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MS Thr 666

Farjeon, Joan Jefferson. Joan Jefferson Farjeon papers, 1860-1992: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: MS Thr 666
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Farjeon, Joan Jefferson.
Title: Joan Jefferson Farjeon papers
Date(s): 1860-1992
Date(s): 1950-1992
Quantity: .5 linear feet (1 box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Correspondence and ephemera relating to British set and costume designer, Joan Jefferson Farjeon and her family.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2005MT-37. Purchase with the F. E. Chase fund; received: 2005 October 12.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Krista Ferrante

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.
This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Joan Jefferson Farjeon Papers, 1860-1992 (MS Thr 666). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Separated Materials

Lend-a-hand Dramatic Club photograph album removed to MS Thr 677.

Biographical / Historical

Joan Frances Farjeon was born in 1913 in London. As an adolescent she attended the Lindores School in Bexhill-on-Sea and the Westminster School of Art. In 1939 she illustrated a collection of plays called Granny Gray, for her aunt, Eleanor Farjeon. She also designed the sets and costumes for all the plays by her friend, Nicholas Stuart Gray throughout her career. In the 1950s she designed sets and costumes at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge (England), the Pitlochry Festival and did many set designs in London including Agatha Christie's The Hollow (Fortune, 1951) and Verdict (Strand, 1958), Vernon Sylvaine's comedy starring Robertson Hare, Will Any Gentleman? (Strand, 1950), and Lock Up Your Daughters! (Mermaid, 1959). Sometime after 1955, she acted as amanuensis, officially titled "manager", for the TV cooks Johnnie and Fanny Cradock, suffered severe shock and burns when there was an explosion on the Cradocks' boat in Monte Carlo. In 1968 she became resident designer at the Webber Douglas School of Dramatic Art, creating memorable sets for productions in the tiny Chanticleer Theatre into the 1990s.She died in Northwood, Middlesex on 2006 August 8.


Harvey, Anne. "Joan Jefferson Farjeon: Inventive scenic designer." The Independent. August 14 2006.


Arranged into the following series:

Scope and Contents

Includes: letters written by various British actors to Joan Jefferson Farjeon; photographs of her sets and a portrait photograph of her aunt, Eleanor Farjeon; programs from various productions and theaters including the Chanticleer Theatre at the Webber Douglas School of Dramatic Arts; clippings sorted by subject; and other material.


This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

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