Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934), playwright [ Arthur Cecil [ Arthur Cecil Blunt (1843-1896), actor-manager and playwright ]
On letterhead of 64 St John's Wood Road, NW [ London ]. 26 May 1887.
2pp., 12mo. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. Addressed to 'Arthur C. Blunt, Esq', with salutation to 'My dear Cecil'. With regard to 'Mr. Wigram's letter' he writes that he 'would rather not dramatize a novel, and did I feel an inclination to do so I don't think I am at all a good man for the work'. He nevertheless asks the recipient to inform Wigram that he is 'complimented by his and Lord Desart's proposal'. The postscript is mildly amusing: 'P.S. I hope I am not liable to misconstruction in enquiring after your Housemaid's Knee'.
A. J. Hall, Irish singer [ Dr James Stewart ('Sheamus Rua') of the Irish Medical Schools' and Graduates' Association ]
Note on letterhead of the Junior Athenaeum Club, 116 Piccadilly [ London ]. 18 November [ circa 1898 ]. Stewart's memorandum undated.
The note and memo are on a 12mo bifolium. In good condition, lightly-aged. The letter is signed 'A. J. Hall' and addressed to 'My dear Doctor'. He explains that he would gladly visit him, 'if at liberty', but that he is 'at Wolverhampton that night with Madame Albani'. The biographical note, presumably in Stewart's autograph, is on the reverse of the second leaf of the bifolium, beneath the following, in red ink: 'Memo. by Dr. James Stewart ("Sheamus Rua") Hon. Secy.
George Grossmith (1847-1912), humourist, author, actor and singer [ George R. Sims (1847-1922), journalist and bon vivant ]
On letterhead of 55 Russell Square, W.C. [ London ] 22 June 1908.
4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. Aged and stained, with creasing along one edge. A wonderful letter, linking two notable figures in late-Victorian society, beginning: 'Do I remember it? how can I ever forget it, considering that we introduced ourselves to each other, without any introduction; & that casual acquaintanceship has developed into a friendship (without a discordant note) which has lasted for about 38 years.' Regarding their first meeting he writes: 'I was not subpoenaed as a short hand writer, as no such functionary was engaged at Bow St.
Dame Marie Tempest [ Mary Susan Etherington ] (1864-1942), English singer and actress ('the queen of her profession')
On letterhead of 'Miss Marie Tempest'. 'Monday' [ no date ].
1p., 8vo. In fair condition, aged and worn, with slight loss to one corner and creasing to another. Strengthened on reverse with a small piece of tape. Letterhead in red, with Tempest writing in green ink. She writes warmly: 'I've read your Play, and I think it charming up to the point of the two people who are crooks! It suffers from the same thing that our present Play suffers from. Too sudden a jump!' She invites him to go and see the play, 'and you will gather what I mean'. She ends by describing his play as 'amusing and witty'.
Francis William Galpin (1858-1945), Church of England cleric and musicologist and collector of musical instruments [ Henry Austin Dobson (1840-1921), English author ]
The card dated 30 August 1904 [ no place ]. The letter addressed from Hatfield Vicarage, Harlow [ Essex ]; 7 May 1906.
Both items in good condition, with light signs of age. The card, with postmarks, is addressed to 'Austin Dobson Esq | 75 Eaton Rise | Ealing | W.' The letter is also to Dobson, but is only addressed 'Dear Sir'. In the card he reports that 'The old oak in the forest is now in ruins and quite dead. It has been surrounded with a railing and a young tree planted by its side.' He offers to send a photograph, and asks for 'anthing about my parish which you may publish'.
Stradivarius violin of George Henry Lewis Parsons (d.1921) of Streatham Park [ Mary Law [ Mary Law Kingdon ] (1889-1919), English violinist, wife of Hugh Sewell Kingdon (d.1940); Antonio Stradivari ]
London and Streatham, Surrey. Between 1910 and 1920.
The owner of the violin in question, G. H. L. Parsons, had made his fortune with the firm Ashton & Parsons, wholesale chemists, also having an interest in the opticians Dollonds, and on his death was worth £127, 335 19s 8d. The woman to whom he lent the violin, Mary Law, made a number of recordings for Zonophone, and toured Australia in 1915, with the Melbourne Argus reporting the arrival of 'The Notable English Violinist.
