EUGENE O’NEILL, EXPRESSES HIS ADMIRATION FOR PAUL ROBESON
BUT REFUSES TO WRITE THE INTRODUCTION TO THE BIOGRAPHY… FOR MRS. ROBESON
O’NEILL, EUGENE. (1888-1953). American playwright. Typed Letter Signed, “Eugene O’Neill”, on imprinted Le Plessis, Saint-Antoine Du Rocher stationery. One page, quarto. No place, February 19, 1930. Very fine condition. To “Dear Mr. Saxton”. O’Neill writes:
“I deeply regret that I cannot fall in with Mrs. Robeson’s suggestion about my doing an introduction to her biography—particularly so since I feel the greatest friendship for Paul Robeson as a man and the deepest respect for him as an artist. But the situation is this; I am a firm disbeliever in Introductions in general and I long ago made it an absolute rule that I would never do one. It would be impossible for me to break this rule at this late date and make an exception without seriously offending those I have refused in the past, among whom have been some very close friends of mine. So you see. I know Paul Robeson would be the first to understand this—and by that I mean Mrs. Robeson also. I appreciate very much her thinking of me and, were the circumstances other than they are, I would esteem it a privilege. With all sincere regards to you, Yours very truly, Eugene O’Neill”.