xiii + 297pp., with frontispiece and four plates, and six-page publishers' catalogue at end. Blocks of text have been cut out by Lucas, between pp.205 and 232, and the three leaves carrying pp.199-204 have been removed. Otherwise in good condition, in worn burgundy cloth binding, gilt. Lucas has written 'With corrections for Second Edition' at the head of the title page. (There was no second edition.) Emendations throughout in pencil and pen.
William Harrison Ainsworth (1805-1882), English historical novelist [ John Partington Aston (1805-1882); James Sheridan Knowles (1784-1862), Irish playwright; Charles Lamb; William Charles Macready ]
London ('Send the letter by Abot directed to Milne and Parry'). 30 April 1825 [aged 20].
4pp., 4to. Bifolium. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. Addressed, with postmark, to 'John P. Aston, Esqre | Messrs. Ainsworth & Co | Solrs | Essex Street | Manchester'. Aston was Ainsworth's father's law clerk. The year after this letter was written the novel 'Sir John Chiverton', on which Ainsworth and Aston collaborated, was published to great success (and endorsement by Sir Walter Scott).
Peniston Lamb (1745-1828), 1st Viscount Melbourne, father of the British Prime Minister William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne [Lord Melbourne]
Place not stated. 6 November 1790.
1p., 8vo. On aged paper worn at extremities (not affecting text). The note reads: 'Nov 6 1790 | Srs | I received your letter by cover of Mr Herbert & will have ye honour to return an answer on Wednesday next | & am your Obedt Humble Servant | Melbourne'.
J. H. Peacock, proprietor of the Ship & Turtle Tavern, Leadenhall Street, 'opposite the East India House', City of London [George Painter; Thomson Hankey senior; Messrs Thomson Hankey, 7 Mincing Lane]
'Ship & Turtle Tavern | Leadenhall St. | opposite the East India House'. May 1839.
1p., 12mo. Bifolium, addressed on reverse of second leaf to 'T Hankey Senr'. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper. He thanks him for 'the many kind favors I have received & as the Turtle season has commenced & having retired from business & resigned it to my late Cook Mr. Geo Painter of this Tavern I should be obliged by your future favors to him who will be answerable for the Turtle.' He concludes: 'I stand Debtor to you'. The Tavern was situated at 129 Leadenhall Street. Painter would also become a purveyor of earthenware pottery from the same address.
John Brewster, Under Sheriff of Nottingham [William Lamb (1779-1848), 2nd Viscount Melbourne [Lord Melbourne]; Thomas Grammer of Greasley Moor Green, Nottinghamshire; John Goodall, solicitor, Derby]
Letter dated from Nottingham, 19 March 1845. Account of charges at 12 March 1845.
On 4to bifolium, with the account of charges on the recto of the first page, and Brewster's letter on the recto of the second. In very good condition, on lightly-aged paper. Addressed, with Nottingham and Derby postmarks, on the reverse of the second leaf, to 'John Goodall Esq | Solr. | Derby'. Docketted: 'Brewster Jno. | Under Shff of Nttm | with acct. of Charges in Grammer at Melbourne | Same at Hides'. The letter reads 'Inclosed I forward you the Account of Charges relating to these
Agnes Berry (1764-1852), sister and companion of the poet Mary Berry (1763-1852), and friend of Horace Walpole [Hon. Mrs George Lamb [Caroline 'Caro George' Lamb'] of Devonshire Cottage, Richmond]
Curzon Street, London. 7 December [1840s?].
2pp., 12mo. 30 lines. Good, on lightly-aged paper. She begins by explaining that it was 'by an entire mistake' that Mrs Lamb's money (presumably the rent for Devonshire Lodge, owned by Mrs Lamb) was not paid, and that the mistake is 'now cleared up, & the money is to be paid this very morning by Coutt's into your Banker's'. Her sister Mary is not able to pass on this information herself, as 'she has been for above a fortnight so very unwell as not to be able to write, or occupy herself in any way - a severe fit of & Influenza has confined her, & kept me in great agony about her'.?>
Mary Berry (1763-1852), author, sister and companion of Agnes Berry (1764-1852), and friend of Horace Walpole [Hon. Mrs George Lamb [Caroline 'Caro George' Lamb']; Devonshire Cottage, Richmond]
[Devonshire Cottage, Richmond.] 29 June and 1 July 1844.
