[‘The last production of the late Mr. Dutton Cook’.] Corrected Autograph Manuscript of Edward Dutton Cook’s last story ‘ “Columbines all of a Row” ’, completed within days of his death and published in 'Hood's Comic Annual'. Signed: ‘Dutton Cook’.

Dutton Cook [Edward Dutton Cook] (1829-1883), author, journalist, artist, engraver, drama critic of the Pall Mall Gazette [Hood's Comic Annual]
Dutton Cook
Publication details: 
Undated, but written in 1883. Addressed in autograph at head: ‘Dutton Cook / 69 Gloucester Crescent. N.W’.
SKU: 23784

For information on Cook see his biography in the Oxford DNB, which points out that the subtlety of his later fiction was lost on his contemporaries, being written in a style that ‘was not sufficiently sensational’ for the period. The present item is the complete text of the last thing Cook ever wrote: a story which appeared in the weeks following his death, in Hood’s Comic Annual for 1884 (London, 1883). On 3 November 1883, the ‘Bookseller’ quoted the review of the volume in the magazine ‘Fun’: ‘a melancholy interest attaches to the article “Columbines all of a Row,” from the fact that it was the last production of the late Mr. Dutton Cook, having been completed only a few days before his death’. The Graphic praised the story’s ‘charming intermingling of pathos and humour’. 12pp, landscape 12mo. The holograph is written in a close, stylized hand, in purple ink, on twelve 11.5 x 18 cm leaves attached with a brass stud. In good condition, lightly aged. Addressed in autograph at top-right of first page: ‘Dutton Cook / 69 Gloucester Crescent. N.W’, and signed at end ‘Dutton Cook’. With autograph emendations throughout, but evidently a final draft: the tenth and eleventh leaves have both been divided into two parts with neat vertical cutting, and reunited on the reverse with paper labels, with the section created by this division indicated by numbering in another hand in pencil in the margins. The story is divided by Cook into nine parts with roman numerals.