[Foyles Literary Luncheon for Sir Angus Wilson, 1980.] Autograph Letter Signed from ‘Dolly’ [Mrs A. G. Dowdeswell] to ‘Philip’ [Philip Dosse of ‘Books and Bookmen’], with reference to Wilson, Melvyn Bragg, Simon Young of John Murray, Ian Jack.

[Foyles Literary Luncheon for Sir Angus Wilson, 1980] ‘Dolly’ [Mrs A. G. Dowdeswell, Secretary, The Johnson Society of London] [Philip Dosse (1925-1980), publisher ‘Books and Bookmen’; Melvyn Bragg,
Publication details: 
27 August 1980; on letterhead of 26 High Street, Biddenden, Kent.

See the entries for Angus Wilson and Christina Foyle in the Oxford DNB. ‘Dolly’ is clearly the ‘Mrs. A. G. Dowdeswell’ who was secretary of the Johnson Society of London in the 70s and 80s (arranging luncheons) and named as a member of the Johnson Society at least as late as 1992. The recipient Philip Dosse was proprietor of Hansom Books, publisher of a stable of seven arts magazines including Books and Bookmen and Plays and Players. See ‘Death of a Bookman’ by the novelist Sally Emerson (editor of ‘Books and Bookmen’ at the time of Dosse’s suicide), in Standpoint magazine, October 2018.

[ Christina Foyle of Foyle's Bookshop, London. ] 57 Typed Letters Signed and 20 Autograph Letters Signed to Philip Dosse of 'Books and Bookmen', with letters from her husband Ronald Batty. With other material including correspondence received by her.

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' ]
Publication details: 
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.

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