4pp., 12mo. 75 lines. On bifolium. Very good, on lightly-aged paper. The entire document is in Mary Berry's autograph. The letter proper, of 57 lines, is signed 'Devonshire Cottage / a true Copy / M Berry', the joke, such as it is, being that Mary Berry has copied out a document written by Devonshire Cottage itself to its owner, the Hon. Mrs George Lamb (Caroline, or 'Caro George' Lamb, from whom the Berry sister's were leasing it).
Sir Charles A. Elton [Sir Charles Abraham Elton; Sir C. A. Elton] (1778-1853), English army officer, author and translator [John Taylor (1781-1864), publisher and editor of the 'London Magazine']
'Clifton [Bristol]. [August?] 16th.' .
2pp., 4to. Bifolium. Good, on lightly-aged paper. Addressed by Elton, on reverse of second leaf, to 'John Taylor Esq.' (Taylor had assumed the editorship of the London Magazine on the death by duel of John Scott in February 1821.) Elton begins by informing Taylor that he has 'not been able yet to manage the Batrachomyomachia to my mind'. (Elton's translation of 'The Battle of the Frogs and Mice' would appear anonymously in the issue of October 1821, as the second of a series named 'Leisure Hours'.) He has instead 'sent some chit-chat to serve as an introduction'.
Henry Lamb (1883-1960), R.A. English artist of the Camden Town Group [Jean Inglis]
4 July 1944; St John's Cottage, Cambridge.
Landscape 12mo. 12 lines. Text clear and complete. Good, on aged paper, in envelope addressed by Lamb to Inglis. On 'seeing the picture after that long interval' he was 'not ashamed of it', but 'when it was new my friends used to rag me about my "Morgue" pictures', there being 'a few others of similar gruesome import'. Now that he is 'far past youth' he is 'painting mostly scenes of sweetness & serenity'. He is sorry that she is 'denied the priviledge [sic] I have enjoyed all these sinister times', that of being able to paint.
Joseph Cottle, bookseller and publisher (of "Lyrical Ballads", etc)
Bristol and Fairfield House near Bristol, 1850 and 20 Dec. 1850.
One page and two pages, both 8vo, bifolia, some staining but text clear and complete. In the first letter to which (as he explains in the second letter) he didn't add his name, he says that he visited "your Bovey Coal Pits" as a geologist (!), made observations and concluded that it was a "real Coal district, the current coal mined [an internet site informs me of poor quality] being of a "comparatively recent formation". Real coal was produced in an earlier period.
John Cuming Walters (1863-1933), Editor of the Manchester City News and Manchester Evening Chronicle [William Hazlitt; C. H. Herford]
A specialist on Dickens and Tennyson, Cuming Walters was for many years a central figure in the literary life of the north-west of England. Shortly before his death (and as reported in The Times, 28 April 1932) he boasted of having written 'between 15,000 and 20,000 leading articles, nearly 20,000 reviews of books, 8,000 dramatic notices, and 15,000 special articles. He had published about 20 books and had written 250 lectures.' The present collection is divided into two parts. A.
E. V. Lucas [The Book Publishers' Representatives' Association; Methuen & Co.]
12mo: 8 pp. Dimensions of leaf roughly 13.5 x 11 cm. Lightly-spotted and creased, in creased and worn original purple wraps with title printed on front, and stitched with matching purple thread. An uncommon piece of Lucas and book trade ephemera, nicely printed. Beneath the title: 'President. W. J. Crawley. Principal Guests of the Evening. Sir Godfrey Collins, M.P. Edgar Wallace. E. V. Lucas. H. E.
Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd (1795-1854), English writer, judge and politician
19 May 1834; 2 Elm Court, Temple.
12mo, 2 pp. Good, on lightly aged paper, with traces of a paper stub neatly adhering to the blank bottom right-hand corner of the verso. Apologising for his 'long neglect of the subject of your last notice - the Mill Hill Medal. The truth is I am scarcely able to find strength and spirits for the work I have to do, and so am constantly involved in difficulties as to time like those to which extravagant people fall into as to money'. He hopes 'to be able to enjoy the pleasures of our anniversary dinner', although he does not feel he deserves them.
