William Baker and William M. Clarke, eds [ William Wilkie Collins (1824-1889), Victorian novelist and friend of Charles Dickens ]
Macmillan Press Ltd, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, and London. 1999.
2 vols, 8vo: xli + 267 + pp.; and xiii + pp., paginated 269-616]. (I.e. the two volumes containing a total of 616pp. of text, with a further 54pp. of introductory matter.) Eight plates in the first volume and six plates in the second. In very good condition, in like dustwrappers. 'This authorized edition (one of the editors, William M. Clarke, is married to Collins's great-granddaughter) draws on the extensive public and private collection of Collins's letters scattered across the world - some revealed here for the first time.'
Lawrence B. Phillips, F.R.A.S. Lithographed by F. G. Netherclift.
London: Robert Hardwicke, 192, Piccadilly. 1866. [ Letterpress printed by W. J. Perry, 22, Cursitor Street, London. ]
iv + 37 +  + 234pp., 4to. In grey cloth binding, gilt. All edges gilt. Internally in good condition, lightly aged, in worn binding with rear spine shoulder splitting. The title continues: 'Designed for the use of Librarians, Autograph Collectors, Literary Men, and as a Work of General Interest. With Biographical Notices, and Occasional Translations.' The letterpress consists of a title leaf; and a two-page preface followed by a 'Biographical Index' of 37pp., and a page of errata and addenda.
Christina Foyle (1911-1999), proprietor of London bookshop, Foyle's of Charing Cross Road; her husband Ronald Batty (d.1994) [ Philip Dosse (d.1980) of Hansom Books, publisher of 'Books and Bookmen' ]
The letters of Foyle and Batty on two letterheads: 'From the Director's Office | W. & G. Foyle Ltd. | Booksellers | 119-125, Charing Cross Road, | London, W.C.2.' and Beeleigh Abbey, Maldon, Essex. Between 1968 and 1980.
The collection is in good condition, with light signs of age and wear. Of Foyle's 77 letters, 63 are signed 'Christina Foyle' and 14 'Christina'. Almost all 1p., 4to. Foyle's character shines through, an extraordinary mixture of steely determination, frankness and snobbish hauteur (for a good assessment, see her obituary in The Independent, 10 June 1999). Topics include: literary luncheons for Diana Mosley, Dirk Bogarde ('He is so very appealing. My friend Vivian Ellis thinks he is greater than Shakespeare.
[ Walter Jerrold [Walter Copeland Jerrold] (1865-1929), English author and journalist] Alfred George Gardiner ('Alpha of the Plough'); William Archer; A..St John Adcock; George Sampson; C. E. Lawrence
On letterhead menu of the Wayside Inn, 2 & 3 Bishops Court, Chancery Lane, WC [London]. Dated 4 June 1919.
2pp., 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. The menu is written out in faint pencil on one side, beneath the letterhead. On the other side, and headed with the date 4 June 1919 is the following playful address: 'Dear Jerrold, | "Carry on"! | This has no reference to the food we have just eaten. | You Walter [pun on 'ought to'] be here because you're a Jerrold [pun on 'dear old'] fellow. | And so say all of us.' Beneath this are nine signatures, two of which are undeciphered.
John Reade (1837-1919), Irish-born Canadian journalist, essayist and poet, 'the grand old man of Canadian letters', literary editor of the Montreal Gazette
270 Laval Avenue, Montreal [Canada]. 9 and 18 October 1897.
3pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, on aged paper, with a couple of short closed tears along creases. The body of the letter, written on 9 October 1897, reads: 'Dear Sir, | I have published only one small volume of verse which has long been out of print ['The Prophecy of Merlin and other Poems', published in 1870]. I will see if from some friend I can borrow a copy to send you. | I have written some occasional and other verse besides that of the little book, but for some years have done little expect writing for the press.' In a postscript of 18 October 1897, signed 'J.
A. H. Fox Strangeways [Arthur Henry Fox Strangeways] (1859-1948), English musicologist, music critic of the 'Observer' and founder of the magazine 'Music and Letters'
Both on letterheads of 'Music and Letters', 38 Lansdowne Cresent, W11 [London]. 13 January and 3 February 1934.
