This article appeared in the 2012:2 issue.
2012 is not the first time that a Strindberg centenary has been acknowledged in Britain. In 1949 a series of events – talks, performances, broadcasts and luncheons - took place in a number of locations. All of these drew attention to Strindberg’s achievements. Many of those involved considered this was long overdue and went to great lengths to redress the neglect of previous decades.
The highlight of the 1949 centenary events was the commemoration by plaque on Gravesend pier in Kent on the day of his birth of the brief unplanned stopover Strindberg made in 1893 in Gravesend with his second wife, Frida Uhl. A local newspaper, The Reporter, recorded how Gravesend in 1949 was transformed into ‘a little Stockholm’ for the occasion, with ‘large Swedish national flags’ hanging alongside Union Jacks at both the Town Pier and the Town Hall. A luncheon with the Mayor and a launch of Elizabeth Sprigge’s new biography The Strange Life of August Strindberg were part of this event, sponsored by ‘The Strindberg Society’, of which Ms Sprigge was the current president. The signatures of those present, gathered in three copies of this book, provide a record of who was there.
Strindberg’s letters reveal his intense dislike of the Gravesend boarding house where the newly-married couple obtained lodgings to recover from the arduous journey. Frida was suffering from extreme sea-sickness, and Strindberg felt suffocated, ‘incarcerated on the Isle of Women’. His antipathy for the forced intimacy of the English double bed even led to an arrangement of two separate rooms for the couple at 12 Pelham Road (subsequently renumbered number 16). Pleasure obtained from consuming the wide range of alcoholic beverages on offer helped slightly to dampen the intensity of his dislike of the stuffy ‘tea-sipping’ atmosphere of that coal-dust-saturated, ‘what-not’-endowed corner where the newly-weds were anchored. Married by Church of England rites on the Island of Heligoland a few weeks earlier, following a whirlwind, three-month courtship, the couple were now on their way to London to seek to promote Strindberg’s theatre work with the help of J.T. Grein, the critic, adapter and director known for his strong support for the Norwegian dramatist, Henrik Ibsen.
The plaque’s journey on the morning of Strindberg’s birthday, January 22nd 1949, reversed the route taken years before by Mr and Mrs Strindberg. A train journey from Chiswick to Tilbury was followed by a ceremonial river journey by ferry, the ‘Edith’ provided by Sir Alan P. Herbert who also took the wheel. The vessel passed along the banks where Strindberg had strolled to pass the time during the ten days of the Gravesend visit. The renowned actor, Michael Redgrave – ‘devotee of Strindberg’ as the local Kent Messenger described him – was responsible for bringing the plaque to honour Strindberg. The streets were thronged as Redgrave and other cast members from the London run of The Father disembarked. The Gravesend and Dartford Reporter’s headline ‘Fair Sex Crowd to See Famous Film Stars’ revealed how the general public seemed more interested in the living personalities of the stars of the screen, and notably the picture No Room at The Inn, than in the comparatively unknown, long-dead dramatist. Regarded as national rather than merely local news, this event received widespread coverage and even an editorial in The Times. And indeed later that evening in between the two performances Redgrave gave as the Captain in The Father, as it was a Saturday, he noted in his diary that the Radio Newsreel at 6 had reported on the event.
The broadcast had presented a lively account of the day, contrasting this with the gloominess which generally surrounded the reputation of Strindberg’s plays, with a bizarre twist looking back to the ‘Gay Nineties’ of his actual arrival. Interestingly, it comments upon ‘the battery of press, newsreel and television photographers’, suggesting that a film may even have been made. It had been Redgrave’s idea to mark the Strindbergs’ only visit to Britain by means of a symbolic act. Notes for a talk, as part of the 1949 commemoration, entitled ‘Strindberg In The Future’, held in the Theatre and Performance archive of the Victoria and Albert Museum, show that Redgrave’s priority in becoming involved in the event was to stimulate the interest of British producers in the forgotten plays because English audiences had, by and large, only been able to access The Father. He was also excited by the potential film might have for the revelations of lesser-known texts.
