London: Hamish Hamilton, 1960. Item #04907
Inscribed by Terence Rattigan
RATTIGAN, Terence. Ross. A Dramatic Portrait. London: Hamish Hamilton, .
First edition, inscribed by the author "To David Brass/With every good wish,/Terence Rattigan."
Small octavo (7 1/4 x 4 13/16 inches; 180 x 123 mm.). -122 pp.
Publisher's red paper cloth over boards, spine lettered in silver. Original pictorial dust jacket, spine slightly darkened and with a few short tears at extremities. A near fine copy.
The original 1960 production starred Alec Guinness as Lawrence, Harry Andrews as Allenby and Gerald Harper as Dickinson. The play opened on May 12th, 1960 at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in London's West End. It was well reviewed, and ran for almost two years (making it Rattigan's second most commercially successful play, after While the Sun Shines). Michael Bryant replaced Guinness as Lawrence late in the show's run.
Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan CBE (10 June 1911 – 30 November 1977) was a British dramatist. He was one of England's most popular mid 20th century dramatists. His plays are typically set in an upper-middle-class background. He wrote The Winslow Boy (1946), The Browning Version (1948), The Deep Blue Sea (1952) and Separate Tables (1954), among many others.
A troubled homosexual who saw himself as an outsider, Rattigan mostly wrote plays which centered on issues of sexual frustration, failed relationships, and a world of repression and reticence. Rattigan was fascinated with the life and character of T. E. Lawrence. In 1960 he wrote a play called Ross, based on Lawrence's exploits. Preparations were made to film it, and Dirk Bogarde accepted the role. However, it did not proceed because the Rank Organization withdrew its support, not wishing to offend David Lean and Sam Spiegel, who had started to film Lawrence of Arabia.
David Brass is an antiquarian bookseller whose shop E. Joseph in Charing Cross Road, London was frequently visited by Terence Rattigan in the sixties.