The Emperor Constantine Archive
Scope and Contents
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.
- Created: 1949-1952
- Other: Majority of material found in 1951-1952
Conditions Governing Access
Copies or publication of unpublished materials by Dorothy L. Sayers require permissions from the Sayers Literary Executor.
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.
1.00 box : 12 folders, 2 books
0.5 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
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.
Source of Acquisition
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.
Processed by Laura Schmidt
- The Emperor Constantine Archive
- Laura Schmidt
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note