Bridgnorth Institute, Shropshire [ George Grossmith (1847-1912), entertainer and writer, co-author with his brother Weedon Grossmith of 'The Diary of a Nobody' ]
[ Assembly Room, Bridgnorth Institute, Shropshire. ] C. Edkins, Printer and Auctioneer, Bridgnorth. [ c. 1868 ]
Printed in black on one side of a piece of 37.5 x 25 cm. paper. In fair condition, aged and lightly worn, but with some fraying and closed tears at head. A poster laid out in the customary Victorian fashion, with a mixture of types and point sizes. Begins: 'Bridgnorth Institute | Assembly Room. | Postponement of Lecture. | The Committee regret to announce that owing to a prior engagement, made during Mr. Grossmith's absence in Ireland, by that gentleman's agent in London, the "Humorous Lecture on Lecturing," Arranged for the 30th of October, is unavoidably postponed till Friday, November 8th.
[ Percival Leigh (1813-1889), satirist and humorist, contributor to 'Punch' [ John Leech (1817-1864), illustrator and caricaturist; Charles Tilt and Richard Bentley, London booksellers ]
'Latin Grammar': London: Charles Tilt, Fleet Street. 1840. [ Printed by T. H. Coe, Old Change, St. Paul's. ] 'English Grammar': London: Richard Bentley, New Burlington Street. 1840. [ Printed by Samuel Bentley, Bangor House, Shoe Lane. ]
Two good tight copies, on lightly aged paper, in worn original bindings with gilt decorations on front covers, with engravings on browning paper because of high acidity content. Both volumes with bookplate of Alan Angele and manuscript library shelf label. ONE: 'The Comic Latin Grammar'. 163 + pp., 8vo. Eight engravings and numerous illustrations in text (the first engraving is positioned as frontispiece rather than at p.23 as specified).
George Grossmith (1847-1912), humourist, author, actor and singer [ George R. Sims (1847-1922), journalist and bon vivant ]
On letterhead of 55 Russell Square, W.C. [ London ] 22 June 1908.
4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. Aged and stained, with creasing along one edge. A wonderful letter, linking two notable figures in late-Victorian society, beginning: 'Do I remember it? how can I ever forget it, considering that we introduced ourselves to each other, without any introduction; & that casual acquaintanceship has developed into a friendship (without a discordant note) which has lasted for about 38 years.' Regarding their first meeting he writes: 'I was not subpoenaed as a short hand writer, as no such functionary was engaged at Bow St.
W. Pett Ridge [ William Pett Ridge ] (1859-1930), English novelist and humorous journalist with the St James Gazette
On letterhead of the Garrick Club, London. 'Wednesday' [no date].
On both sides of a card. In good condition, with light aging. He hopes she will have 'a very succcessful meeting', but cannot give 'a promise to attend', as other matters are 'engaging, just now, all the attention I have to spare'.
[ P. G. Wodehouse [ Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse ] (1881-1975), English humorist ] Barrie Pitt (1918-2006), military historian, editor of 'Purnell's History of the Second World War'
1992 and 1993.
All items in good condition, with minor signs of age. The drafts are both printed on yellow paper. Each is 4pp., 4to. The two appear the same textually, but one has two slips of paper with amended text attached, and the autograph emendations to the two are different from one another. Also present is a leaf from 'Lifewise' magazine, November 1993, with one page carrying Pitt's memoir, accompanied by a photograph of Wodehouse being interviewed at Tost by Angus Thuermer. The piece begins: 'I first saw P. G.
John Fisher Murray [ 'Maire' ] (1811-1865), Irish poet and humorist [ Richard Bentley (1794-1871), London publisher and proprietor of 'Bentley's Miscellany' ]
11 Bark Place, Bayswater. 10 November 1843.
1p., 12mo. On bifolium, addressed on reverse of second leaf to 'Richard Bentley Esqre'. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. The first paragraph concerns a 'humorous paper' he is forwarding for Bentley's consideration (i.e. possible publication in Bentley's Miscellany). In the second paragraph he informs him that he has ready 'a series of Essays on LONDON, similar to those which attracted so much attention in Blackwood'.