Place not stated [ English ]. Vol. |1 No. 8 [ 1903 ].
11pp., 12mo. Stapled into card covers. In good condition, with light signs of age and wear. Covers illustrated in colour by 'T. U. P.' The front cover carries, with the title, an illustration of a maid with a duster, captioned 'BESSAY NOTHING'. Humorous in intent.
C. Aubrey Smith [ Sir Charles Aubrey Smith ] (1863-1948), English stage and film actor and test cricketer
On letterhead of 'The Round Corner', 2881 Coldwater Canyon Drive, Beverly Hills. 22 July 1943.
1p., 8vo. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper. He thanks him for thinking of his birthday, and taking the trouble 'to bring me that sherry'. He has not yet sampled it, as 'it's a bit too hot for anything but water, just at present'. He will telephone him, as he doesn't 'feel cocksure' about his address. He ends with regards to 'Mrs George'. In pencil in another hand at head: 'Here it is, George | C.A.S.'
C. Aubrey Smith [ Sir Charles Aubrey Smith ] (1863-1948), English stage and film actor and test cricketer
629 No: Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills. 27 July 1948.
1p., 12mo. In good conditon, on lightly-aged paper. He thanks them for the birthday card, and asks them to note the change of address: 'we moved down here on Monday of last week & it has been a bit chaotic - like squeezing a Cape Cod Oyster into a cockle shell.'
Hal Collier, Victorian popular playwright, author of melodramas
One play with stamp of 209 Northumberland Road, Southampton, the other two without place. All three undated [ Edwardian ].
Collier was the author of a number of melodramas and farces in the period between the Boer War and the Great War, including one written in conjunction with F. H. Dudley, but little is to be discovered about him, with no mention of these three titles. All three items in fair condition, on aged paper, in aged and worn bindings. ONE: '"In the Hands of the Mormons" Or "The Mormon Peril" A Drama in FOUR acts written by Hal Collier'.  + 45pp., 4to. Stitched into grey paper wraps. With pencil emendations throughout, including extensive deletions.
[ Percy Nash [ Percy Cromwell Nash ] (1869-1958), actor, dramatist and film director] [ Votes for Women; Suffragettes; Women's suffrage; Harry Gordon Selfridge; Selfridge's department store, London ]
[ London, circa 1911. ]
The present item is anonymous, but is certainly an early draft of 'The Suffrage Girl', the play written by film pioneer Percy Nash while an executive at Selfridge's department store in London, and performed by the store's employees in 1911 at the Court Theatre. (For more information see E. D. Rappaport's 'Shopping for Pleasure: Women in the Making of London's West End' (Princeton, 2001), as well as S.
Frederic Norton [ George Frederic Norton ] (1869-1946), English composer [ Oscar Asche (1871-1936), Australian impresario; 'Chu Chin Chow', hugely-popular 1916 English musical ]
Between 1916 and circa 1966. 'Chu Chin Chow' was a hugely-popular extravaganza based on 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves', which, produced and directed by the Australian actor-manager Oscar Asche (1871-1936), premièred in London in 1916, and ran for five years and 2238 performances (more than twice as many as any previous piece), followed by numerous productions and revivals worldwide, as well as two British feature films. The phenomenal success of the piece may be gauged from the fact that it earned Asche alone £200,000.
Paul Robeson [Paul Leroy Robeson] (1898-1976), American actor and singer, prominent in the Civil Rights Movement
Dated by Robeson' "Show Boat" London, 1929'. Embosed 'REPRO. BY | S. GEORGES | 14. GREEN ST, | W.C.2.' and with the firm's stamp ('S. Georges Ltd. Photographic Expert') on the reverse.
Black and white photographic print, 21 x 14 cm. Creased and stained, with short closed tear at head and slight loss to one corner. Robeson's inscription, in the bottom left-hand corner, reads: 'To "Dora" | With all good wishes and all good fortune. | Paul Robeson | "Show Boat" | London 1929'. The image is a head and shoulders shot of an assured Robeson in jacket, shirt and tie.
Joseph Sussman, instructor in the pianoforte and music theory [Ernest Bloch (1880-1959), Swiss-born American Jewish composer
England. Dating from at least between 1963 and 1975.
