HOAX

[ Frederick Albert Mitchell-Hedges, South African explorer. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('F. A. Mitchell-Hedges') to J. H. Roberts, describing the 'strange country' of Honduras.

Author: 
F. A. Mitchell-Hedges [ Frederick Albert Mitchell-Hedges ] (1882-1959), English adventurer, traveler and writer, best known for the Crystal Skull hoax
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the Hotel Prats ('Montado al estilo Americano'), Tegucigalpa, Honduras. 28 July 1926.
£200.00

1p., 8vo. Aged and worn, with chipping along one edge, and tape repairs at head. The recipient, J. H. Roberts, was an autograph hunter: it is doubtful that Mitchell-Hedges would have written in such a style had he been aware of this fact. He states that the letter Roberts sent him 'apparently never reached the boat', and that his secretary sent it out to British Honduras: 'it has become mutilated in the post & there was nothing within except an addressed envelope'.

[ Edward Bouverie Pusey, Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('E B P.'), regarding 'a hoax or a wilful lie', regarding which he has written to the newspapers.

Author: 
Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800-1882), English churchman associated with the Oxford Movement, Regius Professor of Hebrew at Christ Church, Oxford
Publication details: 
Without place or date.
£100.00

Written in Pusey's tiny hand on one side of a 10.5 x 9.25 cm piece of paper. In good condition, lightly aged, with traces of mount on the blank reverse. Covering the whole page and difficult to decipher. He begins by thanking the recipient and 'Mrs. S.' for their 'inclosure': 'It is so circumstantial a lie,' He will 'contradict it, in the M[orning]. Herald, if they will print it; if not, the Guardian has it. There is not a shadow of a shade of foundation for it. […] Any how, it is the very opposite of any thing I ever said to any one.

[ Louis de Rougemont, 'colonial Munchausen' in Australia. ] Autograph Letter Signed to Sub-Lieutenant Sidney R. Conson, RN.

Author: 
Louis de Rougemont [ born Henri Louis Grin ] (1847-1921), hoaxer, 'colonial Munchausen' claiming adventures in Australia
Publication details: 
13 Bloomsbury Street, London W.C. 19 April 1899.
£180.00

1p., 12mo. In good condition. He thanks him for his 'very kind note', but regrets that 'owing to my being engaged on a lecturing tour for some time to come I am at present unable to fix a date to avail myself of your invitation'. He hopes to be able to do so when 'free from my appointments'. For information on de Rougemont', see B. G. Andrews's entry on him in the Dictionary of Australian Biography. Born in Switzerland, at around the age of sixteen 'he became a footman to the actress Fanny Kemble, touring extensively and learning fluent English.

Eight Autograph Letters Signed from the Scottish anatomist Sir Arthur Keith to Grace Norbury, wife of Lionel Norbury, Professor of Surgery.

Author: 
Sir Arthur Keith (1866-1955), Scottish anatomist and anthropologist [Lionel Norbury (1882-1967)]
Sir Arthur Keith (1866-1955), Scottish anatomist and anthropologist
Publication details: 
Between 1948 and 1954. Six on his letterhead at Homefield, Downe, Farnborough, Kent; two on letterheads of Buckston Browne Research Farm.
£120.00
Sir Arthur Keith (1866-1955), Scottish anatomist and anthropologist

A total of twelve 12mo pages and two 4to pages. All texts clear and complete. Good, on lightly-aged paper. The first letter addressed to 'Mrs Norbury', and the others to 'Grace'. After a first letter of 1948, in which he complains that he is 'becoming more & more a home dweller', the correspondence continues in 1951, with Keith thanking Mrs Norbury for a gift of sugar ('Its arrival made my housekeeper Miss Holman quite elated'), and sending Lionel Norbury encouragement on his Hunterian Oration ('My heart goes out to the Orator & to his Better Half').

Spoof notice by 'T. N. Mitchell, Benson, Henley', regarding the death of an 82-year-old 'Wireless Dealer' who is said to have left a fortune of £50,000', with signed inscription by Mitchell on reverse.

Author: 
T. N. Mitchell of Benson, Oxford [Blows, printer, Henley; spoof; hoax]
Publication details: 
Dated by Mitchell in manuscript 'Xmas 1930'. Printed by 'BLOWS, HENLEY'.
£80.00

On a piece of brown card roughly 250 x 200 mm. Designed to be hung from two punch holes at head. Worn and aged, but with text (printed in red and black within a decorative border) clear and entire. A clever and amusing spoof, deliberately old-fashioned typographically in a parody of 'improving' texts. Reads '£50,000 | A Wireless Dealer aged 82, died - He left £50,000; thanks to long hours, close attention to business, strict economy, and - a bequest of £49,650 from an Uncle in Australia | T. N. MITCHELL | Benson, Oxford.' Inscribed on the reverse 'Xmas. 1930.

Autograph Letter Signed to 'Monsieur Huot, Rue des Gravelles No. 4. Versailles'.

Author: 
Grégoire-Louis Domeny de Rienzi (1789-1843 or after 1850), French adventurer, illusionist, fantasist, traveller and author
Publication details: 
Paris 10 aout [1830s]'; on letterhead of the Repertoire des Connaissances usuelles, Dictionnaire de la Conversation et de la Lecture.
£85.00

12mo, 3 pp. Forty-four lines of text. Difficult hand. Concerns the printing of one of de Rienzi's works by Huot, to whom de Rienzi will transmit all the printed leaves which have not been published. De Rienzi's works have him fighting at Wagram and Waterloo, for the Greeks in 1818 and 1822, with Bolivar in 1819, with the Carbonari in 1821, and under Mehemet Ali in 1823. After 1830 he was a professor of Geography in Paris. He committed suicide.

Famous Literary Impostures, A Series of Essays.

Author: 
H. R. Montgomery [Henry Riddell Montgomery, 1818-1904] [Thomas Chatterton; James Macpherson; George Psalmanazar; Richard Bentley]
Publication details: 
London: E. W. Allen, 4, Ave Maria Lane, Paternoster Row. [1884]
£56.00

12mo: iv + 132 pp. Unbound. In original red printed wraps. Stapled. A poor copy of a scarce item (COPAC only lists copies at the British Library and National Library of Scotland). Dog-eared and grubby, with wraps faded and with loss to extremities and spine repaired with tape. Staples rusted and worn through prelims. Text complete and entirely legible. Five essays: 'Chatterton and the Rowley Poems', 'Macpherson's Poems of Ossian', 'The Shakspeare Forgery', 'Psalmanazar and the Formosa Imposture' and 'Bentley and the Epistles of Phalaris'.

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