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Papers of C. A. Lejeune

Date range: 1840s-1960s

Medium: Archive

Number of items: 4 series.

C.A (Caroline Alice) Lejeune (1897-1973) was one of the most important film critics of her generation, with a newspaper column in the Observer from 1928 to 1960. She covered films, among other things, for the Manchester Guardian from 1922 and was one of the earliest professional female critics in Britain.

Her papers consist of several different types of material: cuttings or page proofs of Lejeune’s reviews; cuttings of reviews by other critics; promotional leaflets, issued by the film studios, many with manuscript viewing notes written by Lejeune during or shortly after press screenings; loose manuscript notes or draft reviews; and occasional potted biographies of particular actors.

The vast majority of the documents are still readable, though Lejeune’s handwriting is not always legible as sometimes her notes were written in haste in the darkness of the cinema whilst watching the film she was reviewing. The distribution document is usually a form of press bulletin – sometimes it looks more like a program or flyer – with a summary of the film, the cast, run time etc

The material is grouped into folders alphabetically by movie title (or actor’s name in the case of biographies) and are an invaluable resource for the study of film and film critique.

In additional there is a small amount of personal papers, including letters to her mother, an honorary degree, amateur dramatics photo albums, games, scripts, a school notebook and stories by C.A. Lejeune.

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