R. Brimley Johnson [Reginald Brimley Johnson] (1867-1932), English author and editor [Swan Sonnenschein, London publishers]
19 February 1893; on embossed letterhead of Llandaff House, Cambridge.
12mo, 4 pp. Bifolium. Good, on lightly-aged paper. He was introduced to the recipient 'by Mr. Philip Malleson of Croydon, when I wanted to send an Essay to The Albemarle'. Asks if he 'might be disposed to let me write a volume on Jane Austen or Leigh Hunt for your Dilettante Library', Austen being 'specially before the public just now'. He has edited Austen's novels and two 'well received' volumes of selections from Hunt for 'Mr. Dent's Temple Library'. 'If you do not care to arrange for either of these authors I would suggest Miss Burney[,] Hazlitt or T. L. Peacock.
Williams & Norgate, London booksellers [Sir John Philippart (1784-1875); The Asiatic Society of Calcutta]
30 May 1870; on letterhead of 14, Henrietta-Street, Covent Garden ('Also at 20, South Frederick-Street, Edinburgh.').
12mo (21 x 13 cm), 1 p. On green paper. Clear and complete. On aged, creased and grubby paper. Reads (manuscript text in square brackets): Messrs. Williams & Norgate present their compliments to [Sir John Philippart] and beg to inform [him that the Asiatic Socy Calcutta send them the Journal, as it is published to be forwarded to him, if he does not require it, W & N will return the numbers to Calcutta'. Docketed in a contemporary hand at head: '10 packets returned 31st May 1870'.
George A. Lawrence [George Alfred Lawrence] (1827-1876), English novelist
Undated. On monogrammed letterhead of 25 Mount Street, Grosvenor Square, London.
12mo, 1 p. Six lines. Mourning border. Text clear and complete. Aged, creased and a little grubby. Asking to be sent '4 copies of "The Butterfly", if ready', and if not to be told 'when it will be'. Lawrence published his 'Breaking a Butterfly; Or Blanche Ellerslie's Ending' anonymously by Tinsley in 1869.
Sir Daniel Lysons (1816-1898), English army officer
11 January 1893; on letterhead of 22 Warwick Square, London S.W.
12mo, 1 p. Good, on lightly-aged paper. Large bold signature. He has 'no present intention of publishing any book on [his] career'. It may be that the correspondence planted a seed, as three years after the writing of this note Lysons published 'Early Reminiscences' (John Murray, 1896).
George A. Lawrence [George Alfred Lawrence] (1827-1876), English novelist [Miss Caulfield; George Routledge]
22 March 1858; Plymouth.
16mo (leaf dimensions 13 x 10 cm), 3 pp. Bifolium. Twenty-eight lines. Text clear and complete. On aged and lightly creased paper with small closed tear in margin (not affecting text). He has been asked by 'Miss Caulfield' to 'perform the ceremony of "introduction" with a view to your publishing (if you approved of it) a work she has lately written [...] <"Janet de Rinzy?">'.
Charles Benjamin Tayler (1797-1875), curate of Otley Rectory, Ipswich, Suffolk, and author of a number of religious works
21 May 1852 & 23 June 1852; Otley Rectory, Ipswich.
Both 12mo: 4 pp. Item 1 (21 May) Text clear and entire. On aged paper with small unobtrusive spike holes through both leaves. Slightly manic letter, casting light on the relationship between author, printer and engraver in the Victorian period. Tayler lists four 'plates for a chapter on the Essex Martyrs' which Leonard Seeley of Thames Ditton, who is printing and publishing Tayler's book 'Memorials of the English Martyrs' (Seeleys, 1853), has not yet received from Williams. Suggests other engravings for the 'last chapter'. 'It has occurred to me that the plate in Foxe 7th.
Sir Victor Gollancz (1893-1967), London publisher [Hilary Rubinstein; Daniel George]
21 September 1955; on letterhead of Victor Gollancz, Ltd.
4to, 2 pp. Postscript ends abruptly ('I have read innumerable books on Italy, <...>'), suggesting a page lacking. Good, on lightly aged and creased paper. An interesting letter shedding light on Gollancz's attitude to the practice of sending out advance copies of books for review. Addressed to 'My dear Daniel'. Further to a report he has received from 'Hilary' (his nephew Hilary Rubinstein) regarding a conversation with George 'at John Coates's party', Gollancz assures him that there is no 'personal reason' why he is no longer receiving 'a stream of advance copies'.