29th January 1949. The Gravesend and Dartford Reporter. Courtesy of Kentish Times/KMG
Due to the demolition of the remains of 12 Pelham Road following World War Two bombardment, the very spot where Strindberg would have first set foot on British soil – the town pier – was chosen as the location for a ceremony. At approximately 11.30am, the Swedish Chargé d’Affaires, Mr O. Lundborg (in top hat situated to the left of the Mayor in the photograph above) formally secured the plaque in position on a wall, near the then ticket office and the then gangway. Michael Redgrave (centre right) unveiled it, and Freda Jackson (on the far right) laid the wreath. The handsome brass plaque itself was a gift to Gravesend from another actor and the Director of the Embassy Theatre London, Anthony Hawtrey, a cousin of John Gielgud. The Embassy Theatre production of The Father had opened in 1948 and transferred to the Duchess for the centenary season. The Reporter records the Mayor’s enthusiastic comments about what an honour it was to receive the plaque ‘on behalf of the people of Gravesend’, which he was ‘certain ... would be treasured and looked upon as a symbol and token of friendship linking this country and Sweden.’ A copy of the script retained in the Gravesend Record Office shows that the brief broadcast ended poetically: ‘there, looking over the misty river where ten tugs lay at anchor, where the great liners lay at anchor in midstream and where the seagulls wheeled over the mudflats, Johann [sic] August Strindberg, immortalised on this brass tablet, came to rest once more on English soil.’ Sadly, today, this artefact is nowhere on view. It has had to be removed and forms part of the local heritage collection owned and stored by Gravesham Borough Council.
According to The Kent Messenger, following the waterfront ceremony, journalists present from Britain and Sweden had to battle up the High Street, through the usual morning crowd of shoppers, back to the Town Hall because ‘a great crowd almost blocked the narrow way’, and the party ‘had to be escorted by policemen’. The Town Hall Council Chamber framed its top table for the occasion with the Swedish flag entwined with the Union Jack. When Miss Sprigge ‘handed a copy of her book signed by all those at the lunch, to the Mayor and Mayoress’, she is recorded as having praised the Mayor – Councillor Ernest Osborne – as ‘one of those down-to-earth people for whom Strindberg had a great affection.’
Programme courtesy of Gravesend Record Office
Recognition of Strindberg in Britain before 1949 had been aided by George Bernard Shaw’s endowment of his Nobel prize money to support the first English translation of Strindberg’s plays in 1927. The Anglo-Swedish Literary Foundation, established in 1929, was also a beneficiary from these funds. In his brief 1949 tribute in the journal Adam, Shaw declared: ‘I was born too soon to be greatly influenced by him as a playwright, but not to take off my hat to him when I had the privilege of meeting him in Stockholm. He is among the greatest of the great.’ Shaw’s investment gave rise to a brief burst of enthusiasm for Strindberg’s work. Before 1927, Strindberg reception in the UK had been very patchy. Fervent enthusiasm had been expressed by Storm Jameson, for example, in her 1920 publication Modern Drama in Europe. In her reconstruction of the ‘dramatic progress’ of the previous half-century, Strindberg was given a prominent place. Her Nietzschean rendering of the modern spirit in drama recognised Strindberg’s work as transcending the ‘chaos of Naturalism’. ‘We may dislike his plays’, she wrote, ‘but we cannot deny their power.’
In 1927 Robert Loraine’s performance in the Embassy Theatre production of The Father drew a very favourable response and he chaired the lecture by the writer on Strindberg, Miss Lind-af-Hageby, which published as a pamphlet the following year, served to introduce Strindberg to new readers. Her 1913 book The Spirit of Revolt was already established as an early standard survey of Strindberg. Joan Bulman’s interesting study of the historical dramas, Strindberg and Shakespeare, appeared in 1933. It is paradoxical, bearing in mind the reputation of Strindberg as a misogynist, and the opinion expressed in his letter to the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche about the damning effects of feminity on English culture, that many of the early twentieth-century English publications on Strindberg which were so significant in paving the way for his acceptance by that culture were by women.
On the whole the early twentieth century period was a period of neglect and consequently a lost opportunity. Strindberg’s visit to England in 1893, commemorated in 1949, had not resulted in appropriation or assimilation of his ideas or creative works in any significant way into British culture. At the 1949 centenary The Manchester Guardian’s article on Strindberg reminded readers of this past, and the lack of impact Strindberg had had in Britain in his lifetime: ‘Strindberg is remarkably little known in this country. Even William Archer, at the turn of the century, was able to preach the gospel of the “new theatre” without mentioning his name.’ The paper also noted on February 9th in its review of the Manchester Library Theatre production of Miss Julie: ‘How much the theatre owes to Strindberg is a question that will not easily be assessed even in this year of his centenary discussions.’