[William Makepeace Thackeray, contributor to and possible editor of 'The Snob', published in Cambridge by W. H. Smith
Volume I No. 8, 28 May 1829. 'Printed for the Editors by Weston Hatfield; And published by W. H. Smith, Rose Crescent, Cambridge.'
6pp., 12mo, paginated 41-46. Unbound stab-stitched pamphlet. A frail survival: aged and worn. Priced at half a crown, and with the following note above the slug: 'No. 9 will be published on Thursday, June 4. | N.B. - All communications to be directed to Mr. Smith, Rose Crescent, which, it is requested, may be post-paid.' The number is almost entirely devoted to an anonymous burlesque play titled 'The Blood-Stained Murderer; or, The Cock and Charley'.
Edward Bradley (1827-1889), humorist under the pseudonym 'Cuthbert Bede'
London: James Blackwood, Paternoster Row. 1856.
114pp., 12mo. In wraps printed in green and red, with striking illustration of jester bursting through the front cover, and advertisements on the rear. In fair condition, on aged paper, in worn wraps. Frontispiece, engraved title, and numerous illustrations in text. A collection of nineteen pieces in prose and verse, with such titles as 'A Chat concerning a Couple of Chairs' and 'Mephistophiles at Malvern'. Scarce: the only copies on COPAC at the British Library and Durham.
Albert Smith [Albert Richard Smith] (1816-1860), editor; John Leech (1817-1864), illustrator [Bradbury & Evans, Printers, Whitefriars]
Published at the Office of 'The Month,' No. 3, Whitefriars Street. [Bradbury & Evans, Printers, Whitefriars.] [Issues I, II, III and V, dated July, August, September and November 1851.]
16mo, with the first three issues continuously paginated to 240, and issue V paginated 321-400. Each volume with a frontispiece by Leech, and numerous illustrations by him in text. Three of the four issues (I, III and V) with an initial four-pages of advertisements, and more advertisements on the wraps. The four volumes in fair condition, on aged paper, in worn wraps, with the first volume lacking its spine. Each with the small and neat ownership inscription of 'L Jackson' in the top right-hand corner of its front wrap.
Robert B. Johnson [British steam engines; Victorian railway locomotives]
'London Mar 1877'.
2pp., 16mo. 41 closely and neatly written lines, arranged in six six-line stanzas and a five-line chorus. At foot of second page: 'Robt. B. Johnson. London Mar 1877'. A splendid skit, apparently unpublished, and fully deserving to be so.
William Jeffery Prowse (1836-1870), English humorist, leader writer on the Daily Telegraph [Edward Draper of Vincent Square, London, Honorary Solicitor of the Savage Club]
College, Camberwell New Road. 14 October 1869.
2pp., 16mo. 22 lines of text, closely and neatly written. In fair condition, on aged paper, with small pinholes and a spot of glued paper from previous mounting. The letter begins: 'My dear Draper, | I sail early tomorrow morning. | Enclosed is a ten pound note, and the summons referred to. - I cannot help thinking that a compromise might be effected it it were shown to the summoner by a "lawyer" that I have left England, have no house or furniture of my own, and that the most valuable of my books are gone with me. You will deeply oblige me if you will see whether this can be done'.
Thomas Archer (1830-1893), author and journalist, editor of the Hornet [Edward Draper of Vincent Square, London, Honorary Solicitor of the Savage Club]
Both letters on letterheads of 'The Hornets Nest, 86, Fleet Street [London]. Neither dated.
The letterhead features an image of an hornet seated at a writing table. Letter One: 1p., 12mo. Bifolium. Fair, on aged paper. The letter reads: 'Friday | Dear Draper | Have you made up your mind to let me have a conceit or two for Ye Hornet. I can only offer 5/- a column but then Column is but a very brief affair. | Yours always | [signature in the form of a drawing of a hornet]'. Letter Two: 2pp., 12mo. Bifolium. Good, on lightly-aged paper, with slight traces of previous mount on reverse of second leaf. Addressed to 'My dear Draper'.