Henry Charles Beeching (1859-1919), Dean of Norwich and author
Postmarked 21 June 1905; on letterhead '3, Little Cloisters, Westminster.'
Plain card, roughly 8.5 x 11 cm. Five lines of text. A little grubby, but good. Asking for his manuscript, so that he can 'correct the proof of the Introduction to Crashaw. It was written so many years ago that I can't always recall what I wrote'.
Henry Colburn (1784-1855), bookseller and publisher; Sir Martin Arthur Shee (1769-1850), President of the Royal Academy; Peter North; Dominic Colnaghi (1790-1879), printseller
On one side of a piece of paper roughly 8 x 12.5 cm. Good, lightly aged. Reads ' Henry Colburn | 13 Gt Marlborough Street | Martin Arthur Shee | Peter North 22 Soho Square | Dominic Colnaghi'. Fragment of docketed manuscript record of the case on the reverse: '<...> 830 | <...>nes O'Connor | <...>ent Case | <...>y 12th. 1841'.
Lewis Melville' [Lewis S. Benjamin (1874-1932)], English author and actor
5 August 1903; 1 Doughty Street, Mecklenburgh Square, W.C., on cancelled letterhead of the Weekly Dispatch.
12mo, 1 p. 7 lines of closely-written text. Clear and complete. On aged and slightly-grubby paper. He has received their letter regarding his 'Life of Thackeray', and appreciates 'the reason for your delay in deciding whether or no to issue a cheap edition. Undoubtedly the inclusion of my book in a series would benefit us both, & I hope Mr Lee may be able to make me an offer.'
Foyles Bookshop [W. & G. Foyle Ltd of 119-125 Charing Cross Road, London booksellers]
18 March 1939; on 'W & G FOYLE LTD' letterhead.
4to, 1 p. Good, on lightly aged and creased paper with minor rust stain from paperclip at head. Letterhead, in light and dark blue, featuring globe and the mottos 'BOOKSELLERS TO THE WORLD' and 'STOCK OF NEARLY THREE MILLION VOLUMES'. Thirteen lines of text. Bradshaw is clearly unhappy at the price asked for a copy of Cox's 'Memorials of Old Derbyshire'. 'The writer would point out that we received six reports regarding this book from various clients, but in no case at a price allowing us to quote below 15/-.
Sir Charles Hallé [born in Germany as Carl Halle] (1819-1895), English conductor and pianist
30 June 1890; Sydney, Australia.
12mo, 1 p. Twelve lines of text. Clear and complete. On aged and grubby paper. A formal letter in the third person. He has 'received with surprise the enclosed invoice. [not present] He has given no orders for any copies of the work & must therefore decline to accept the parcel, should it have been sent out to him in Australia.' If it is 'lying at his London house' he will forward it to the firm 'on his return home'.
Sir Charles Harding Firth [C. H. Firth] (1857-1936), Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford, 1904-1925 [George Routledge (1812-1888, publisher]
2, 4 and 25 January, and 1 November, 1906. All on letterhead of 2 Northmoor Road, Oxford.
All four items 12mo bifoliums; the first of three pages and the other three of four. Text of all four clear and complete. Good on aged and lightly-creased paper. Minor water staining at head of first leaf of first item. Letter One (28 lines): Discussing the delivery of 'the alterations & additions' of the two lives, and the correction of the proofs by Routledge's reader. 'I shall of course require some payment for my revision of the two books, & you have not said anything on this head.
Richard Monckton Milnes, Baron Houghton (1809-1885), author and politician [Alexander Macmillan (1818-1896), publisher]
8 November [no year, but after 1863]; 16 Upper Brooke Street [London].
12mo, 2 pp. 13 lines of text. Good, on light-aged paper. He has been 'asked by many persons for copies of his speech at the Cambge. Union Socy.', and if 'Messrs. Macmillan cared to print it, he would revise it, no report having been correct'. He wonders 'whether the whole proceedings should not be added, with some of the newspaper letters which have been carried'. Milnes was created Baron Houghton in 1863. In 1866 Macmillan published 'The Cambridge Union Society, Inaugural Proceedings', edited by G. C. Whiteley.
Henry Colburn (1784-1855), English publisher [Samuel Carter Hall;Maria Edgeworth]
London | <Novr.?> 7.' [no year, but between 1837 and 1849].
