Wilkie Collins handwritten address

38 Blandford Square, January 10th 1849


Wilkie Collins lived at 38 Blandford Square with his mother, Harriet, and brother, Charles, from 1848 to 1850.  It was here that he wrote The Memoirs of William Collins and Antonina.


Blandford Square was where he engaged in one of his favourite social recreations as a young man, amateur theatricals.  The family's back drawing room became known as the 'Theatre Royal'.  Collins produced Sheridan's The Rivals, and later described an amateur production of the play in No Name (1862).   He also produced Goldsmith's The Good-Natur'd Man in June 1849, acting with his brother, Frith and Millais, and writing a new verse prologue to the play.  The costumes were designed by Edward Ward who lived literally round the corner at 33 Harewood Place.  The following year Collins translated A Court Duel from the French with one public charity performance at the Soho Theatre on 26 February 1850.

Blandford Square House

8 Blandford Square, a house on the opposite side to Collins's home at 38.

(From The Archive Photographs Series: Marylebone by Brian Girling, Chalford Publishing, 1997)

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