[ Francis Browning Bickerstaffe-Drew, English author. ] Typed Letter Signed ('John Ayscough') to an unnamed editor, offering republication of his novel 'Two Fair Ladies', on reverse of letter from J. S. Wood, editor of the Gentlewoman.

'John Ayscough', penmame of Francis Browning Bickerstaffe-Drew (1858-1928), English author, Roman Catholic priest and papal count; J. S. Wood [ John Snell Wood ] (1853-1920), editor of the Gentlewoman
Publication details: 
Wood's letter, on letterhead of the Gentlewoman, Arundel Street, Strand, WC. 3 January 1894. Bickerstaffe-Drew's letter from 6 Holyrood Place, Plymouth. 4 January 1894.
SKU: 16845

Each letter 1p., 4to, Bickerstaffe-Drew's on reverse of Wood's. In fair condition, on aged leaf of paper with strip torn from head. The two letters cast an interesting light on English publishing practice in the late nineteenth century. Wood's letter, signed 'J. S. Wood', is written by a secretary, and addressed to 'The Right Rev Mgr Bickerstaff Drew'. Begins: 'By some strange mishap your book, which you tell me was sent on 27 July got among the books which had been reviewed & was lost sight of until within a few days of your letter.' He has had 'no opportunity of considering it', but sees 'no opportunity of using the novel for some considerable period'. He asks for his 'lowest cash price for the copyright' and ends with the observation: 'To republish a novel under a new name is a risky matter as readers have very long memories'. In Bickerstaffe-Drew's typed letter, on the reverse, he acknowledges 'receipt of the three short tales' and notes 'the non-arrival of the novel Two Fair Ladies'. He points out the situation with Wood (whom he had offered 'republication in serial or any form he chose'), adding: 'I think as I had put the matter in your hands I had better leave it there'. Nevertheless he is sending him his last copy 'to assist your judgment in its regard [...] My offer was that the tale should be republished either with the same title or as "Ursula's Love Story", but in either case as by JOHN AYSCOUGH & not F. B. Drew Bickerstaffe-Drew.'