12mo: 1 p. 12 lines of text. An bifolium, addressed on the reverse of the second leaf, which carries Colburn's seal, with his initials, in black wax. Good, on aged Whatman paper with watermarked date 1837. The drift of the letter is doubtful as it is written in an extremely difficult hand. Colburn will call upon the recipient 'presently'. He then makes a request regarding 'Miss Edgeworth', whose letter should be 'sent to my care' before being 'forwarded to its destination'.
Sir Arthur Helps (1813-1875), author and Clerk of the Privy Council [Alexander Macmillan (1818-1896), publisher]
16 January 1867; no place.
12mo, 2 pp. 9 lines of text. With mourning border. Good, on lightly-aged paper. He is glad that Macmillan and 'Mr Doulton' are coming to dine with him, but sorry that they 'will be obliged to leave so soon; but it cannot be helped'.
Sir George Otto Trevelyan (1838-1928), politician and author [Alexander Macmillan (1818-1896), publisher]
Undated [after 1864]; Wallington, Newcastle.
12mo, 1 p. Four lines of text. Good, on aged paper with watermarked date '<...>864'. 'If the "Macaulays" have not gone yet, would you send them here, directed to me.' Trevelyan was nephew of the historian Thomas Babington Macaulay, of whom he published a biography in 1880.
E. J. Sullivan [Edmund J. Sullivan; Edmund Joseph Sullivan] (1869-1933), English book illustrator [Constable & Co.; Oliver Goldsmith]
Undated (Edwardian?). 'by E J Sullivan' in ink at foot of reverse.
On a piece of board roughly 45 x 30 cm. Foxed and discoloured, with the extremities chipped and worn, with loss and closed tears affecting the illustration's border, which is in gold in the style of the carved decoration of eighteenth-century furniture. The illustration itself, roughly 36 x 25 cm, is clear and undamaged. It features full-length depictions, each around 29 cm high, of two stylish figures: on the left a behatted lady, fan in hand, elegantly attired in eighteenth-century costume of orange compere-fronted gown and full yellow skirt.
Benjamin Green ('Pott') [Thoams Pennant; Richard ('Dick') Whittington; London topography; Christ's Hospital; libraries]
London Pubd. Jany. 1 1793 by N Smith Gt. Mays Buildings St. Martins Lane.'
Printed on one side of a piece of thick wove paper, 21 x 17.5 cm. At the head of the page is the engraving, enclosed in an oval 12.5 cm high and 15 cm wide. A clear impression of a scarce print, on grubby, spotted paper. Within the border is engraved in red 'Part of Christs Hospital taken from the Stewards Office 1765.' According to the six lines of copperplate text at the foot of the page 'It was 129 feet long and 31 feet in breadth, [...] It was furnished with Books at the expence of £556 . 10s of which £400 were given by the founder, and the remainder by Dr.
Novelist and editor Chambers Journal, Cornhill Magagzine (1883-1896), 1830-1898 (see DNB). Total 17 pages, 8vo, some letters dated by another hand (Colles?), on most Payn has put day and month but no year. A difficult hand. Subjects include: Australian mail; agreement with Tillotson (syndication); rights for Austrlia and India for something, "the neighbourhood of Sheffield would be the only forbidden ground"; "we must not dun Mr C"; "still reading [Norris'?] book; it is rather thin - . ..
Jonathan Cape Limited, London publishers [Edwin Baker; Hans Tisdall; Alden Press, Oxford]
Literary Characters': 1954, 'Printed in the City of Oxford at the Alden Press on paper mould-made supplied by Spalding & Hodge Ltd.' 'Imaginary Conversations', 1956, 'Printed in Great Britain in the City of Oxford at the Alden Press'.
Literary Characters'. 12mo (leaf dimensions roughly 18 x 12.5 cm): 32 pp. Stitched with brown thread. Fore-edge and top-edge rough. Unbound as issued. Very good. Cartoon in red ink of man seated at typewriter on front cover, and another, in black ink, of a hatted-figure skulking away with a walking stick held behind his back on back cover. Initial note, with publisher's colophon, on p.2: 'This series of Literary Characters appeared in Now & Then numbers 77-87 and is here reprinted by Jonathan Cape Limited for their friends | Christmas 1954'.
G. N. S. Hunt [Geoffrey Hunt] [Oxford University Press; Geoffrey Cumberlege; Amen Corner; Christ Church, Newgate Street]
2 December 1955; on Oxford University Press letterhead (Amen House, London).
4to: 1 page. Twenty-one lines of text. Good, on creased and lightly-aged paper. An impressively-considered letter, declining Mrs Steward's manuscript 'I had rather be a Doorkeeper'. 'As you point out, Christ Church, Newgate Street, is a near neighbour of Amen House, and its ruins are a pathetic sight.