Michael Robinson and Inga-Stina Ewbank have researched and written about the complex dimensions of Strindberg’s relationships with British culture at the turn of the century. Both scholars sought to understand why there was a far slower uptake of Strindberg in his lifetime in Britain, compared to the responses in many other European countries. Robinson tells the story of Strindberg’s only visit to England in full historical detail, and also evaluates the anti-Strindbergian moment of London 1893, then illuminated by Ibsenism. Ewbank identifies the series of opportunities which did not bear fruit, such as the misunderstanding surrounding Grein’s expression of interest in producing Strindberg plays through his ‘Independent Theatre’, which was a society with no stage of its own.
In 1893, Strindberg had left London within weeks, although he had expressed interest in pursuing a longer tour, but Frida stayed on and enjoyed the cultural scene into the autumn. Although an inexperienced twenty-one year old, Frida spoke English well and persisted in her attempts to act as agent for her new husband. She made contacts easily, for example with the publisher William Heinemann, but was ultimately unsuccessful in these ventures. Yet her experiences amongst the cultural intelligentsia of London, such as William Archer (the Ibsen translator) and Elizabeth Robins (the actress) must surely have been a factor in her decision to return later. Although Frida divorced Strindberg in 1897, she retained the name ‘Madame Strindberg’ and thus brought a connection back with her into British cultural life when she returned to become part of the London bohemian artistic set in 1908. In 1912, after Strindberg’s death, she was successful with the establishment of the cabaret night club, ‘The Cave of the Golden Calf’, which publicised its intention to produce an ‘Intimate Theatre’ season of five Strindberg plays. This was an ambition which did not come to fruition. However, by implication an association was made which connected Strindberg’s works and ideas to the British modernist scene.
In the later 1940s, the writer and translator Elizabeth Sprigge seems to have been the lynchpin of the arrangements for the 1949 centenary overall. At her side was Velona Pilcher, theatre director, journalist and playwright whose suggestion it had been that Sprigge write the book in the first place. The partnership of these two enterprising women led to the foundation of a ‘studio libre’ called ‘Fortyeight Theatre’ at the Anglo-French Cultural Centre in London NW8. Working with the producer David Tutaev they pitched a Strindberg season with new translations. This new theatre company renewed ideals promoted by Pilcher in her development of programming, policy and the creation of a club ambience as co-director with Peter Godfrey of the famous London Gate Theatre in 1927-8. By the end of 1949, the Watergate Theatre, founded by Pilcher and Sprigge together with Elisabeth Denby and Jane Drew, opened and rapidly became an important centre for post-war artistic recovery admired by contemporaries as an early model for the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Here, the first English version of Strindberg’s last play The Great Highway, translated by Sprigge, was produced, and that venue also promoted world premieres of many native poetic dramas and some significant contemporary international plays.
In an article published as she was preparing the text of her biography, in 1947, at the same time that her involvement in these theatre initiatives was taking shape, Sprigge expressed the British perception of Strindberg’s work as ‘dusty with the neglect, misunderstanding and misinterpretation of three generations’. With this in mind, it was crucial that the centenary events were supported by a strategy for developing interest. As well as the 1948 production of The Father, there is other evidence of the mechanisms targeted at igniting interest achieving some success, at least amongst a cultural elite interested in European theatre. Nearly a year before, in February 1948, speaking as the English representative of The Strindberg Society, Sprigge had given a lecture on ‘The Poetic Plays of Strindberg’ at the Mercury Theatre London. This was organised by ‘The Poet’s Theatre Guild’, whose president was T. S. Eliot, the American writer, critic and dramatist, and vice-president the actor Lewis Casson, friends of both Pilcher and Sprigge.
The BBC written archives in Reading yield evidence of Sprigge’s persistence throughout the spring and summer of 1948 in promoting the forthcoming centenary to Lance Sieveking, pioneering British radio and television producer and, at that time, the BBC’s drama script editor. In November 1948 the BBC broadcast Peter Watt’s production of Lester Powell’s radio adaptation based on Sprigge and Locock’s translations of A Dream Play. An original score for organ and orchestra commissioned from Berthold Goldschmidt featured. This was all a prelude to the Strindberg festival which Sieveking put in the hands of Leslie Stokes, BBC radio producer and director. The involvement of the BBC followed through the commitment the service had made to keeping alive knowledge of Strindberg in Britain during the 1930s when the London stage had sustained little interest. Not only did the Home Service broadcast a recording of The Father on January 21 , the eve of the centenary, but a little known play, Strindberg’s Swanwhite, was produced in a new translation by Sprigge to the music composed by Sibelius. The festival was a fortnight long and also included The Creditors, as well as a repeat of the extant recording of A Dream Play. The Guardian’s radio critic reported on the events and the coincidence of the expansion of the Third Programme, which ‘should allow many to whom Strindberg is little more than a name to get some more positive idea of his plays’. Although The Father had been presented within the ‘World Theatre’ slot on the Home Service, The Guardian commented: ‘The B.B.C. has been able to treat the centenary of Strindberg’s birth handsomely now that all the extra hours of the Third Programme are available.’
