Scope and arrangement
During her 1939 visit to the United States, Warner met the American composer Paul Nordoff (1909-1977), who had written an opera based on Mr. Fortune's Maggot two years earlier. Though the two were to see each other fewer than a dozen times throughout their lives, a deep friendship developed between them, carried out largely through their correspondence over the next four decades.
The 237 letters in this collection are from Warner to Nordoff.At this writing, we do not know the location of Nordoff's letters to Warner, if they have survived. Their content ranges from humorous and original descriptions of commonplace events and activities to more painful accounts of the occasional strains in Warner's relationship with Valentine, and her warm, commiserative responses to the conflicting feelings evidently expressed by Nordoff in his letters concerning his bisexuality and his marriage. There are also occasional discussions of their artistic work, and scattered references to prominent acquaintances such as Ralph Vaughan Williams.
About forty-five of these letters, or excerpts from them, appeared in a published anthology of Warner's correspondence, edited by William Maxwell. Interfiled with a number of the letters are annotated photocopies of them, possibly used in compiling the anthology.
The letters are contained within one box and are arranged chronologically.