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Inventory for A855 
Collection Index:SAGAN, Leontine, Papers, 1902-2011
Collection Name:Leontine SAGAN Papers, 1902-2011
Photos:SAGAN, Leontine (Actress and theatrical producer)• click to view
A855                
Leontine Sagan Papers, 1902-2011 
   
  Historical Papers Research Archive, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2017 
   
   
  12 boxes and photographs 
   
   
  INTRODUCTION 
   
  The papers consist of 82 items spanning the years 1902-1959. They comprise personal documents, correspondence, notes, plays, photographs, press clippings, manuscripts and an autobiography. 
  The languages used are German and English. The library received them in September 1974 from Mrs Helga Kaye, Johannesburg, niece of Leontine Sagan and executrix of her estate. 
  The most important subject covered is the theatre, in Germany, England and South Africa. There are also literary manuscripts belonging to Leontine Sagan's husband, Victor Fleischer. His most important work was Rienzo, the rise and fall of a dictator, published London, Aiglon, 1949, on Cola di Rienzo, 14th century dictator. The other manuscripts are of short stories and novels, in German. 
   
  BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 
   
  Leontine Sagan was born in Budapest in 1890, child of Emma (nee Fasal, 1854-1940)and Isidore Schlesinger (1840-1909). She and her mother arrived in South Africa in 1899 from Vienna to join her father who had left Budapest in 1891 to seek his fortune in South Africa for the second time. The first occasion Isidore Schlesinger came to South Africa was in 1867 when he worked on the Eastern Transvaal goldfields but he had not stayed long in South Africa then. 
  In 1899 the Schlesinger family settled in Klerksdorp but on the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War in 1899 they moved to Johannesburg, where Leontine attended the German School. In 1903 Leontine's mother took her back to Vienna to complete hr education, particularly in the fields of music and literature. They returned to South Africa in 1905, when Leontine trained as a shorthand typist and worked in the Hungarian consulate until 1911. 
  When Leontine returned to Europe, she auditioned for the Max Reinhardt School of Drama in Berlin and was accepted. During the first World War she remained in Austria and Germany, pursuing her acting career. Then she turned to producing plays and her first major production was "God's Chase11 at Frankfurt-on-Maine. This was a Jewish play, acted by Christians, but was well received. In 1931 she produced the film "Children in uniform", which she had already produced on stage. As a result of the favourable publicity this film received Leontine was invited by Alexander Korda to visit England and produce a film for him called "Men of tomorrow". For this film she auditioned future stars such Robert Donat, Emlyn Williams and Merle Oberon. The film was a failure but much more success­ full was her production of "Richard the Third11 for OUDS. 
  The advent of the Nazis caused Leontine to leave Germany. In 1933 she brought the stage version of "Children in uniform" to South Africa and in 1935 visited Hollywood at the invitation of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The film she was to produce fell through and she returned to London to produce for Ivor Novello. Then followed the wonderfully successful musicals, "Glamorous night" , "Careless rapture", "Crest of the wave", "Ace of trumps" and "The dancing years". Ivor Novello said about her in the Sunday Chronicle "The intriguing Leontine Sagan whom I had chosen as producer was the first woman ever to produce at the Lane. (Drury Lane). I admire her tremendously. Her work in 'Children in uniform' and 'Finished abroad' and the OUDS production of 'Richard the Third' was magnificent" . 
  Just before the outbreak of the second World War Leontine returned to South Africa and for the first time produced amateurs, both at the Little Theatre in Cape Town and the Johannesburg Reps. During the second World War she produced Madeleine Masson's plays for war charities, with actresses such as Taubie Kushlick and Moira Lister. She also produced for the Krugersdorp Players and became a member of the Board of the National Theatre. As Taubie Kushlick said 11She turned up the wick of the South African theatrical lamp". 
  She married Victor Fleischer, publisher and writer. He was the author of Rienzo, the rise and fall of a dictator and of many novels and short stories in German . There were no children of the marriage. Victor Fleischer died in 1950 and Leontine Sagan in 1974. 
   
   
  COLLECTION 
   
PERSONAL DOCUMENTS, 1902 
   
A1  Railway permit No. 57489, 1902 Aug. 23, Johannesburg 
  issued to Mrs.& Miss Schlesinger to travel to Durban. 
   
   
CORRESPONDENCE, 32 items, 1947-1970 
   
  Relates mainly to the National Theatre and includes comments on tours by L.Sagan. Correspondents include P.P.Breytenbach, Prof. Donald Inskip and Dr.E.C. Malherbe. 
   