William Holman Hunt; Archdeacon Frederic William Farrar [Dean Farrar; Pre-Raphaelite; The Art Journal; Alice Meynell; J. S. Virtue & Co. Ltd.; Goupilgravure]
[1893.] 'London: J. S. Virtue & Co. Ltd.' [The Art Journal.]
Printed on one side of a piece of cream paper, roughly 33.5 x 25.5 cm. Laid down on card. Clear and complete, with a good impression of the plate (22.5 x 17.5 cm), on lightly-aged, grubby paper, with slight wear to extremities. Presumably produced for display in a shop window. The title ('THE LIFE AND WORK OF | W. HOLMAN HUNT. | BY ARCHDEACON FARRAR.') at head, and 'SPECIMEN PLATE.' at foot, in large orange letters; the rest printed in black. Beneath the plate: 'THE SHADOW OF DEATH. | BY PERMISSION OF MESSRS. T. AGNEW & SONS. | LONDON: J. S. VIRTUE & CO.
Charles Scribner's Sons, booksellers and publishers of New York and London [Charles Kingsley; John Carter; architecture; Bedford Square]
Charles Scribner's Sons. 'New York, July, 1931.' ['The Scribner Press, 311-319 West 43d Street, New York.]
8vo: 4 pp, surrounding a bifolium carrying 4 pp of photographs. Stitched. Printed on laid paper and nicely produced. Lightly creased, and with the covers grubby and lightly-spotted. Begins 'CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS, their London house having outgrown its quarters in Regent Street, have moved to twenty-three Bedford Square where they are occupying one of the old Adam houses, the lease of which they have purchased from the Bedford estate.' The four photographs consist of an exterior view, the 'Manager's office', 'One of the Adam fireplaces' and 'Entrance hall'.
James Thornton, bookseller of 33 High Street, Oxford [Thornton's bookshop; Joseph Thornton (1808-1891)]
Marked as paid on 17 March 1876. On the firm's printed letterhead.
Printed on one side of a piece of paper 13.5 x 16.5 cm. In good condition. Ruled in light blue, with letterhead in black: 'To James Thornton, New and Second-Hand Bookseller, Stationer, &c., 33, High Street, opposite University College Gateway. | Books bought or exchanged. | Binding in all its branches. | Interest Charged after Twelve Months' Credit. | The usual discount for cash.' Lists purchases made on four dates between November 1875 and January 1876, totalling £2 1s 10d, and marked as 'Subject to discount'. Beneath this, in purple ink is written 'Paid 17/3/76.
On one side of a piece of wove paper 19 x 14.5 cm, and with the image extending almost to the edges. Lightly aged and creased, but good overall. An usual design, with the coat of arms within a fleece held up by two figures of Hercules, both on pedestals, the one of the left marked 'HUMUS' and that on the right 'SUMUS'. The fleece folds over the left-hand Hercules's right shoulder and reads 'LE CULTE EN' with 'DIFFICULTE' over the left-hand Hercules's left shoulder. Topping the whole design, above a coronet, is a harpy, and at the foot of the paper is 'Hereson de Brecksel'.
Thomas Miller (1731-1804), bookseller of Bungay, Suffolk [Edward Scriven; Henry Edridge]
[London, circa 1805?]
Paper dimensions 25.5 x 19 cm. Plate dimensions 22 x 16 cm. The head-and-shoulders portrait itself is oval, 7 cm high and 5.5 cm wide, contained in a square 11 x 9.5 cm, and with the caption beneath it. Printed on aged paper, with the image itself and the caption are clean and crisp, but the paper carries a crease to the margin, and there is light staining intruding into the surrounding square. Dibdin gives an account of Miller, whose son was the noted bookseller William Miller of Albemarle Street, in his 'Bibliomania' (1811 ed., pp.630-31).
The Worshipful Company of Stationers [Stationers' Company; paper doily]
London: 18 July 1855.
On one side of a piece of wove paper roughly 23.5 x 19 cm. A delicate and scarce piece of ephemera, in a remarkably good state of repair. Possibly a proof, as a thin blank strip along one of the vertical edges, intended to be detached and discarded, still adheres. The menu itself is crisply printed in the centre, covering a space roughly 17 x 13.5 cm.