D'ESPRIT

[James Currie, Scottish physician in Liverpool, abolitionist and editor of Robert Burns.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Ja Currie') [to Mrs Riddell?], playfully critiquing a poem and 'Riddle', with reference to 'Mr & Mrs Ogle' and 'Miss Moore'.

Author: 
James Currie (1756-1805), Scottish physician in Liverpool, abolitionist and editor of Robert Burns [George Ogle, Irish politician; Bath; Mrs Riddell]
Publication details: 
Annotated in pencil: 'Bath - in the Spring of 1805'.
£180.00

2pp, 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged and worn, with thin strip of paper from mount adhering to reverse of leaf. Folded three times. The recipient is not named, but the letter is annotated in pencil with the words 'From Bath – in the Spring of 1805 | To a lady of the name of Riddell' (explaining a pun on the word 'Riddle' in the letter). (Another candidate for recipient is the 'Miss Moore' referred to in the letter, although this does not accord with the salutation.) Apparently written in the final months of Currie's life.

[Joseph Jekyll, lawyer, politician and wit.] Autograph jeu d'esprit, signed 'J Jekyll.', addressed to 'Mr Erskine' [i.e. Thomas Erskine, future Lord Chancellor], short poem regarding 'Mrs. Crewe' and Jekyll sitting 'on Lunacy'.

Author: 
Joseph Jekyll (1754-1837), Scottish lawyer, politician and wit [Lord Erskine [Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine] (1750-1823), Lord Chancellor]
Publication details: 
No place. Dated 30 June 1800.
£220.00

1p, 8vo. On bifolium addressed on verso of second leaf to 'Mr. Erskine'. In good condition, lightly aged. Autograph jeu d'esprit, signed at foot 'J. Jekyll. | June 30th. 1800'. A short poem reading: 'Tell Mrs. Crewe | I envy You. | But sit on Lu- | nacy. || Yet Mrs. Crewe | will think I'm stu | pid in my lu | -cid Intervals.' Jekyll's entry in the Oxford DNB concludes, perhaps unkindly: 'If he is remembered by later generations, it is chiefly as a wit. It has to be said, however, that his wit, which consisted in large measure of excruciating puns, has not lasted well.'

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