[E. V. Knox, editor of Punch, his wife Mary Shepard (illustrator of ‘Mary Poppins’).] Miscellaneous manuscript material, correspondence and ephemera inserted in manuscript appointments diary for 1954, including first page of typed memoir of Knox .

E. V. Knox [Edmund George Valpy Knox] (1881-1971, ‘Evoe’), editor of ‘Punch’ 1932-1948, humorist, essayist and poet [his wife Mary Shepard (1909-2000), illustrator of ‘Mary Poppins’]
Publication details: 
Hampstead, London. ‘Boots’ Scribbling Diary’ covers year 1954. Inserted material dated between 1954 and 1976.
SKU: 23588

The diary is a 4to, with around 100pp. (a week’s entries on each leaf). In worn and marked printed olive boards with cloth spine; internally good and sound on lightly-aged paper. No ownership inscription, but from the E. V. Knox papers, and with entries in Knox’s hand and that of his wife Mary, illustrator of Mary Poppins, and daughter of ‘Winnie the Pooh’ illustrator Ernest Shepard. The eighteen inserted items, in good overall condition, are described here before the contents of the diary. ONE: Part of an essay in Knox’s hand, headed ‘Joanna Baillie’ (2pp, 8vo, on two leaves numbered 23 and 24). With his tongue in his cheek, Knox notes ‘a curious cutting from “The Times” of some year in the early 1920’s. It is a review by Sir John Squire of a book on the life and work of this poet by a young American woman. It is a thesis written for the Doctorate of Philosophy. It is the first book on Joanna Baillie to be published in English, unless you count a long introduction to her works in 1851. It is perhaps the only book in English on Joanna Baillie. Naturally there are three German works devoted to her.’ The extract ends with an account of her ‘Byron went to a performance of one of her plays (“The Family Legend”), with Miss Baillie herself & the Walter Scotts and this must have been the occasion she speaks of when she writes in a letter: | “Byron was provoked beyond measure at being here with us, & made faces as he sat behind us.” Joanna Baillie of course was a Quaker. Lord Byron was not.’ The extract is paperclipped to a cutting of Squire’s long article (headed ‘Books of the Day’), describing such works as the American author’s ‘monuments of misapplied industry and ingenuity’; chipped and creased, on browning paper. TWO: Autograph extract (1p, 4to) of draft essay by Knox on ‘light verse’. Twenty-two lines, with a few deletions and emendations, on worn frayed paper chipped at the edges, but with text legible. Begins: ‘Well that is the end of that nonsense and no doubt you are relieved. But there is I believe a quite truthful point in it.’ He asserts that light verse has become ‘an absurdly artificial and specialised thing, tied not only to rigid meters but mock poetical diction [...] It is done for he sake of brevity, for the sake of point, for the sake of easy remembrance, or just because we feel like it. [...]’. THREE: Three miscellaneous pages (all 8vo), on separate leaves, each extracted from a talk or paper (or all from the same one?) regarding Hampstead Topology. One, numbered 3, includes a discussion of how ‘Hampstead Topographical History’ could be divided ‘roughly into four periods’; the second discusses how, in ‘the middle of last century, old Hampstead reached I suppose its highest point of population’; the last, carries a few words beginning ‘pamphlet by de Koch’. FOUR: Topographical notes by Knox. Brief autograph notes (1p, 12m), on Frognal letterhead, headed ‘HAMPSTEAD as HAUNT OF DISREPUTABLE OR NOT TO REPUTABLE AMUSEMENTS | 1700-1800’, and another page of notes (1p, 12mo), in green ink, on Hampstead topography (‘HAMPSTEDE HETHE | WATER CONDUITS’). FIVE: Cancelled typed 4to page headed ‘E. V. KNOX | Notes, conversations, recollections at Grove Cottage | 110 Frognal, Hampstead.’ Unpublished. Apparently the start of a memoir by Mrs Knox. The author explains that Knox was ‘reluctant to sit down and write solemn memoirs or make extra work with a lot of dictations. Some of his reminiscences were not to be drawn upon - well remembered but painful. | Evoe kept a few years’ diaries in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The most recent are unread. | He told me about his life and as my memory isn’t reliable I put down what I could and when, on envelopes and scraps of paper and in note-books, sometimes following him from room to room or into the garden. We had a tape-recorder but this was in a way an instrument of torture. As was the telephone - [...] Evoe was never brisk on he telephone. He answered it with a long “Hull-oh”, that one would have known at once from any place in the world.’ On the reverse of this page is the first page of the following. SIX: Parts of a manuscript inventory by Knox’s widow Mary of incoming correspondence and ephemera. Seven autograph pages (5pp 4to; 2pp 12mo) on four leaves, each leaf dated to 1976, all in Mrs Knox’s autograph. Mainly consisting of lists of authors and date of receipt of letters, occasionally with a single-phrase synopsis. One page is headed ‘General Hampstead box 2 1976’. Other headings: ‘Odds and ends Hampstead box 2 1976 | Note on Joanna Baillie’; ‘1976 Odds & ends & 60’s letters’; ‘Odds & ends Hampstead box 2. 1976.’ SEVEN: Autograph synopses by Mrs Knox of diary entries for January 1954 (2pp, 12mo, headed ‘Diaries EVK 14 Jan. 1954) and February 1954 (2pp, 12mo, headed ‘Diaries 1954. EVK. Feb. 1954.’), listing appointments arranged for the coming months. EIGHT: Small collection of correspondence/ephemera, comprising: Typed Circular Signed and TNS from F. R. D’O. Monro, Clerk, Wells & Campden Charity (the latter with page of anagrams by Knox in pencil on reverse); card for AGM of Hampstead Subscription Library; receipt for Christ Church Centenary Fund; ACS from Katherine Beamish to Knox, giving details of AGM of Hampstead Parochial School; two Typed Circulars from P. H. Harrold, Hampstead Town Clerk, one regarding the laying of the foundation stone for West End Branch Library, the other a National Trust exhibition on Hampstead; typed circular regarding a planning appeal meeting; typed invitation to Hampstead Heath and Old Hampstead Protection Society committee meeting. NINE: The diary contains terse entries giving details of appointments, with names of individuals, libraries, associations (e.g. Hampstead Heath Protection Society and Wells & Campden Charity), educational establishments. There are a few evocative entries. On 15 July: ‘Opener for Osbert Sitwell | 8.30 Stanfield House’. On 15 December: ‘No Punch lunch’. Also: ‘The Listener B.B.C. Party, the Dorchester (answered) take card.’; ‘Sara’s 80th. birthday’; ‘Brains Trust 8 o’clock | Moreland Hall’ (Knox’s brother Ronald was a panellist on this BBC radio programme). There are a couple of humorous entries in Knox’s hand. On 12 August: ‘Mem. Buy a grouse and begin shooting it | Stop shooting it at full moon Second Friday Dec.’ And the following day: ‘Mem. Buy an old lamb and vide supra’.