Both items in good condition, on lightly-aged paper. ONE (13 January 1934): 1p., landscape 12mo. The 'proposed article sounds the sort of thing', but Strangeways cannot accept it until he sees it. TWO (3 February 1934): 2pp., landscape 12mo. He thanks him for sending the article, regarding which he writes: 'if the musicians mentioned in it had been more important or there had been more about them, it wd. have been worth printing; but as it is I am afraid it is not of sufficient interest.' The writer's reference to 'Ranzini' is, Strangeways points out, 'almost certainly' a mistake for 'V.
James F. L. Wood, Assistant Manager, Society for the Suppression of Mendicity [Mendicity Society] [Sir Alexander James Beresford Beresford Hope (1820-1887), Conservative politician; R. Ferguson]
On letterhead of the Begging Letter Department, Mendicity Office, Red Lion Square. 3 April 1856.
3pp., folio. Bifolium on grey paper. Addressed on reverse of second leaf to 'A. J. B. Beresford Hope | Esq | Arklow House', with Penny Red stamp and postmarks. In good condition, on aged paper, with some discoloration to the reverse of the second leaf. Printed in red at the head of the first page: 'THIS REPORT IS STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.
Edwin Howland Blashfield (1848-1936), American artist, President of the National Institute of Arts and Letters [Augustus Thomas (1857-1944), American playwright; American Academy of Arts and Letters]
On his letterhead of 48 Central Park South, New York City. 14 November [1915?].
1p., 12mo. 25 lines, neatly and tightly written. In good condition, lightly-aged, and with pin hole to one corner. Blashfield declares himself 'much disappointed' that Thomas will not be presiding 'at the joint meeting on the 17th. Nov.', stating that he has been urging 'from the beginning' that Thomas should 'so preside'.
Anne Isabella Ritchie [Anne Thackeray Ritchie] (1837-1919), Lady Ritchie, born Anne Isabella Thackeray, letterwriter, daughter of William Makepeace Thackeray
On letterhead of 109 St George's Square, SW. 5 November [no year, but before her husband's death in 1912].
4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. Good, on lightly-aged paper. As she 'cut the string' of the parcel, she 'wondered what could possibly come to me from St Andrews', '& lo! these beautiful thoughts in their lovely garb appeared to my delight'. It was wonderful of Miss Grae to 'think of it', and of 'the little girls to make such a beautiful book', the binding of which her husband finds 'admirable & excellent'. She will 'read the charming pages on foggy days such as these'. She wishes that 'these last 3 blacknesses had been spent at St Andrews by all of us'.
John Streatfeild (1811-1883) of Sea Beach House, Eastbourne, Clerk at the Home Department, Whitehall [Sir William Hamilton (1788-1877), British Consul at the Port of Boulogne]
On letterhead of the Secretary of State for the Home Department. 8 February 1873.
2pp., 4to. On bifolium. Good, on lightly-aged paper. Addressed to 'Wm. Hamilton Esq'. Streatfeild has received directions from 'Mr. Secretary Bruce' granting Hamilton 'the Dignity of a Knight Bachelor of the United Kingdom'. Hamilton is to place £96 14s 6d in Streatfeild's account at Drummond's Bank in Charing Cross, 'being the Account & the Expenses attending the passing of the Patent under the Great Seal'. Streatfeild will 'proceed with the Patent as soon as you inform me whether the enclosed is your proper description'.
William Melmoth the Younger (c.1710-1799), translator of Pliny and Cicero, and author of 'Fitzosborne's Letters' (1748, 1749) [Sophia Walters]
Date and place not stated. Docketed in a contemporary hand: '1798 Written at the advanced Age of eighty five [sic, for 88]'.
1 p, landscape 12mo (18.5 x 11.5 cm). Eleven long lines in a small neat hand. Text clear and complete. Fair, on aged paper. Tipped in onto a piece of paper, 21 x 13 cm. The reference to Melmoth's 'advanced Age' is at the foot of the page. Docketed on reverse in a contemporary hand: 'From Mr. Melmoth to Mrs. Walters'. Begins: 'Believe me, my very dear Sophia, I am so truely [sic] your obedient servant in every affectionate & friendly sense of those terms, that there is no office in which you can employ me I shd.