Countess Clara Gigliucci [nee Clara Novello] (1818-1908), English soprano, daughter of Ivor Novello
Fermo. Marche | August 24th. 1863.'
One page, octavo. Very good, on lightly aged paper, with embossed blue ink monogram at head. 'Dear Sir | My Sister Isabella, just arrived, tells me you desire my autograph, I have great pleasure in complying with your flattering request. [...]' The blank second leaf of the bifolium is carefully attached to a larger piece of neatly-docketed paper, and has the two newspaper cuttings partially laid down on it. The short Times obituary, dated 17 March 1908, states that 'She must surely have been the last person alive to whom Charles Lamb addressed a poem'.
Lynton Harold Lamb (1907-1977), British painter, book illustrator and designer
Postcard with painting of Rialto Bridge by Canaletto. Postmarked 1970. Ruckled with damp but entirely legible. An amusing communication, beginning 'Thought I would let you know that we were not involved in the great tornado that sunk a voporetto [sic] on Lirica 4, and that the Hotel alla Fava is still very comfortable.' Refers to the Lambs' 'self-contained eyrie' and 'the weak fast coffee which tastes of mud; but clearly and obviously isn't'.
12 February 1936; on letterhead of the publishers Methuen & Co Ltd.
English essayist and biographer of Charles Lamb (1868-1938). One page, quarto. Good only, on discoloured and creased paper. Lucas finds Ross's 'Heads and tales, etc.' (London: Rich & Cowan, 1934), a collection of interviews with the famous, 'incorrigibly lively'. 'I do not share all your sympathies but you have made a very entertaining thing out of question and answer. While I was reading, it occurred to me that a new kind of interview might be based on the "Questions I should not put to So-and-so". To G[eorge]. B[ernard].
English writer, humorist and divine (1837-1904). Four pages, 12mo. Very good, though a tad grubby, and with traces of previous mounting on verso of second leaf of bifoliate. He is late in replying because he has been bringing his invalid niece back from Derbyshire to Hampstead. Touches on her illness and on the the disposal of furniture. '[...] but I am now "what is more, a householder" (Dogberry), & monarch of all I survey [...] I should have liked to visit you at Roseleigh. Well, well, it must stand over, like many another pleasant scheme. But do come again to London soon.
Maria Acland [Sir Charles Abraham Elton; POOR LAW]
Gloucester Row Clifton Feby 10th 1823'.
Docketed in pencil at foot of page 'Authoress of book on Poor Laws &c'. One page, quarto. Creased, discoloured and stained, with the rear repaired with tape. Interesting letter, referring to the publication of an essay. She is gratified by her correspondent's approbation of her 'attempt' and accepts his offer. Had the essay been published she would have asked for proof-sheets. 'I believe I have made a mis-quotation about the 8th or 9th page, & have written "Whosoever hath not &c" instead of "If any man have not".
41 Sloane St; no date, but postmarked 21 Sept 1920.
English essayist and biographer (1868-1938). Plain postcard, dimensions roughly 4 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. Grubby and smudged, with central vertical crease. Deleted printed letterhead '176, VICTORIA STREET, | (CORNER OF BUCKINGHAM PALACE ROAD.) | S.W.1.' Reads '41 Sloane St | Many thanks | E. V. Lucas'. Addressed by Lucas to 'R. S. McMinn Esq | 35 Birdhurst Rd | S. Croydon'.
Barclays Bank Limited | 366, STRAND, W.C.2.'; 12 July 1927.
English essayist and biographer (1868-1938). Attractive printed cheque in black and blue ink on light blue paper: dimensions roughly 7 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. The cheque is for sixpence, and a pencil note (presumably by Thorpe) on the reverse explains how it results from a lost wager: 'Bet | Whether Geo A Birmingham wrote a Gen[era]l knowledge book. | He did.'
"Will you be so kind as to send me to this place, a dozen of the finest Champagne in the urse of the Morning? If you have any still Champagne I should prefer it provided it is of the best quality; but this, I fear is out of the question. Send the Bill with the Wine."