Laurence Olivier books purchased by Horsham Museum

Horsham Museum now has a connection to the iconic 20th century actor Laurence Olivier as it has purchased four books from his own personal library with inscriptions of dedication to the great man.

He lived in the Horsham district in Ashurst from 1973 until his death in 1989. The four works date from then and reflect various aspects of his rich life.

Jeremy Knight, curator of Horsham Museum, said that most people would not know of any connection between Horsham and Laurence Olivier.

To represent his voice, they have a work by Rita Volk, a famous voice coach in America who thanked Olivier for his inspiration.

After the war he was involved with the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, reflected in the history of the organisation with a personal inscription thanking Lord Olivier “with much gratitude”.

The degree to which Lord Olivier inspired others is evident in the book Dawn till Dusk by Peter Mahon who writes of him as “instrumental in helping me in my writing career when he became director of the Festival Theatre at Chichester”.

Christopher Logue’s collection of poems, Singles, was published in December 1973 and given as a present that Christmas to “Sir Lawrence + Joan” in the year they moved to the hamlet”.

A new leaflet produced by the Visitor Information Centre on Fame - A Dozen from the District is available, while the books will be going on display in the rearranged Visitor Information Centre’s ‘Discover the District’ gallery.