John Masefield (1878-1867), Poet Laureate from 1930 to his death
Date and place not stated.
On 7 x 11 cm slip of paper, torn from the end of a letter. In fair condition, lightly aged, with minor staining to one corner. Reads, with top line slightly cropped: 'I may have more leisure. | Yours sincerely, | J. Masefield.'
Joseph Warton (1728-1790), Poet Laureate [ Trinity College, Oxford ]
No place. 16 July 1767.
On one side of 11 x 18.5 cm piece of paper. In good condition, lightly aged and creased. On reverse is small circular printed paper label of the Ray Rawlins Collection. Reads: 'July 16 1767 Received of Hugh Rogers Esqr the Above Sum in Full for His Son till Last Whitsuntide | by me | Jos. Warton'. Hugh Rogers of Helston, had a son, John, at Trinity, Oxford, presuambly tutored by Warton.
Alfred Austin (1835-1913), English Poet Laureate from 1896 to his death [Jean-Baptiste François Ernest De Chatelain (1801-1881) and his wife Clara de Chatelain (1807-1876), author]
67 Queen's Gardens, Bayswater. 2 August 1877.
2pp., 16mo. 17 lines of text. Good, on lightly-aged paper. He begins by thanking him for 'the History of the Flitch of Bacon Custom at Dunnow. I well remember reading in the papers of 55 the celebration of the fete at which you & poor Made. de Chatelain were the hero & heroine'. He has called on de Chatelain to thank him for the 'Fleurs et Fruits' which he sent him, but did not find him at home. He will try again before leaving town for the autumn, 'which I shall do in a few days'.
Nigel Hamilton (b.1944), biographer of Montgomery of Alamein and Presidents Kennedy and Clinton [Ida Herz (1894-1984), friend of the German novelist and Nobel laureate Thomas Mann (1875-1955)]
Most of Hamilton's letters from 67 Royal Hill, Greenwich; a third on letterheads of the Greenwich Bookshop, 37 King William Walk; twenty of them from 1972 and seven from 1973, with a couple from 1975 and one undated.
In 1925 Mann encountered the Nuremberg bookseller Ida Herz: a lifelong friendship followed, which was, according to Mann's biographer Anthony Heilbut, 'motored largely by her phenomenal devotion'. The present collection, comprising items, is in good condition, lightly aged and worn. (Seven leaves from Hamilton's letters have tearing to margins resulting in slight loss to text, and three leaves have damp-staining.) At the time the items were written Herz was living at 95 Gilling Court, Belsize Grove, London. Hamilton's letters total: 16pp., 4to.; 30pp., 8vo; 1p., 12mo.
[The Library of William Wordsworth (1770-1850), Poet Laureate]
Without place or date. [1910s?]
8pp., on eight leaves of foolscap 8vo, with a ninth leaf carrying the title (headed 'Library' in manuscript). Fair, on aged and creased paper. The first page carries four entries, all beginning in 'A', from W. P. Alison's 'Remarks on the Poor Laws etc of Scotland, 1844' to a total of 54 volumes of the Annual Register. The four items are attributed the lot numbers 1, 3, 2 and 4 in manuscript. The second page carries seven items beginning with 'B' (ending with 'Border Laws 1705.'), with the first and second given lot numbers in manuscript.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), English Poet Laureate, 1850-1892 [Valentine Augustus Browne (1825-1905), 4th Earl of Kenmare, Lord Chamberlain]
On letterhead of Aldworth, Haslemere, Surrey. May 1885.
1p., 12mo. In fair condition, on lightly-aged paper. On the first leaf of a bifolium, with the second blank leaf carrying traces of glue from mount. The note reads: 'May /85 | Lord Tennyson begs to thank the Lord Chamberlain for the honour of the invitation on June 6th. He regrets that he is unable to avail himself of it.'
Robert Bridges [Robert Seymour Bridges] (1844-1930), British Poet Laureate from 1913 to 1930 [Lady Ottoline Morrell; Emery Walker; Arnold Dolmetsch]
Letter dated 'Chilswell Dec 1924.' The photograph engraved by Emery Walker.