But not everyone was enthusiastic about the efforts being made to honour Strindberg’s artistic achievements. A letter to Redgrave from Vera Hollaender, the Managing Director of the British and Continental Plays agency, expressed frustration at the way that Britain was embracing Strindberg as a great modern figure. Mrs Hollaender, delineated on the agency’s headed notepaper as ‘British, formerly Hungarian’ referred to a conversation she had just had with Redgrave, when writing to him on the 8 February: ‘forgive my outburst against poor old Strindberg; I am sure it is not your fault that we, who hail from the continent, have had him dished over and over again already twenty years ago and are a bit fed up with London Theatreland and the B.B.C becoming so solemnly Strindberg-minded.’
The Duchess Theatre where The Father centenary production ran for four weeks also hosted an exhibition, organised by the International Arts Guild. On the evening of January 22 , the secretary Mr Miron Grindea and Miss Lind-af-Hageby gave short lectures. Grindea, recently returned from Stockholm, informed the audience of the number of plays being produced there for the centenary, and also reported on the exhibitions being mounted, and the hundreds of other official banquets. His experiences were relayed in the double issue of his journal Adam: International Review brought out for the occasion: ‘The capital as a whole evoked for me numberless Strindberg shadows of exultation, anger, jealousy, apparent madness, and everything that can befall an artist of genius. Professor Landquist, one of the few Strindberg scholars who knew him well, walked arm in arm with me through the streets of Stockholm, and he, too, shared the feeling that if Strindberg could wake up from his grave he would certainly be violently angry with everything that was prepared in his honour.’
Grindea’s special issue, or ‘international symposium’ as he termed it, in which he acknowledged the support of Sprigge, brought the worldwide dimension of Strindberg’s birth centenary into British culture with its many tributes, in English and French, from major European and American contemporary writers. Some of these, like Shaw, were also Nobel prizewinners: Thomas Mann, Roger Martin du Gard, Andre Gide, Jean Cocteau, Thornton Wilder, Albert Camus, Arnold Zweig, Max Brod. There were also brief commentaries from leading academics and intellectuals. One of the very few British contributors, Hubert Nicholson, the journalist, novelist and poet, prominent in the inter-war London bohemian scene, wrote, in a contribution headed ‘Neurotic Viking’, about how the post-war crisis surrounding marriage offered a new context for a quickening of interest in Britain, aside from the centenary. He concluded rather bluntly: ‘It seems more reasonable to forecast a future in which everyone will appreciate Strindberg than one in which nobody will.’ The issue ended with a contribution from the Anglo-American Velona Pilcher, the dedicatee of Sprigge’s Strindberg biography – ‘Strindberg’s Friend in England’. Her brief article incorporated personal memories of J.T. Grein, ‘eager and interested, ever on the alert to detect new trends in theatre’, and two versions – the English and the Swedish histories – of Strindberg’s 1893 visit to England, and ended with her own view of Strindberg: ‘We are still in his debt. What all independent and experimental theatres really owe to him has never yet been said.’
On the 12th February 1949, The Illustrated London News printed a photograph (available only in the print version of this article in SBR) of the luncheon held at The Anglo-Swedish Society, at which T. S. Eliot, recently returned from his British Council tour of Sweden just after he was awarded the Nobel Prize, gave an address. As well as another speech by Sprigge, Redgrave was also present and read Strindberg poetry and passages from the last play, The Great Highway. This was also reported in The Times, as well as a large number of other newspapers and magazines which covered the event. Not only does this coverage reflect continuing media interest, but also perhaps how indefatigably Sprigge strove to promote both Strindberg and her own new book as well as to build her reputation as a Strindberg translator.