London: Richard Bentley, New Burlington Street, 1864.
Separately published from four volume edition (1862-4), pp.308-347, 8vo, printed paper wraps, darkened, wear at spine and corners, minor foxing, mainly good. Bentley (Turner) Index 1110, ascribed to J. Munnings. A bookseller on viaLibri reveals that an index is anticipated in the fourth volume of the Life and Letters published by Bentley, 1862-4. No mention is made of this Index in either COPAC or WorldCat's listings of copies of the Life and Letters. Very scarce.
Sir Philip Francis (1740-1818), English politician and writer, the leading candidate for the authorship of the Letters of Junius
Without date or place.
On piece of laid paper, 5.5 x 8 cm. Clear signature on lightly-aged and spotted paper. From the collection of James C. Webster, Secretary, Athenaeum Club, London, who has written, above the signature, 'Royal Society of L<...>', and beneath it, 'Sir Philip Francis | author of "Junius"'.
John Stuart Blackie (1809-1895), Scottish man of letters
Oban; 8 August [no year].
12mo, 4 pp, in a bifolium, with postscript on reverse of a Commercial Bank of Scotland 'Paid-in Slip'. Text clear and complete on aged and worn paper. Difficult hand. A fluent and energetic letter. Regarding the queries concerning 'Strasburg, and other words', 'the German Authorities which I fancy you consulted [...] are in my Edinburgh house'. He suggests writing to the London booksellers Williams & Norgate. He is glad to learn that 'Lockhart is turned a golfer.
Scottish essayist (1810-82). Two pages, 12mo. With mourning border. Good, but on discoloured paper, and with some glue staining to blank second leaf of bifoliate. Concerns the work for which Brown is remembered, 'Rab and his friends' (1859). If he is ever at Crewe he will 'certainly avail myself of Mrs. Blunt's & your very gratifying invitation. His wife is 'more delighted, I think, with your letter about "Rab" than by any other - & she has kept it - being like all good wives greedy of her husband's praise.' Signed 'J. Brown'.
Scottish historian (1791-1849). Three pages, 12mo. In good condition, with second leaf of bifolium attached by blank verso to larger piece of docketed grey paper. An interesting, chatty letter relating to his 'History of Scotland' (1828-43), and the State Paper Office. He hopes his correspondent has received the seventh volume which 'cost me much labour - but if it is even an approach nearer to the truth the time has not been thrown away'.
Alexander Denham and Co. [Charles Whittingham; Chiswick Press; autographs; booksellers' catalogues]
London: For Sale by Alex'r Denham and Co., 23 Haymarket, S.W.; 1902. [Chiswick Press: Charles Whittingham and Co. Tooks Court, Chancery Lane, London.]
Quarto: 65 pp. Numerous plates. In original grey printed wraps. Internally good, with a little spotting and creasing to the ruckled edges; wraps worn and stained. A beautifully printed item, on thick laid paper. Among the printed matter are books of hours, breviaries, psalters, and letters (with facsimile plates) by Byron, Keats, Johnson and Sterne; and manuscripts of Fielding and Horace Walpole.
Elizabeth Palgrave (nee Turner, 1799-1852), wife of Sir Francis Palgrave (1788-1861) [Dawson Turner]
[Docketed by Turner 'Hampstead 21st June 1848.']
One page, octavo. Good, on aged paper with some loss to extremities repaired with archival tape. Fifteen lines of text clear and complete. On learning of Dawson Turner's celebrated collection of autographs from her son, Elizabeth Palgrave's 'kind old neighbour' Lady Bentham asked her 'some questions which led to the enclosed note & the letters I send' (none present).
Florence | Lung'Arno della Borsa 2. bis | March. 31. 1893'.
English man of letters (1874-1945), associated with G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. Two pages, octavo. A frail item in poor condition: on grubby, discoloured, frayed paper, with slight loss to text and several closed tears. Line of text on fold worn but still legible. Precocious pronouncements from a nineteen-year-old.
Two without date or place; the third dated 'Gower Place | Euston Sq[uar]e | Wedn[esda]y.'
