John Drinkwater

Selected pictures of John Drinkwater --

Please note, these photographs are privately owned, and may only be used with the express permission of the owner. To obtain permission, send an email to the address in Contact.

List of photos (click on thumbnail to see full photo):
Posing with manuscript at Pepys' house
In front of Lincoln's house
JD with James Joyce, Salzburg
James Joyce with Daisy Drinkwater and Nora Barnacle
JD in the shell factory
JD and Barry Jackson
"Bird in Hand" at the Birmingham Rep
At the Malvern Festival, 1932
John and Daisy
JD with Thomas Hardy
JD rehearsing with Margaretta Scott
JD at Pepys' House
JD with Peggy Ashcroft
JD and family at Pepys' House
JD with Penny
JD signing contract at Universal
JD with pipe and MS Posing with manuscript at Pepys' house
Date: unknown, possibly early 30s, studio of Lewis Protheroe
Location: Pepys' house, Brampton
This is clearly a publicity photo, a carefully posed shot showing JD with his typical pipe, rather theatrically studying a manuscript. His tweed jacket, artfully crumpled over his left arm, proclaims him a country gentleman. In an article in the Sewanee Review, published in 1932, in which he is interviewed by Cyril Clemens, he claims to have bought Pepys' House, which is in the background. However, since it was absorbed into the Sandwich estates and has been leased to the Samuel Pepys Club since 1926, it is difficult to see how this could have been true. In the same article, he apparently says that Samuel Pepys was born there, although in fact he was born on February 23rd 1633 in Salisbury Court off Fleet Street.
JD at Lincoln's house In front of Lincoln's house
Date: unknown, possibly early 20s
Location: Abraham Lincoln's house in Springfield
JD made many trips to the USA, promoting his great success, the play about Abraham Lincoln. A trip to Lincoln's house in Springfield, Illinois would have been top of his agenda.
JD with Jame Joyce, Salzburg JD with James Joyce, Salzburg
Date: 1928
Location: Salzburg, outside the Hotel Bristol
Accompanying his wife Daisy Kennedy, who was giving a concert at the Mozarthaus (Grosser Saal) during the Salzburg Festival, they met up with James Joyce and his innamorata Nora Barnacle. John had offered valuable support to Joyce by praising his work at a time when most critics were having a field day crucifying it for its complexity and the extraordinary demands it made on the reader. They had met the previous year in London.
The Joyces and the Drinkwaters James Joyce with Daisy Drinkwater and Nora Barnacle
Date: 1928
Location: Salzburg, outside the Hotel Bristol
Daisy Drinkwater (professional name Kennedy) stands second from the right (in white), with Nora Barnacle (Joyce's lifelong partner, who he was eventually to marry, on July 4th, 1931, in London) beside her, far right. The bespectacled lady next to Joyce has been identified as Kathleen Markwell, concert pianist, and was Daisy's accompanist. Markwell is also notable for that fact that she had, in 1925, married Hiawatha Coleridge-Taylor, son of the eminent black English composer, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.
JD at the shell factory JD in the shell factory
Date: 1915
Location: Birmingham Aluminium Works
On Sundays those able-bodied men who were for whatever reason not in the army went voluntarily to make shells for the war effort. As a married man, JD would not have been expected to sign up for combat, but evidently he did his bit on the home front, as did Barry Jackson (standing behind and slightly to the right of John).
JD with Barry Jackson JD with Barry Jackson
Date: unknown
Location: unknown
A slightly official-looking double portrait, in spite of the artfully arranged relaxed poses. Judging from the much more mature appearance of the two men, this probably dates from sometime after the war.
Playbill for The Bird-in-Hand, Birmingham "Bird-in-Hand" at the Birmingham Rep
Date: ca. 1927
Location: outside the Birmingham Rep.
A 19-year-old Peggy Ashcroft and a 20-year-old Laurence Olivier, fresh out of drama school and right at the start of their careers, pose in front of a poster outsided the Rep, presumably with other members of the cast (Percy Rhodes, 1871-1956; Carrie Baillie, dates unknown-the only thing about her that I can find is that she was Allan Wilkie's leading lady around 1910). On its transfer to London's Royalty Theatre in June of the following year, the popular comedy enjoyed a good run of 366 performances.
At the Malvern Festival 1932 At the Malvern Festival, 1932
Date: 1932
Location: The Malvern Festival, Malvern, Worcestershire
Includes a number of key figures at the Festival, including Barry V. Jackson, John Drinkwater and George Bernard Shaw. Tanya Moiseiwitsch, just 18 in this picture, was later to become a celebrated stage designer. She was the daughter of Daisy Kennedy (standing next to her) and celebrated Ukrainian pianist Benno Moiseiwitsch. This image taken from "The Birmingham Repertory Theatre" by Thomas C. Kemp, published by Cornish Brothers Ltd., Birmingham, 1943.
JD and Daisy Kennedy John and Daisy
Date: unknown
Location: unknown (very likely in the grounds of Pepys' House at Brampton)
Daisy and John loiter poetically in the garden.
JD with Thomas Hardy JD with Thomas Hardy
Date: unknown
Location: unknown, probably the grounds of Hardy's house.
John with his good friend Thomas Hardy
JD rehearsing with Margaretta Scott JD rehearsing with Margaretta Scott
Date: 1933
Location: Regent's Park Open-Air Theatre (founded in 1932 by Robert Atkins and Sydney Caroll).
JD rehearses his lines with Margaretta Scott for a production of "The Tempest": both looking very intense. In this picture she would be about 21. She appeared at the Open-Air Theatre for four seasons, from 1933-1937, later becoming a distinguished Shakespearean actress. She enjoyed a long, successful and varied career, and died in 2005 at the age of 93.
JD at Pepys' House JD at Pepys' House
Date: unknown
Location: Pepys' House, Brampton
JD looking suitably serious, relaxing in front of the cottage in Brampton which he rented, partly in order to write Pepys' biography.
JD with Peggy Ashcroft JD with Peggy Ashcroft
Date: unknown, probably around 1927
Location: unknown, possibly in the grounds of Pepys' House.
JD looking happy as he perches on a swing with a very young-looking Peggy Ashcroft. This was probably taken around the time of the production of Bird in Hand in Birmingham.
JD and family etc. at Pepys' House JD and family at Pepys' House
Date: unknown
Location: outside Pepys' House, Brampton
JD poses with a remarkable number of his relatives, including Daisy, her two daughters by Benno Moisewitsch and her parents. In the full picture there are fully twelve individuals.
JD with daughter Penny JD with his daughter Penny
Date: unknown
Location: unknown
John doted on his one and only child, Penelope Ann. This is almost certainly a publicity still from the time of his film "The King's People", so may date from around 1936-37.
JD and the suits at Universal Studios JD signing a contract at Universal
Date: unknown, but probably 1937
Location: Universal Studios
His last venture appears to have been as writer and producer of a Warner Brothers' film celebrating the recent coronation of King George VI, "The King's People". In the full picture he is surrounded by various predictably solemn Hollywood suits. The film's cinematographer was John S. Stumar.