The sequence of events, performances and publications associated with the 1949 Strindberg centenary in Britain refutes any notion that British culture was disinterested in European theatrical modernisms. Did the commemoration in fact contribute to a new beginning as Britain looked increasingly outwards following the end of World War Two? How far did directors and theatregoers follow the suggestion expressed in The Times’ Strindberg tribute that ‘Some shift of taste or some change in our own playgoing temperament may yet bring him the long withheld allegiance which his genius demands.’ There was a significant rediscovery and evidence of vital new creative understandings beginning to be influenced by new directions: ‘the fashion now is to burlesque these Strindberg plays’, commented Sprigge, approvingly. Indeed, in September 1950 she and Pilcher had been praised in The Times for their venture into Strindberg production at ‘The Watergate’ and the efforts with which they aspired to ‘repair the neglect of Strindberg on the English stage’. As Sprigge confirmed in her introduction to her translation of The Father, published in 1955: ‘Strindberg was ahead of his time, but at last we have begun to catch him up.’ During the 1950s, other experimental and more obscure groups produced a number of his other plays in Britain for the first time.
Whilst there seems to have been more of a resonance in early twentieth century American drama than in British drama, this seems to have been starting to shift by the mid 1950s. Did Strindbergian tendencies inspire any of the new post-war avant-gardism in British playwriting and the theatre world? Is there, for example, any Strindbergian inflection in John Osborne’s notorious play Look Back In Anger (1956)? Writing in 1966, Michael Meyer reported significant signs of this continuing sense of revival, shown for example, by the television broadcast of The Father in 1962, and the most important London run since Redgrave’s of that play starring Trevor Howard as the Captain in 1964.
By the 1990s, the backlash from the three decades preceding the 1949 Centenary, a period which had inherited the negative attitudes generated in Strindberg’s lifetime, seemed finally to be on the verge of being overturned in Britain. It is still possible to detect the survival of old prejudices in some critical writing. However, the many translations, books and articles which built understanding of Strindberg after 1949 began to bear fruit in a renewal of creative dramaturgical explorations of Strindbergiana in Britain which has continued into the 21st century.
1949 should thus be acknowledged as a crucial turning point in the reputation of Strindberg in Britain. Revisiting its history enables both the significance accorded to Strindberg’s work more than half a century ago and the importance of that moment itself to be better understood. The postscript to the Sprigge biography launched at Gravesend still speaks prophetically today: ‘Not a single one of Strindberg’s plays is a period piece; neither subject, situation, nor language is dated. He wrote of all times for all times, and was always struggling to break through into further knowledge and new ways of expression. Strindberg should therefore never be imprisoned between the dates of his birth and his death, but given every advantage of modern and experimental theatre.’
With thanks to: The KM group and Mary Evans Picture Library for permission to reproduce photographs, The Redgrave family for permission to refer to sources held at the Victoria and Albert Museum: theatre and performance archives; Gravesend record office and the staff at the British Newspaper Library at Colindale; Karin Altenberg and Sir Michael Holroyd; The Learning and Teaching Development Unit and The Faculty of Arts at the University of Winchester, Winchester drama graduates Rachel Lawson and Amy Pilborough for their help with research for this article, ShadyJane theatre company and current undergraduate student members of ‘The Strindberg Club’ 2012 for their encouragement and interest.
LIST OF PEOPLE present at the Gravesend Centenary luncheon.
Theo Agar – actor; he may have been an understudy or present in another capacity? He may be related to the American writer Herbert Agar who had some connections to London theatre at this time; in the film musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968).
Gunnar Ahlström, (1906-1982) – professor and dramatist. Department head at the Swedish Institute 1955-1971. Best known for the book: Det moderna genombrottet i Nordens litteratur (‘Modern breakthrough in Nordic literature’).
Bengt A****berg (Alunberg?) – no information.
Sylvia Maxwell Fyfe (1900-1992) – Lady Fyfe, wife of Sir David Maxwell Fyfe, a director of the Embassy Theatre (he had been Churchill’s Solicitor General during World War II and British deputy chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials). He was present, according to the BBC news report, but neglected to sign this copy of the book.
F. W. Harrison – this was the pseudonym of Norman Anderson, an American playwright, and may or may not be him.
Marjory Hawtrey (1900-1986) – actress, wife of Anthony Hawtrey who donated the plaque, and who was a director of the Embassy Theatre.
Karla Kann – relative of Lilly.