English wit and man of letters (1774-1850). All three letters in octavo and skilfully mounted onto quarto paper. Two letters of three pages and one of two pages. All three in very good condition. Playful, witty communications to an intimate friend, characteristic of a droll, caustic wit, 'capital at the dinner table', who 'loved a joke, even in court' (Dictionary of National Biography). LETTER ONE (2 pages): Declines an invitation.
Victorian writer and social reformer (DNB), famous for his book 'Self-Help (1859)'. Inscribed by Smiles on the half-title 'To Dear Georgie | from the Author | S Smiles. | Christmas 1886'. Later ownership inscription on front free endpaper. 8vo, xii + 388 pages, followed by sixteen-page catalogue of publisher's advertisements. Original maroon cloth, with blindstamped bevelled boards. Not in the best of condition: cloth worn, stained and rubbed; spine frayed and faded with long tear along hinge; binding loose; paper somewhat discoloured with some foxing.
6 October 1935; on letterhead 'WIDCOMBE MANOR, | BATH.'
English novelist and playwright (1861-1955). One page, 4to. Folded twice. In good condition, although with slight fraying to corners. Reads 'Dear Madam: -- | You can certainly quote the passage you mention in Quinneys', but I think you ought to get permission to do so from my publisher. It will be granted I make no doubt. This is his style and address: | Major, Sir John Murray, D.S.O. | 50, Albemarle Street, | LONDON, W.1. | With all good wishes, | Faithfully yours, | Horace Annesley Vachell.'
English historian of the Crimean War (1809-91). On piece of paper roughly 4 1/2 inches by 1 1/4 inches. In very good condition. Remains of mounts adhering to blank verso. Reads '<...> be of use in making the collection. | I have the honour to be | Sirs | faithfully yours | A W Kinglake.'
Piece of grey card, dimensions roughly 5 1/2 inches by 4 inches. In poor condition: grubby and discoloured, and crudely mounted on a piece of card. Novelist and journalist (1841-1907). Clearly in reply to a request for an autograph, Hatton has written, in a large hand, 'With pleasure - | Yours very truly | Joseph Hatton | Dec 1901'. Neatly docketed with a number '30' in a circle.
English playwright (1851-1929; DNB). 1 page, 12mo. In good condition, with negligible spotting. He will be ready the following Saturday and, as far as he knows, the one after as well. Apologises for not being able to 'get to your place, as I had hoped. But for the past for fortnight I have been on some work at the "Mail" office which meant my going earlier than usual.' Sends best wishes for 'a good time', and his regards to Mrs Jerrold. Signed 'Hry Arthur Jones'.
Novelist, journalist and travel writer (1857-1942). Dimensions: 1 1/4 inches by 4 inches. In good condition, although creased along its length, and attached to a larger piece of paper docketed 'Morley Roberts. | Novelist & Journalist.'
8 January 1887; on letterhead 38, Onslow Gardens, S.W.
Historian and essayist (1838-1903). 1 page, 16mo. In good condition, although grubby and glued to fragment of vellum 'Honorary Testimonial' to urice B. Blake, from internal evidence clearly from the Royal Humane Society, and signed by the President, the Duke of Argyll ('Argyll') and the Treasurer and Chairman, A. B. Hawes, 'for having on the 6th., <...> risk gallantly attempted to rescue <...> was unfortunately drowned in the River'. Letter reads: 'Dear Bagnal | I return inclosed with much pleasure.
English novelist, poet and dramatist (1862-1960), noted for his works on Devon. On piece of paper, 3 inches by 4 1/2. In good condition, and attached to a piece of blue card docketed with list of Phillpots works. Distinctive and attractive signature, 'Eden Philpotts | Feb: 1928'.
5 January 1912; on letterhead in red ink 'LAMB HOUSE, | RYE, | SUSSEX.'
One of the greatest of all English/American novelists (1843-1916; DNB, etc). 1 page, 8vo. Grubby, creased, frayed and worn. Unobtrusively repaired with archival tape. Reads 'Mr. Henry James encloses cheque for £9. 11. 0. | Messrs. Wright & Pankhurst | Rye | January 5th 1912'. Wright & Pankhurst would appear to have been local stationers or printers. An unusual autograph item.