   
WRITINGS, 5 items, 1941-1949 
   
Ca1  Autobiography, 381 leaves, rough draft 
  In German, also typescript of final draft in German (406p). 
Ca2  Broadcast notes for S.A.B .C. Johannesburg, 17 July 1941, 8 leaves 
  On 'Famous musical plays I have produced'. 
Cb1  Manuscript notebook, June 1949 
  Notes on 'Guardsman ' & 'Glass Menagerie', details of productions and houses. 
Cc  Miscellaneous items 
   
   
PLAYS, 7 boxes, 1930-1959 
  Including programmes, photographs, press clippings, stored with collection. 
   
Da  Plays produced by L Sagan in England, 1930-1945, 3 boxes 
  Includes texts with stage directions, programmes: 
  Nine till six by Aimee & Philip Stuart, 1930 
  Richard III Oxford OUDS, 1934 
  Finished abroad by Jolliffe Metcalf, 1934 
  Murder in Mayfair by Ivor Novello, 1934 (A.L.S. from Novello attached 
  Glamorous night by Ivor Novello, 1935 
  Balalaika by Eric Maschwitz, 1936 
  Careless rapture by Ivor Novello, 1936 
  Crest of the wave by Ivor Novello, 1937 
  The dancing years by Ivor Novello, 1939 
  Arc de Triomphe by Ivor Novello, 1943 
  A night in Venice by Johann Strauss, 1944 
  Gay Rosalinda by Johann Strauss, 1945 
   
Db  Plays produced by L Sagan in South Africa, 1939-1959, 3 boxes 
  Texts, reviews: 
  A doctor's dilemma by B. Shaw, 1938 
  The corn is green and Night must fall by Emlyn Williams, and other, 1939-1943 
  Madame Legros: drama in 3 acts by Heinrich Mann, 1952 
  Lilac Time, 1953 
  Durban's Adventure Story Pageant, 1954 
  The cradle song by Gregoria & Maria Martinez Sierria, English version by John Garrett Underhill, 1954 
  Comrades by August Strindberg, 1955 
  Young Wyn, 1955 
  Autumn Crocus by C.L. Anthony, 1959 
  The two Mrs Carrolls by Martin Vale, 1941 
   
Dc  Plays not know if produced by L Sagan, undated, 1 box 
  Africa calling  
  The Empress of China 
  Yours faithfully 
  First person singular by Lewis Grant Wallace 
  The old maid by Zoe Akins (founded on novel by Edith Wharton) 
   
   
PHOTOGRAPHS  
  Stored with photographs in Media Room 
   
E1.1-12  Family photographs 
  Including L Sagan, her father (?) and her siblings (?), Medi Schlesinger, picnic in Saxonwold and Luipaardsvlei (1902). Some with inscriptions on reverse. 
E2.1-6  Locations 
  Some of locations in Klerksdorp, including the market in Klerksdorp, 1899, and Stock exchange Klerksdorp, 1933 
E3.1-4  Others 
  From an envelope marked "Boer War, house in Plein St' 
E4  House with young lady (L Sagan ?) on the step 
  Inscribed 'With best wishes from Transvaal, South Africa'  
E5  Unidentified nun 
   
   
PRESS CLIPPINGS AND PUBLICATIONS, 1913-2011 
   
Fa  Bound volume, 1913-1931 
  Items from German newspapers on theatre and L Sagan 
Fb  Loose clips, 1912-1997, 2f 
Fc  The Leontine Sagan Papers as source of South African theatrical history, by Michael Eckardt, South African Theatre Journal, 2011 
   
   
VICTOR FLEISCHER, Papers, 1911-1952 
   
Ga  Correspondence, 1940-1952, 1 file 
  Contract and correspondence re 'Rienzo', published London, Aiglon, 1949, on Cola di Rienzo,14th dictator. Also correspondence with various publishing firms. 
   
Gb  Plays, 1 item 
  Romeo and Juliet in Oxford by Vincent Edwards. Translation of play into German by V. Fleischer . 
   
Gc  Literary works by Victor Fleischer, 1 box 
  Mord an einem West-End star 
  Murder in Harley Street 
  There was a city of grace: a novel. Translated by Ralph T.Felbert. 
  Rienzo, in German (available in digital format as well) 
  Novel by V. Fleischer in English; set in Austria in early part of 20th century. 
   
Gd  Other items 
Gd1  Print from pencil sketch of Victor Fleischer, 28 November 1911. Stored with photographs in Media Room. 
Gd2  Photograph of Victor Fleischer, 1920. Folio item stored in Media Room. 
   
Ge  Press clippings, 1920-1950, 1 file 
  Publishers advertisement, listing novels by V. Fleischer, put out by Grunow, Leipzig, 1920 (?) 
  File with reviews of his books 
  Theater und Kunst : Max Fleischer zum Gedaechtnis, 1950, in "Die Presse"