Lilly Kann (1893-1978) – the ‘nurse’ in The Father, leading actress from the Berlin Jewish theatre between the wars who emigrated to Britain, also prominent in movies by the 1940s.
Michael Lewis – BBC sound technician.
Miss/Mrs Lind-af-Hageby – author of English language publications on Strindberg 1913 and 1928.
Ebba Low (1878-1960) – Lady; G. B. Shaw’s Swedish translator and sometime assistant.
Sheila Mercier (1919- ) – actress, who had been talent-spotted by Donald Wolfit and toured with his Shakespeare company before the war; sister of the actor Brian Rix, she later starred as Annie Brearly in the popular Yorkshire soap opera Emmerdale on ITV. In 1949 she may have been engaged as an understudy for The Father.
Mrs J/T Odenz – no information; might be a relation of the American musician/composer of that name active from the 1970s-1990s in musical theatre.
Velona Pilcher (1894-1952), dramatist, journalist and theatre director; partner of Elizabeth Sprigge.
Roy Plascott (1919-2005) – journalist with the Kent Messenger Group for half a century. His roles included Gravesend district editor, chief reporter, news editor, special projects editor, diary editor, leader writer and columnist.
David Prosser – BBC newsreel cameraman.
Jill Raymond (1927- ), now Lady Freud – actress ‘Bertha’ in The Father; born June Flewett she was the inspiration for Lucy in C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia books; in 1950 she married Clement Freud; in 1980 she started ‘Jill Freud and Company’ in Suffolk.
Michael Redgrave (1908-1985) – actor in The Father, Embassy production at The Duchess Theatre.
Llewellyn Rees (1901-1994) – English actor and drama director, Arts Council of Great Britain 1947-49; administrator, Old Vic 1949-51.
Elizabeth Sprigge (1900-1970), translator, biographer, children’s writer, theatre director.
Douglas Willis – BBC reporter who spoke on the newsreel.
Peter Wolff (1930- 2012) – a teenager age 18-19 at the time of this event, who worked at front of house as an usher at the Embassy Theatre tearing tickets; later founder of the Peter Wolff Theatre Trust, which continues to support new playwrighting in Britain.
Audrey Wordsworth (nee Scanlon) – newly-married wife of Richard W. Wordsworth (1915-1993), actor, related to William Wordsworth. She worked subsequently as a press representative/secretary, in the 1950s.
William Wordsworth – great-great-grandson of the Romantic poet – worked for various London theatres. In 1948-9 he was press-relations officer for the Embassy Theatre, The Father production.
Martin Wyldeck (1914-1988) – actor, ‘Nojd’ in The Father, successful film actor 1950s-70s.
Bulman, Joan (1933) Strindberg and Shakespeare. London: Jonathan Cape.
Ewbank, Inga-Stina (1999) ‘Strindberg and British culture’, in: TijdSchrift voor Skandinavistiek vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 7-28.
Grindea, Miron (ed.) (1949) Adam: International Review ‘Strindberg’, vol. 17, January-February, nos.190-191.
Jameson, Storm (1920) Modern Drama in Europe. London: W. Collins Sons &Co. Ltd.
Lind-af-Hageby, Emilie Augusta Louise (1913) The Spirit of Revolt, Studies and Impressions. London: Stanley Paul.
Lind-af-Hageby, Emilie Augusta Louise (1928) Strindberg: A Study. London: A. K. Press (Anglo-Swedish Society).
Meyer, Michael (1966) ‘Strindberg in England’, in: Essays on Strindberg. Stockholm: Strindberg Society, pp. 65-73.
Robinson, Michael (1998) ‘Leaving Gravesend at Last, or Introducing Strindberg to England’, in: Studies in Strindberg. Norwich: Norvik Press, pp. 9-23.
Sprigge, Elizabeth (1949) The Strange Life of August Strindberg (reprinted Russell and Russell 1972).
Sprigge, Elizabeth (1955, reprinted 1962) Twelve Plays by August Strindberg [including ‘Swanwhite’ in the translation performed on the BBC in 1949 for the Strindberg Centenary]. London: Constable.
Theatre World (March 1949) ‘The Strindberg Centenary’, vol. 291.
Strauss, Monica (2000) Cruel Banquet: The Life and Loves of Frida Strindberg. New York, San Diego, London: Harcourt Inc.
Strindberg, August (1949) Eight Famous plays, translated by Edwin Björkman and Nellie Erichsen, with an introduction by Alan Harris. London: G. Duckworth.