The Great Correspondence

blogadmin

KH BLOG PHOTO 3

Today, Katharine Hepburn’s name is synonymous with the ‘First Lady of Cinema,’ an ironic title for the reluctant silver screen icon. Outspoken, rebellious, independent and assertive, the natural-born actress wanted nothing to do with the ‘Hollywood Game.’ Refusing photo shoots and interviews, Hepburn instead chose to shun makeup and sport trousers before it was acceptable for women to do so. In this way, she came to embody what was to be seen as the original ‘modern woman’ in 20th-century America.

KH BLOG PHOTO 2

It’s this very spirit that catapulted her to fame; after the success of her starring role in the 1932 Broadway hit, “A Warrior’s Husband,” she quickly signed her famed deal with RKO. In 1933, “Morning Glory” earned ‘The Great Kate’ her first Academy Award. This marked the first of 12 Oscar nominations, a record that Hepburn held until 2003, when Meryl Streep received her 13th nomination.

KH BLOG PHOTO 1

Perhaps it was this kind of acclaim and exposure that fueled Hepburn’s need for privacy. And it is this exact tendency that makes this collection so unique and exceptional. Containing hundreds of letters spanning the course of 12 years, Hepburn carried on an intriguing correspondence with Alice Hicks, a seemingly fanatical admirer. What makes these letters so interesting is the content – there exist many personal responses from Hepburn to fans consisting of brief acknowledgments and ‘thank yous,’ but the extent to which the reportedly self-absorbed actress responds to Hicks is something altogether different, begging the question – why? Who was this woman, and why did Hepburn engage in a 12 year pen pal and (occasional) telephone relationship with her?

KH BLOG PHOTO 4

Through pages upon pages of the actress’s gratitude for endless gifts, including but certainly not limited to Stowaway chocolate turtles (her favorite), pajamas, vases, dozens upon dozens of roses, household items, shoes and trinkets, to replies that nearly scold Hicks for her constant onslaught of lengthy letters and delivery of “goodies,” the fluctuation of emotions between the two women does nothing to impact the consistency and frequency of the letters on either end.

KH BLOG PHOTO 5

Also contained within these notes are references to Spencer Tracy, with whom Hepburn carried on a 26-year affair; a mention of America Express heiress, Laura Harding, who the actress was rumored to have engaged in a long-term, closeted lesbian relationship; mentions of “African Queen” and other movies, and several direct nods to her 1991 autobiography, “Me: Stories of My Life.”

KH BLOG PHOTO 7

Unmatched in quality and quantity, a collection such as this stands out as an incomparable glimpse into the life and mind of ‘The Great Kate,’ the likes of which the world has never known.

KH BLOG PHOTO 6

 

 

 

This entry was posted in General Site Posts. Bookmark the permalink.

JG Autographs