The collection is in good condition, on lightly aged and worn paper, and can be grouped into three sections. ONE: Complete typewritten draft ( + 44pp., 4to) of Sussman's unpublished monograph on Bloch is contained in a large brown envelope, with the following note by Sussman on the front: '2ND COPY (without illustrations) of "Ernest Bloch - Music's Prophet" | JS'. It includes the contents, list of illustrations, introduction, and two-page 'Key and Bibliography'.
[Joseph Sussman of London, instructor in the pianoforte and music theory; 'Hatikvah', the Israeli national anthem; the establishment of the State of Israel; the East End of London]
Without place or date [1940s]. With manuscript map of the Aldgate East area of the East End of London.
Six items, in good condition, on lightly-aged paper. In addition to manuscript scores by Sussman of five parts (soprano, tenor, bass, alto and conductor) of 'Hatikvah' (the five parts totalling 6pp., 4to, with staves also drawn out in manuscript), there is a duplicated typescript of an English translation of 'Hatikvah', titled 'Men Awake!' ('Workers all!
Janet Leeper, writer on ballet [E. Martin Browne (1900-1980), English theatre director; Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), English composer; the Aldeburgh Festival]
On letterhead of 30 Bramham Gardens, [London] S.W.5. 15 January 1959.
4pp., 8vo. 102 lines of neatly and closely written text. With original envelope addressed by Leeper to 'E. Martin Browne Esq | 99 Claremont Avenue | New York 27 | U.S.A.' Leeper begins by expressing her pleasure that Browne is 'going to do the first American performance of Noye's Fludde', which she describes as 'a great work - big & simple & satisfying, & very moving'.
Johannes Wolff (1863-1931), Dutch classical violinst popular in England.
No place or date survives.
Piece of paper, 11 x 7com, tipped on to larger piece of paper. "En attendant les plaisirs recus [?] Mademoiselle les sinceres salutations de votre [serv[an]t?] devoue" (or soenthoing like that, hand difficult).
John Hullah [John Pyke Hulla] (1812-1884), English composer for one of whose operas Charles Dickens wrote the libretto
Letter: On letterhead of 11 Devonshire Place, [London] W. 'Tuesday night' [no date]. Cutting of sheet music with docketted date 1861.
Both items in good condition, on lightly-aged paper. ONE (letter): 1p., 12mo. In a neat and elegant hand, it reads: 'Tuesday Night | Dear Laura | I send the tickets; as Goldsmith sent the portion of Lord Clare's haunch of venison to Sir Joshua - | "To paint it or eat it, whichever he pleased" | I am glad you like the Philharmonia | Your affecte. Friend | John Hullah'. TWO (cutting of sheet music): Written in pencil on one side of a 6.5 x 15 cm piece of paper, docketted 'Written by John Hullah 1861 | for
Oxford: Slatter & Rose, High Street. 1869. [Oxford: Printed by E. W. Morris, Jun.]
 + 43pp., 12mo. Stabbed as issued. An attractive and elegantly-printed little book. Internally very good, on lightly-aged paper, loose in worn light-brown calf binding, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt, back hinge sprung. Stamped in gilt on the front cover: 'ACIS & GALATAEA | A PIECE OF OXFORD EXTRAVAGANCE | BY | T. F. PLOWMAN'. Inscribed on fly-leaf: 'H. W. Chapman, Esq. | with the author's sincerest regards. | 1869.' A scarce item: only three copies on COPAC, at Oxford, Cambridge and the British Library, all three of which attribute this anonymous work to Plowman.
Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934), English playwright [W. Teignmouth Shore (1865-1932), author]
On letterhead of 115A. Harley Street, London W1. 12 April 1926.
1p., 8vo. With mourning border. In fair condition, on aged and lightly-ruckled paper. After exclaiming 'How kind of you!' Pinero explains that he has been 'inoculated regularly since the autumn, and it has done me no good'. He continues: 'No, I won't say that; I might have been worse but for the injections.' He concludes by stating that he will show Shore's letter to his doctor, 'to prick his conscience'.
