)

Marvin-Carrell, Joy. "A Comparison between Dorothy L. Sayers' plays: The Man Born to be King and Emperor Constantine." (November 18, 1977): 8 pp. (AF-3695)

Reviews of the book and the performance of The Emperor Constantine, see the Wade Center article file, Dorothy L. Sayers review section.

Suter, Graham. "Dorothy L. Sayers on the Stage." Speech and Drama 42 n.2 Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama). (Autumn 1993): 21-25. (AF-12406)

The Barbara Reynolds Papers

Other materials in the Wade Center holdings may relate to the topics in this archive. See the archivist for further research assistance.

Separated Materials

Books (ask the archivist for retrieval):

Sayers, Dorothy L. The Emperor Constantine. Second impression. London: Victor Gollancz, 1952. hd

Sayers, Dorothy L. The Emperor Constantine. First edition. London: Victor Gollancz, 1951. Inscribed to Miss Turleigh. pb – some markings

Other Descriptive Information

There is an acquisition file for this collection. There is a research copy of this collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Laura Schmidt
Title
The Emperor Constantine Archive
Author
Laura Schmidt
Date
03/20/2007
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Marion E. Wade Center Repository

Contact:
Wheaton College
501 College Ave.
Wheaton IL 60187-5593 US
630-752-5908