Jane Davy (1780-1855, nee Kerr, and previously Apreece) Scottish wife of the English scientist Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829)
On piece of paper 13 x 8.5 cms. Lightly spotted and discoloured. Traces of previous white paper mount on blank reverse. Reads '<...> certainly go, & see with a true sentiment of respectful Love, the Bust you mention. I have been very ill for sometime, & I am very much still of an Invalid. I am very | Truly Yours | [signed] Jane Davy | Monday | May 19th. 1851.'
12mo: 1 p. With mourning border. Text clear and entire. Good, on lightly-aged and creased paper. Fifteen lines of text. She is returning the 'very interesting & rich autograph book with what I fear isn't a very satisfactory page added. Not caring to mutilate letters, of which I have a few, I cut out a signature of Don's [her husband, killed in an accident in the blackout that year] from one of his note books together with one of his reflections from a notebook'. She has added one of her own notes ('short enough'). She feels sure the fete will be a success.
Letter, 13 February [no year or place]; Note, 23 March [no year], 133 George Street [Edinburgh].
LETTER: One page, 12mo. Good, on aged, creased paper, with trace of stub on blank verso. Crest at head. 'It will give my brother & me much pleasure to accept your kind invitation for Tuesday evening the 16th. - I dine that day with Lady Sempill which will make me later than I should wish, but I hope to reach your house soon after 10'. NOTE: One page, 12mo, good, with fraying at head and traces of mount adhering to blank verso. A formal note written in the third person. 'Miss Catherine Sinclair will be happy to have the honor of accepting Mrs. Wedderburns & Mr.
Beatrice Harraden (1864-1936), British novelist and suffragette [George Routledge & Sons, Ltd.]
29 July [no year]; on letterhead 3, Fitzjohn's Mansions, Netherall Gardens, Hampstead, N.W. [London]
Two pages, 12mo. Good, with minor effects of damp. Text clear and entire. Twenty-five lines. Harraden has found an old acquaintance, Mrs Charles Routledge ('the widow of the son of Colonel Robert Warne Routledge'), in 'very distressing circumstances; she had been very ill from blood poisoning in the leg, had been in hospital, & in the work house'. Mrs Routledge has 'done her very best [...] to fight an adverse fate', working hard 'as a house keeper, maid of all work, servant of lodging house'.
Ruth Mitchell [Knowles] (c.1888-1969) [Chetniks; Yugoslavia; Brigantine 'Emma Ernest'; Charing Cross Pier; World Explorers Friendship Clubs; The Yellow Rolls Royce (film, 1964); ]
Letter dated 21 May 1932; on 'World Explorers' letterhead. The two reports from 1988, with one dated 'JS [James Stilwell] Oct 88'.
An interesting collection of material relating to an extraordinary woman whose exploits deserve recognition. According to one obituary Mitchell (sister of American General 'Billy' Mitchell) was 'he only foreign woman to serve with the Chetniks', for whom she acted as a dispatch rider. Captured by the Gestapo while swimming at Dubrovnik, 'still in her bathing suit, and with papers on her that would have caused her to be executed without trial, she turned to the agents and asked: "Gentlemen, you will permit me to change my trousers?" They agreed.
Claude Carloman de Rulhiere [Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia; Russian eighteenth-century history; revolution of 1762]
London: Printed for T. N. Longman, Paternoster-Row. 1797.
8vo: [ii] + xxiv + 178 + [ii] pp. With half-title, and final leaf containing two pages of 'New Publications printed for T. N. Longman, No. 39, Paternoster-Row.' Frontispiece, becoming detached, of 'Catherine II. Empress of Russia, Taken from an Original Bust.' Tight copy, on aged and lightly discoloured paper, in worn and stained contemporary half-binding of chipped vellum spine and corners and marbled boards. Minor staining at foot of frontispiece, title and first leaf of prelims.
Alyse Gregory (1884-1967), American feminist and writer; her brother-in-law John Cowper Powys (1872-1963), Anglo-Welsh writer
Gregory's letter: 22 November 1958. On embossed letterhead of Velthams Cottage, Morebath, nr. Tiverton, Devon. The book: London, John Lane The Bodley Head, 1938. Powys's inscription dated November 1958.
