A collection of correspondence from Audrey Hepburn to her father Anthony Hepburn-Ruston and her stepmother Fidelma Hepburn-Ruston, 1963-1987. The letters giving an intimate insight into Hepburn's feelings and thoughts regarding her family and work during this period. The collection comprising twenty-three autograph letters and two postcards, each signed Audrey, or with variations on her father's nickname for her Monkey Puzzle [according to Audrey's stepmother, he called her this because as a child she was a little monkey and hard to understand], the majority with corresponding envelopes, the correspondence includes :
-- one letter which gives a fascinating insight into her anticipation and excitement about her pending role in the film My Faor Lady, and another which later describes her satisfaction with it.
-- an autograph letter, signed, from Burgenstock, 22nd April, 1963, referring to the period of time she was separated from her father...it is really quite marvellous to have a 'family' again...news of her son Sean, visiting her husband Mel Ferrer in Madrid and an exciting new project that she is working on...a very fat new script for June - is terribly good and once I get over all my fears and 'butterflies' I shall have a glorious time. Perhaps you know I am going to do the film of My Fair Lady - the musical version of G.Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, which is the biggest success of its kind Broadway has known, it played for 7 years! the picture will have more of the play, combined with the divine music and songs by Lerner & Loew. I have learned all the scenes and songs and am doggedly 'going at my cockney' trying to make it sound genuine. It is something I have longed to do ever since I saw it in N.York years ago, although never did I dare hope this plum of a character would ever be assigned to me.....The tough part is now to live up to everyone's expectations. It is the biggest and the best job I've ever been given, a crown on 22 years of hard work, let's hope I know how to wear it!...., signed Your loving much less puzzled Monkey 4pp.
-- an autograph letter, signed, from Los Angeles, [n.d. but June, 1963], describing her hectic life....I haven't stopped since we started so to speak. Work hard every day, and have settled in finally..., she tells them of her sadness at the death of her Yorkshire Terrier, Famous....the pain in my heart makes it even unbearable to write about...perhaps the love one receives from a wee animal like that is the truest we humans ever know...., signed Kisses to you both, Monkey Puz. 2pp.
-- an autograph letter, signed, from Los Angeles, 3rd August, 1963, giving details of family life, and work...the picture progresses. We start shooting on the 12th, so the heat is on, any amount of things to finish before we start, but then if we rehearsed for another 3 years we still wouldn't feel ready so we may as well start...., signed a ton of kisses, Monkey P. 3pp.
-- an autograph letter, signed, from Los Angeles, 28th September, 1963, telling them...we are only just surviving a truly 'infernal' heat wave that has had us all gasping for air...At the studio 110-118 every day...but there is little I can do about Eliza's heavy wool skirts and laced up boots..., of Mel ...we missed our first anniversary together...though I missed him badly on the day, I was filled with the glorious feeling that it's better now than ever.... and of Sean....enclosed are some not very good pix of him taken with the miraculous polaroid colour camera...am still enchanted at the idea of developing a photograph in 10 seconds!!!!... and a ...shot of Eliza between scenes, with a rather soppy expression, but thought it might give you some idea..., signed The Monk 4pp.
-- an autograph letter, signed, from Los Angeles, 17th November, 1963, telling them of imminent travel plans to New York and then to Burgenstock, Switzerland....I have to stay in New York a few days to do some publicity for 'Charade' the picture I did with Cary Grant in Paris last winter...the picture [My Fair Lady] has gone very well and is certainly the most deeply satisfying job I've done. Am very worn at this point as the hours have been long and the demands great and constant, but am very happy..., she tells them she plans to take a break to spend time with her family...and also for a complete rest from the pressures and diversions that are so much part of our business.., ending on a humorous note about Sean having seen his first film Flipper....now he wants a dolphin...oh well, signed Audrey M.P. 4pp.
-- an autograph letter, signed, from Burgenstock, 6th January, 1964, thanking them for their Christmas presents in red felt pen...THANK YOU EVER EVER SO MUCH xxxxxx, and telling them of their Christmas with her Aunt and her brother...this is the family I have always been closest to, have always... worshipped my younger brother who is....making a brilliant career as one of the youngest directors with Universal..., signed all, all, all love - Audrey 3pp.
-- an autograph letter, signed, on Villa Suvretta, St.Moritz headed stationary, 14th February, 1964, talking of the arrangements for their trip to Ireland and the interest shown by a Mr O'Hanlon...I wonder...if he would be willing to keep our arrival a big dark secret, as I would die if this moment I have longed for for so many years would in any way be dramatized and thereby cheapened by the Press. However well meaning people are only one person is needed to trigger off a mess of press photographers...I would suggest telling noone of our arrival.... signed M.P. 3pp.
-- an autograph letter, signed, from Madrid, 11th May, 1964, full of news of domestic arrangements and comical anecdotes of their move to an unprepared house in Madrid....with my hat still on [I] started wiping shelves with tissue paper from our bags....the oven blew up when we tried lighting it...the icebox to this day has a tea cloth on the handle for it gives terrible "shocks"...but despite these setbacks...I adore being here! I find Spain passionately exciting..., signed M.P. 11pp.
-- an autograph letter, signed, from Madrid, 15th July, 1964,...My Precious Papa, Your daughter must be driving you mad..., referring to the difficulty of fitting in a trip to Ireland with their hectic schedule, settling Sean into school, buying a new house near Geneva and Mel filming Greco in Rome....producing and acting is a handfull!!!....forgive me...ours seems to be an existance perched forever on the brink of the unexpected....we are almost rigidly organised but the timetable is bursting at the seams...., signed M.P., the letter P annotated with a little face, 10pp.
-- an autograph letter, signed, from Madrid, 10th March, 1965, full of domestic news, with a postscript.....HOT FLASH !!, Just got my new suit sent home - the suit your Xmas present....I...had it made at Balenciaga...It is HEAVEN ....shall ask Mel to 'snap' me in it it! 5pp.
There is then a gap in the collection until 1971, by which time Hepburn had married for a second time to Dr. Andrea Dotti (1969) and given birth to her second son Luca (1970), the two letters written in this period, 1971 and 1975 concern news of her children and domestic arrangements, the letters then recommence in the 1980s
-- an autograph note, signed, on La Paisible, Tolochenaz, Vaud headed notecard, 28th February, 1980...Here for a week's mid term holiday, lovely, fresh air and no bombs, bullits or riots!!, Sean is working, has become an assistant director, is very good and serious....Luca very bright in school - thank God for my boys!, signed Love, Audrey
-- an autograph letter, signed, on La Paisible, Tolochenaz, Vaud headed stationary, 31st July, 1980, addressed to Fidelma, regarding her concern for her father's health and describing her mother's poor health...added to all this my marriage is in bad shape so am suffering on all sides..., signed Love, Audrey 3pp.
-- an autograph letter, signed, from Tolochenaz, 24th October, 1980, written following the death of her father...My thoughts have been with you constantly these days...my father was one of the most blessed persons I know to have had you to love him so dearly....few have ever known that kind of warmth, affection and security.., signed Audrey and annotated with a heart motif 5pp.
-- and an autograph letter, signed, on Via Ceracchi, Roma headed paper, 24th January, 1986 telling Fidelma of Sean's marriage...on the 22 Dec in L.A....I adore my little Italian daughter in law...signed Kisses, Audrey 3pp. (a lot)