Two Autograph Letters Signed (both 'Westland Marston') from the dramatist and critic John Westland Marston to John T. Baron of Blackburn, discussing his only novel, and his correspondence with Charles Dickens and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

John Westland Marston (1819-1890), English dramatist and critic, associated with the Pre-Raphaelites [John T. Baron of Blackburn; Charles Dickens; Dante Gabriel Rossetti; Ward and Lock]
Publication details: 
Both from 191 Euston Road, London. 19 August 1882 and 7 July 1883.
SKU: 11842

Both items in good condition, on lightly-aged paper. Both of them bifoliums with mourning borders; and both in their original envelopes, addressed by Marston, with stamp and postmarks. ONE: 4pp., 12mo. He begins by stating that he is gratified to find that his poems please Baron. 'The only novel I wrote, (it is more than 20 years ago) has I believe been long out of print. A comparatively short tale entitled "Family Credit" together with other sketches and essays (chiefly contributed to "Household Worlds' [sic] was published many years gone by Messr. Ward and Lock as the 1st. Volume of a Sjhilling series, and is possibly still to be had on application to them.' He would gladly send Baron a photograph, but his supply is exhausted. 'Very good ones I believe are to be had of the Stereoscope Company Regent Street taken 10 years since and also late of Messrs Elliott & Fry. Baker St.' He apologises for the 'hurried scrawl': 'I am in the midst of preparations for leaving London'. TWO: 4pp., 12mo. He regrest that he cannot 'comply with Mrs. Baron's wishes': 'Years ago some valued letters of Mr. Charles Dickens & other correspondents were destroyed by the lamentable mistake of a servant, and of those which remain I have given away all except those which refer to matters important to myself. - | All the letters I retain of my late friend, D. G. Rossetti, are of the same character, with the exception of one or two written during his last illness which on that account I desire to preserve.' Baron was a shameless autograph hunter, and perhaps this prompts Marston to comment: 'Whenever it is known that autographs of distinguished men are to be had the possessor is immediately applied to, so that at this date you will not be surprised to find that I have not one autograph in my possession which I can part with either of Dickens or Rossetti.' Regarding his own 'literary activity', he regrets to say that he has 'no volume of poems in preparation'; his health is 'too much impaired for any mental labour except of the most necessary kind'. He is 'now preparing to quit town for change of air in the hope of benefit'.