F. C. Burnand [Sir Francis Cowley Burnand] (1836-1917), English humorist and dramatist, a main contributor to 'Punch' [Harry Furniss (1854-1925), 'Punch' caricaturist and illustrator]
On Burnand's letterhead, 27 The Boltons, SW [London], 8 December 1891.
2pp., landscape 12mo. Addressed to 'Dear Furniss'. He is glad to hear of Furniss's success: 'Your tour ends after the last dinner but one of the year. No dinner Xmas week! awful that isn't it? When all are feasting no dinner for the Punch boys!!' He hopes Furniss will be 'here with us'. Had Furniss been 'on the spot' Burnand would have got him 'to substitute something for your John Bull picture in almanack which no one (I do not speak of "The Table" but of our best friends outside) comprehends.
F. Anstey [Thomas Anstey Guthrie] (1856-1934), humorist [James Sutherland Cotton (1847-1918), editor of the 'Academy', 1896-1903]
8 November 1897; on lettehead of 16 Duke Street Mansions, Grosvenor Square, London.
12mo, 1 p. Text clear and complete. Marked up for publication, with the first sentence deleted. On aged and stained paper. He 'can only say that your list seems to me as representative as any that could be drawn up', and that he does not 'feel in a position to offer any criticism upon it'. The edited version of Anstey's letter appeared with others in 'The Academy' in November 1897, in a piece with the opening sentence: 'We have received a large correspondence in response to our request for comment on the list of suggested members for an ACADEMY OF LETTERS published last week.'
Quentin Blake (born 1932), English children's book illustrator [Montague Shaw, Faber and Penguin]
Undated [1970s?]; sent from his address 23 Gledhow Gardens, London SW5.
Reproduction of black and white drawing in Blake's inimitable style. 4to (34 x 29.5 cm). Good, with a little light creasing. Reproduction of black and white drawing in Blake's inimitable style. Depicts anthropomorphic bear, pig, chicken, squirrel and hedgehog in a line from largest to smallest, all with party hats, smiles on their faces and forepaws and other front limbs aloft. Blake's address, as part of printed piece, written upwards along left-hand margin.
Quentin Blake (born 1932), English children's book illustrator [Montague Shaw, Faber and Penguin]
Undated [1970s?]; sent from his address 23 Gledhow Gardens, London SW5.
Reproduction of black and white drawing in Blake's inimitable style. 4to (34 x 29.5 cm). Good, with a little light creasing. Reproduction of black and white drawing in Blake's inimitable style. Depicts anthropomorphic bear, pig, chicken, squirrel and hedgehog in a line from largest to smallest, all with party hats, smiles on their faces and forepaws and other front limbs aloft. Blake's address, as part of printed piece, written upwards along left-hand margin. Genuine autograph inscription by Blake, in blue ink, at right of drawing, reading 'With best wishes for Christmas & love from Q'.
[The Manufacturers of Thomson's Crinolines; 'William Fulford'; 'Peter Quince'; William Shakespeare; Day and Son, Lithographers to the Queen; the Shakespeare Tercentenary Anniversary Celebrations]
London: Day and Son, Lithographers to the Queen, and to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, Gate Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, 1864.
8vo, 16 pp. Unbound. Evidence of previous stitching, but with no remains of thread,. Aged, worn, and with outer leaves somewhat dusty. Preface, dated 'London, June 1864', by 'THE MANUFACTURERS OF THOMSON'S CRINOLINES', states that the judges of the best of 'the immense number of manuscripts received' were 'B. Webster, Esq., J. Sterling Coyne, Esq., Andrew Halliday, Esq., George Rose, Esq., and Thos.