Novello and Company Limited; New York: The H.W. Gray Co [1919? see COPAC]
24pp., cr. 8vo, grey printed paper wraps, partially detached, creased and and worn, with two stains on front cover, largest 3/4"dia, contents aged but good. Tow copies listed on COPAC/WorldCat (both BL), i.e. very scarce.
[McGlennon's Cromlech Series; Felix McGlennon, Irish publisher in London]
McGlennon's Cromlech Series, Felix McGlennon Ltd., Printers and Publishers, City Garden Row, City Rd, London, N1. Both undated.
The two uniform stapled pamphlets, both 32pp., 12mo, in illustrated wraps printed in green, and both printed on newsprint. Both items uncommon, with no copies of either on COPAC. ONE: 'Irish Songs Old and New.' In fair condition, on worn and toned paper, with crease to front cover. Contains the lyrics to 34 songs, from 'Angels Whisper' and 'Ballinamona Oro' to 'Young Kate of Kilcummer'. TWO: 'Songs of the Gael'. In good condition, toned and lightly worn. Contains the lyrics of 28 songs from 'Awake and Lie Dreaming No More' to 'Where is the Slave so Lowly?'
Sir Henry Irving [John Henry Brodribb] (1838-1905), English stage actor and actor-manager
Without place or date.
The eight images are arranged in four pairs, each on the central pages of an 8vo bifolium. Dimensions of page: 24.5 x 16cm. Dimensions of image: 9 x 14cm. In fair condition, on lightly-aged and creased paper. Irving is shown in five roles, including Lear, Shylock, and Becket. Also present are two portraits of Irving out of character, and a picture of the exterior of a dilapidated building. Presumably intended for an early twentieth-century biography.
Mrs Patrick Campbell [Beatrice Stella Campbell [née Tanner]] (1865-1940), English actress [Lawrence William Hodson (1865-1934) of Compton Hall near Wolverhampton, brewer and Arts and Crafts patron]
On letterhead of 33 Kensington Square, W. [London] 21 May 1899.
3pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition. In envelope addressed to 'Laurence W. Hodson | Compton Hall | near Wolverhampton'. The letter begins: 'I beg that when you are in London you will let me see you. I have a little story to tell you about the beautiful little unfinished ('Psyche') picture of Sir Edwards [i.e. Burne-Jones] that you possess. Perhaps when you have heard it you will think more kindly of my wish to buy it from you - Please let me call on you - I will use no wiles!
Mary Carmichael [Mary Grant Carmichael] (c.1851-1935), composer and accompanist
On letterhead of 172 Adelaide Road, NW [London]. 12 February 1892.
3pp., 16mo. 25 lines of text. Bifolium. Good, on lightly-aged paper, with slight traces of mount adhering to the blank reverse of the second leaf. The letter begins: 'Dear Miss Paget | Miss Martin has just forwarded me your note so I will send you a few lines to-night. I am very pleased you are singing my song on the 27th., & will be pleased to go over the song with you before the concert.' She gives details of her movements over the next few days before concluding: 'I hope it will not trouble you much to come out here -.
Edward Gordon-Craig (1872-1966), actor, director and set designer, son of the actress Ellen Terry (1847-1928)
Both on letterheads of 22 Barkston Gardens, Earl's Court, S.W. [London]. One dated 10 September 1891; the other undated .
Both items in good condition, on aged paper. ONE: Letter of 10 September 1891. 2pp., 12mo. Bifolium. He begins by thanking her for a photo of Henry Irving, before turning to his mother, Ellen Terry. 'Mother &
William Henry Monk (1823-1889), organist and composer, whose 'Eventide' was used as the music to the hymn 'Abide With Me'
On letterhead of Glebe Field, Stoke Newington. 5 November 1881.
gb3pp., 12mo. Bifolium on mourning paper. Very good, on lightly-aged paper. He thanks her for the 'kind idea': 'My own dear girl is a talented & modest student: and some day may have to turn this to account. She is full of Music, and tho only 18 is the most reliable critic I know: always comes to a true & high conclusion.' He asks her to lend the girl her collection of sheet music, 'and then allow me to pass it on to some one else, when I meet with a fit recipient.' He was 'sorry to "lose" you in my lectures. I have a tolerable Cl I & a very good Cl II -'.