Gregory's letter: 8vo, 1 p. Thirteen lines of text. Very good on lightly-creased paper. A telling comment on the craze for inscribed copies of books. She is 'sorry to seem disobliging', but considers that 'an author's inscription seems [...] to have significance only when the book in question has been presented to a friend or when it is likely to become profitable to a dealer'. Her book 'qualifies in neither category'. She is 'puzzled to know' how Disspain 'came upon' her address. Gregory's book: 8vo, 208 pp. No dust wrapper. Grubby copy in worn original red cloth binding.
E. Nesbit [Edith Nesbit; Edith Bland] and 'Caris Brooke' [Saretta Nesbit]
Undated [dated to 1888 by the Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature]. 'London Henry J. Drane & Co. Lovells Court Paternoster Row E.C. (Produced in Germany.)'
8vo (dimensions roughly 21 x 16.5 cm): 24 pp. In original coloured illustrated card wraps. The whole bound with black thread. All edges silvered. Aged, worn and lightly spotted, but tight and in reasonable condition overall. Two small wormholes in back wrap, affecting the verso of the last leaf. Fifteen poems, seven of them by Nesbit: 'Song', 'Possibilities', 'Vie Manquees', To a Picture by Giovanni Bellini', 'The Better Part', 'Rondeau' and 'Lovers'. Every page of the volume carries illustrations of nature in black and light green. Similar designs in colour on the covers.
Diarist and translator (1819-1871). Three pages, 12mo. N.B. " In 1844 [Callcott]succeeded Mr. Seguier as conservator of the royal pictures" (DNB). Caroline Fox, in lively style, congratulates him on his appointment and approves the discernment of the Queen and Prince Albert. A cold prevents her personally congratulating him but the next time she goes out "the gravel pits he lived at Kensington Gravel Pits] shall [be] on my way". She will inform Lady Holland that day, and Lady Lansdowne.
Dora Labette (1898-1984, occasional stage name 'Lisa Perli'), soprano; 'Violet Vanbrugh' [real name Violet Augusta Mary Barnes (1867-1942)], English actress
On a leaf (roughly 15.5 x 18 cm) removed from an autograph album. Aged and a little grubby. Both hands bolder than usual. Recto reads '"Courage Mounteth with occasion" - | Yours sincerely | [signed] Violet Vanbrugh'. Verso reads 'Yours sincerely | Dora Labebette.'
Israel Zangwill, author, supporter of Jewish causes and female suffrage.
Card, c. 10 x 8cm, good condition. Text: "For the Suffrage Bazaar | Israel Zangwill". On the reverse a printed biography of Zangwill is laid down (cutting) obscuring a phrase written there, starting "For the Manchester & Distri [ rest obscured".
On a piece of paper roughly 5.5 x 13 cm. Good firm signature (8 cm long) on lightly aged and creased paper. Reads 'Faithfully yours | [signed] Marie Corelli'. Fragment on reverse reads '<...> education nowadays <...> hope you <...> induced to <...> estimable'.
Original (leaf-patterned) boards, worn and stained, corners bumped, sp. worn, label partly worn away, endpapers loose, hinge str., slight foxing, text clear and mainly clean. INSCRIBED by the author, "To Miss Sharkle/from her kind friend/ the Author".
Paris: E. Dentu, Libraire-Éditeur, Palais-Royal, 17 et 19, Galerie d'Orléans.
Important work on one of the enigmas of the eighteenth century (1728-1810), an individual whose nature remains the subject of debate. 8vo. Pages: [4 +] xvi + 444. In original brown-leather half-binding, marble boards and endpapers, blue label on spine. In good condition. Binding worn and rubbed. Some foxing. Frontispiece consists of photographic reproduction of portrait of d'Eon by Kauffman after Latour. Subtitled 'La vérité sur les mysteres de sa vie d'après des documents authentiques suivis de douze lettres inédites de Beaumarchais'.
Air Commodore Dame Felicity Hill [Felicity Barbara Hill] (1915-?), Director, Women's Royal Air Force, 1966-1969
Undated; from Worcester Cottage, Mews Lane, Winchester, Hants.
The six-line letter, which is laid down on a slightly larger piece of lilac paper, was originally on one side of an octavo leaf, but it has had a strip (presumably carrying the name and address of the recipient) beneath the address cut away. It is now in two pieces: 5 x 15.5 and 12 x 15.5 cm. Otherwise very good. Laid down on the top piece is a slip of paper in Hill's hand, reading 'From: Air Commodore Dame Felicity Hill D.B.E. WRAF (retd)'. In the bottom right-hand corner of the second piece of paper is a strip carrying Hill's autograph.