T. B. S.' [T. B. Simpson; Thomas Blantyre Simpson (1892-1954), author and Sheriff of Perth and Angus] [The King's Bodyguard for Scotland]
1937. [One copy headed in manuscript: 'From T. B. SIMPSON | 11/6/49.']
Each of the two typescripts is on one side of a piece of A4 paper. One is signed in type at end 'T. B.S.' and the other (which appears to be mimeographed) carries what is presumably Simpson's signature at head in the manuscript note: 'From T. B. SIMPSON | 11/6/49.' Text of each clear and complete, on creased and aged paper. Apart from the typed signature to the one copy, and the fact that one copy has square brackets and the other curved, the two texts are identical.
E. G-H.' [i.e. Edward Gathorne-Hardy], editor [The Mill House Press]
Stanford Dingley: The Mill House Press, 1963.
Number 174 of 'Two hundred numbered copies [...] printed by hand on mould-made paper.' 8vo: [ii] + 9 pp. Stitched pamphlet of twelve leaves, with four vignettes giving it a distinct chap-book feel. COPAC only lists copies at the British Library and Oxford. Prefatory note by 'E. G-H.' [Eddie Gathorne-Hardy].
Dimensions of leaf roughly seven and a half inches by ten. Good, though grubby and with archival repair to verso. That the piece is a spoof is indicated by the printers slug, in the bottom right-hand corner: '[Spottisnotwood & Co, Printers, London.', the reference being to the leading London printers Spottiswoode & Co.
Victorian notebook filled with humorous anecdotes [A. S. S. Sidney, Wobaston House, Wolverhampton; nineteenth-century English social history; jokes; humour]
English. Dated between 1866 and 1911.
Quarto (leaf dimensions roughly 19.5 x 15.5 cm). Ruled with twenty-eight lines to the page. Written in a close, neat hand, covering the first ninety-one pages of the notebook. Loosely inserted are twelve pages containing a further thirty stories, on three bifoliums each headed 'Anecdotes &c'. In black-leather half-binding, marbled boards. Good and tight, with text clear and complete on lightly aged paper. Calligraphic design printed on front free endpaper. A charming collection, casting amusing and entertaining light on nineteenth-century English social history.
J. J. Bell' [John Joy Bell] (1871-1934), Scottish journalist [G. K. Chesterton; Glasgow University]
28 August 1925; St Leonards Cottage, St Andrews, on cancelled letterhead of 1 Oakfield Avenue, Hillhead, Glasgow.
12mo, 1 p. Twelve lines. Good, on lightly-aged paper. He has had Murdoch's letter 'lying by me in the hope that I might meet someone here who knew G.K.C., or knew his work well enough to tell me something of interest - for, alas, I must confess to ignorance'. As he has not been 'fortunate', he abandons 'hope of contributing to your Rectorial Magazine'. Murdoch edited the magazine 'G.K.C.' in support of Chesterton's unsuccessful candidacy.
William Kitchiner ['John Jervis, An Old Coachman.']
London: Henry Colburn, New Burlington Street. Second Edition, 1827. [London: Printed by J. Moyes, Took's Court, Chancery Lane.] [Sheet music engraved by Sidney Hall, Bury Street, Bloomsbury.]
2 vols, 12mo. Vol.1: viii + 264 pp. Vol.2: viii + 336 pp. Complete, with all the engravings of sheet music listed in the contents (vol.1: five two-page plates and one four-page plate, with one more piece of music 'printed with the letterpress'; vol.2: one two-page plate). Both volumes good and tight, on lightly-aged and spotted paper. In worn contemporary half-calf binding, marbled boards, with the first volume rebacked. Each volume with bookplate of Frederic Perkins, Chipstead Place, Kent.
Joe Miller's Jests; 'Elijah Jenkins' [John Mottley] [H. J. Bellars; John Camden Hotten]
Title-page reads 'London: Printed and Sold by T. READ, in Dogwell-Court, White-Fryars, Fleet-Street, MDCCXXXIX. ', but in fact a type facsimile [by John Camden Hotten or H. J. Bellars?], circa 1861].