Nicely printed on laid paper, on sheet folded to make a bifolium, with the facsimile of the letter on the reverse of the first leaf, and the photograph of Bridges facing it on the recto of the second. As he is unable 'to write personal thanks to each of the many friends who contributed to honour my 80th birthday by their lovely gift', he asks them to accept the photograph 'as a memento'. 'Apart fr.
Robert Bridges [Robert Seymour Bridges] (1844-1930), Poet Laureate
18 Merton Street, Oxford. Postmarked 18 April 1917.
On blue card, with stamp and postmark. Bridges's message is complete, but the postcard has been trimmed to 14 x 5 cm, with the lower part of the card, carrying O'Toole's address, missing. Otherwise good, on lightly-aged paper. The message reads: '14. Merton St. | Dear Sir. I am writing to apologise for never having answered your letter of Feb. 29th. I have been too much engaged to be able to attend to my correspondents. I beg that you will excuse me. Yours truly | [signed] R Bridges.'
Axel Munthe [Axel Martin Fredrik Munthe] (1857-1949), Swedish physician and author of 'The Story of San Michele' [Judith Masefield (1904-1988), daughter of the Poet Laureate John Masefield]
Written from Italy and London in 1930 and (perhaps) 1931.
'The Story of San Michele' is one of the most popular works of the twentieth century, and this delightful correspondence bears ample testimony to the extraordinary allure of its author. The eight letters are entirely legible, in fair condition on aged paper. They total 3 pp in folio, and 8 pp in 4to. The sequence is tentative, none of the letters giving the year. The numerous errors, in large part due to Munthe's growing blindness, are largely unnoticed in the following transcripts. Letter One (2 pp, 4to). 'Rome Villa Svezia Via Aldrovandi 27 Feb 8 '.
Samuel Rogers (1763-1855), 'the banker poet', best-known for his 'Pleasures of Memory'
Without date or place.
12mo (leaf dimensions 18.5 x 11 cm): 1 p. On laid Whatman paper. Fair, on lightly-aged paper, with slight trace of glue from mount on reverse. Reads 'Your remarks are excellent - May I venture to tax your patience once more - but pray don't think of a frank - It was Sir Ronald, the General | Every yours | [signed] S. R'.
Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux; Sir William Soames; John Dryden; Henry Hills junior, London printer
London: Printed and Sold by H. Hills, in Black-fryars near the Water-side. 1710.
12mo: 40 pp. Disbound. Good, on lightly aged paper. Contemporary ownership inscription of 'William Francklyn" on title-page. This edition is scarce: no copy in the British Library, and the only copy on COPAC at Liverpool.
22 July ; on letterhead '6 CROOMS HILL | GREENWICH | S. E. 10'; carbon of Mercer's letter dated 21 July 1961.
British Poet Laureate (1904-72). Day-Lewis's letter, 1 page, 8vo. On grey paper. Good, but lightly creased and with a few staple holes. Thanks Mercer for the 'kind invitation'. 'I am afraid I could not manage to prepare the paper you suggest for January 24, since I have to be busy till near the end of this year on a play.' Suggests deferment to February or March. Signed 'C. Day Lewis'. Docketed by '' on 24 July 1961, 'We can offer other times, I think, in March.' and with 'Mar 21 | 2.30' beneath this in pencil.
Joseph O'Conor [John Masefield, Royals Society of Literature]
No date (but post 1963?); 18 Melville Road, Barnes, S.W.13.
Irish actor (1916-2001). 2 pages, 8vo. In good condition though creased along one edge. Accompanying this item are a typescript (1 page, 8vo, in good condition, annotated in ink) headed 'MASEFIELD READINGS', listing 13 items alternatively allocated to 'O'Conor' and 'Day Lewis', and two typewritten slips of paper listing some of the officers of the Royal Society of Literature, one of which has corrected details of the Don Carlos Coloma Memorial Lecture on the reverse. In the letter O'Conor complains that [Masefield's Collected Poems 'seem riddled with misprints'.