[19 Decr 1827 - date entered in pencil in another hand]
Two pages, 8vo, good condition. She explains why she can't fulfil his wish that she receive his guests but looks forward to a visit to "Craven Street"., only postponed. Hhe has "written to Mr Pickering [publisher?] according to your instructions and shall feel obliged by the exertion of your influence in my behalf with him." She claims to be writing in great haste.
Pamphlet, original geen wraps, badly chipped, dusted, 14pp., 8vo, with additional publisher's list (2pp. inc. inside back cover). With obscured pencil inscription on front cover, perhaps to "Riobard ua Flynn" [Robert Lynd] and from his library.Scarce: COPAC lists copies at Oxford, LSE, BL, NLW
Lady Jane Halliday [née Tollemache] (1750-1802), English society beauty painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds [Lord Hugh Seymour; the Royal Navy]
Grove Cottage near Cowes'. Undated, but docketed '22 Sept: 1800'.
4to, 1 p, 12 lines. Very good, on aged paper. Asking the recipient 'through this medium to recommend my son Lieut Halliday [Francis Halliday, born around 1776; fl. 1820] of the Thunderer, now at Jamaica, to the notice of Lord Hugh Seymour; Sir Hyde Parker has sent me an account of him, but to my great disappointment has not brought him Home - - - - - Francis has been six years in the East & West Indies & very attentive to his profession'. She feels sure that 'a line from yr. Lordship to Lord Hugh could not fail of being of great use to him'. Docketed on reverse 'Mem: Enquire abt.
One page, c.20 x 33cms, 7 stanzas (with part of the refrain), mounted alongside a print of a head and shoulders view of Eliza Cook, c.12 x 15". Cook has adjusted her "Stanzas of the Seasons" ("Poetical Works" (Chandos Classics, 1870), p.204, including change the title, omission of first stanza, repeat of a key stanza, and changes to the order. The mount for both items measures, c. 46 x 52cms.
Card, 8 x 6 cm, black border. [Printed] "Duchesse d'Uzès / Douairière" with the autograph message on both sides of the card, "Laissez-moi rire d'abord et ensuite dites-moi ce que je dois lui répondre. Avec toutes mes amitiés."
Duchesse d'Uzes [Adrienne Anne Marie Clementine de Rochechouart - Mortemart].
(Headed, with insignia] 76 Avenue des Champs Elysees, no date. In French.
Two pages, 8vo, good condition. Text as follows: "Non, Monsieur, je ne fonde pas, un journal, mais je sais qu'on m'a demande mon avis au sujet d'un journal qui va je crois se fonder, et j'ai repondre que j'approuvais absolument l'idee; mais la se bornent mes pouvoirs. C'est a Mr le Vicomte [Pinty?], 5 rue Malar (quai d'Orsay) qu'il faut vous adresser. Voyez Monsieur . .
Violet Astor, Lady Astor of Hever [née Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound] (1889-1965), wife of John Jacob Astor
14 June 1932; on letterhead of The Middlesex Hospital, W.1.
4to: 1 p. On grubby, aged paper, with crease to one corner. Laid down on a leaf removed from an autograph album. Thanking the recipient for 'selling Roses in the Middlesex Hospital Area' on 'Alexandra Rose Day'. 'The total sum collected in our Area amounted to £680. 10s. 6d. which is most satisfactory, and I do hope you will feel rewarded for your trouble and fatigue by this very gratifying result.' Docketed at foot 'Viscount Astor'.
On one side of a piece of paper, dimensions 19.5 x 21 cm. Lightly creased. Presumably in response to a request for an autograph. Reads 'Is there a life before Death? | (slogan chalked on wall in Northern Ireland, 1975) | Yours sincerely | [signed] Beryl Bainbridge.' Firm sprawling signature.
Eliza Cook (1812-1889), English poet and journalist
Without date or place.
On a piece of pink paper, roughly 9 x 11 cm. Neatly laid down onto a piece of white paper. Very good. A reply to a request for an autograph. Reads 'I am | my dear Lady | Yours truly | [signed] Eliza Cook'. The signature is firm and bold, with a small part of the flourish beneath it shaved away.
Four pages, 16mo, inc. address page, one chip and some staining marginally affecting text. She is happy to accept his invitation, and accepts it on behalf of her daughter and Mr Romilly [her son-in-law]. "Mr E. Romilly feels some scruple at accepting an invitation which it is possible urgent business in the house [Parliament] would prevent him from waiting on you." In a postscript she reminds him that he has offered his support in the ballot at the Athenaeum on the following Monday.