8vo: [ii] + 70 pp. Internally sound and tight, on lightly-aged paper. In worn contemporary burgundy quarter-binding with heavily-worn spine, recased with repair to rear endpapers. COPAC lists an entry for a copy in Cambridge University Library described as 'Probably the Lithographic facsimile by H.J. Bellars. London, reprinted 1861'.
Ulster illustrator (1869-1955), best known for his humourous illustrations in Punch magazine. Good clear illustration, in black ink over pencil, roughly four inches by one and a half, on grubby and spotted piece of card, roughly eight inches by four and a half. Depicts head and shoulders of young girl in field, with rising sun behind, and cluster of foliage in circle around her and extending to right, where it entwines itself around the word 'YOUTH'.
Rev. Aristarchus Newlight', pseud. [Richard Whately, Archbishop of Dublin re. COPAC; Beinecke says William Fitzgerald]
London: John W. Parker, West Strand. 1851. [Savill and Edwards, Printers, Chandos Street, Covent Garden.]
8vo: [viii] + 62 + [ii] pp. Good, though a little dogeared and discoloured, with slight wear at foot of final leaf. Half-title (with quotation from Strauss's 'Leben Jesu' on reverse) and (discoloured) final leaf of publisher's advertisements. Disbound. The author is described on the title-page as ''Rev. Aristarchus Newlight, Phil. Dr. of the University of Giessen; Corresponding Member of the Theophilanthropic and Pantisocratical Societies of Leipsig; Late Professor of All Religions in several distinguished Academies at home and abroad, etc. etc.
George Somes Layard (1857-1925), English biographical author; Shirley Brooks (1816-74), editor of 'Punch'
9 August 1906; on letterhead 'BULLS CLIFF, FELIXSTOWE.'
Four pages, 12mo. Very good on lightly aged paper. Docketed by Gaskell at head of first page 'This letter is written to myself in reply to my offer of the loan of 91 Shirley Brooks' letters. | J. B. Gaskell'. Acknowledges the receipt of the letters which Gaskell has 'so generously' placed at his disposal, and assures him that they will be 'treated with the greatest care' and returned as soon as possible, together with the photograph of 'Epicurus Rotundus' (Brooks's pen name), 'which is new to me'. Asks for 'any reminiscences, hearsay or otherwise of S. B.
Sir Francis Cowley Burnand (1836-1917), English writer, editor of the magazine 'Punch' from 1880 to 1906
10 December 1901; place not stated.
One page. Dimensions of paper roughly four inches by seven. On piece of aged, stained paper, mounted on piece of card. Remains of biographical cutting in bottom right-hand corner. Reads 'Here you are Sir | Autographs cheap today | F. C. Burnand | F. C. B. | 10 Dec 1901'.
Tom Gallon (1866-1914), English novelist, dramatist and humourist [George Routledge & Sons, Ltd.]
TLS, 16 July 1903; ALS, 13 August 1903; both on embossed letterhead 190, Adelaide Road, St. John's Wood, N.W. [London.]
Both items quarto. On worn, discoloured paper, with a couple of closed tears to the folds. Pertwee was the author of numerous anthologies for recitation, and these letters presumably relate to his 'Reciter's treasury of prose and drama: serious and humorous' (Routledge, 1904). TLS: 'Provided, of course, that Messrs. Routledge have actually agreed with you to publish the book of humorous prose recitations, I shall be very willing to allow you to reprint any one of the stories the titles of which I give below.
Marshall Pinckney Wilder (1859-1914), American humourist
19 August 1889; on Marshall's letterhead from 'The Alpine', 55 West 33rd. Street, New York.
8.5 x 11 cms. Grubby and lightly spotted. Reads 'My dear Mr Sonnenschein | Kindly send draft as I can collect here - | Merrily Yours | Marshall P. Wilder'. Presumably refers to the English printing of his 'The people I've smiled with: recollections of a merry little life' (1889).