HOLCROFT

[James Kenney, Irish dramatist.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Jas Kenney.') to book-collector and bon-vivant Thomas Hill, playfully explaining that he has no portrait to offer ('I am now pluming my Crest for the first Painter that comes across me').

Author: 
James Kenney (1780-1849), Irish dramatist [Thomas Hill (1760-1840), book-collector and bon-vivant]
Publication details: 
9 Southampton Buildings [London]. 15 December 1806.
£220.00

For information on Kenney and the recipient Thomas Hill, see their entries in the Oxford DNB. 1p, 4to. Bifiolium. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. Addressed, with postmark, on reverse of second leaf, to 'Thos. Hill Esqr | Queen Hith' [i.e. Queenhithe, London]. Hill had presumably requested a representation of Kenney, and the tone of the letter is that of one man of the world addressing another, accurately caught by a dramatist: 'Dear Sir, | I have just received your note of the 10th.

[James Kenney, Irish dramatist.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Jas Kenney.') to 'Loo Loo' ('Mademoiselle Holcroft'), i.e. wife Louisa, discussing their home situation, education of children, theatrical affairs, personal news.

Author: 
James Kenney (1780-1849), Irish dramatist [Thomas Holcroft (1745-1809), author and radical]
Publication details: 
Versailles. 15 June 1822.
£350.00

3pp, 4to. Bifolium. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. Addressed, with Versailles postmark, on reverse of second leaf, 'A Mademoiselle Holcroft | Chateau de Pinon | près | Chavignon | Dep. de l'Aisne'. The background to the letter requires some explanation. In 1812 a prosperous Kenney had married Louisa Mercier (c.1780-1853), daughter of the French dramatist Louis-Sébastien Mercier (1740-1814), and fourth wife and widow of the playwright Thomas Holcroft, a leading radical who had assisted his friend Thomas Paine publish 'The Rights of Man'.

[ Charles Kenney and Charles Kean. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('<Eleyn?> Zahn') by a half-sister of Kenney, requesting a private box for her sister and herself.

Author: 
Ellen Zahn [nee Holfcroft ] (b.1808), half-sister of playwright Charles Kenney [ Charles Lamb Kenney ] (1821-1881) [ Charles Kean [ Charles John Kean ] (1811-1868), actor-manager ]
Publication details: 
11 Hart Street, Bloomsbury [ London ]. No date.
£30.00

3pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn, with unobtrusive spike hole through both leaves. The signature is unclear, and appears to read 'Eleyn Zahn', but the only one of Charles Kenney's sisters with a name beginning in 'E' was Ellen. She asks for a private box for the following Thursday on behalf of her sister 'V. Kenney [ Virginia Kenney, born 1821]and self'. She refers to his 'long and prosperous reign', and fears that it will be 'long before we shall enjoy the gratification of seeing both you and Mrs. Kean again, as we leave for Paris in a few days'.

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