[William Moy Thomas, theatre critic, and associate of Charles Dickens.] Autograph Draft, signed with initials ('W M T'), of long 'Letter to Hare [i.e. actor-manager John Hare] about Grundy's Comedy An Old Jew produced at the Garrick Janry 6 1894'.

William Moy Thomas (1828–1910), journalist, theatre critic, novelist and associate of Charles Dickens [Sir John Hare (1844-1921), actor-manager; Sydney Grundy (1848-1914)]
Publication details: 
At head of first page: 'Copy | January 16, 1894'.
SKU: 21220

A highly interesting letter from a leading Victorian dramatic critic (Thomas describes himself in the letter as 'For five & twenty years [...] theatrical critic of the Daily news & the Graphic', who has 'served under at least thirteen editors') to a leading actor-manager (Hare was knighted in 1907), on the subject of alleged editorial pressure on Fleet Street's theatre critics. 4pp, 8vo. On four leaves. Aged and worn, but with text complete and clear. Thomas has noted on the reverse of the last leaf: 'Letter to Hare about Grundy's Comedy An Old Jew produced at the Garrick Janry 6 1894.' Grundy wrote 'An Old Jew' for Hare, who portrayed the main character Julius Sterne. Draft of long letter, with numerous minor emendations. He was glad to read Hare's letter, despite its 'lingering trace of the languor of the sick room'. 'To me, so many years your senior, it seems strange indeed to find you speaking of the close of your stage career. I can only say on that head that I hope to live to see you for many more years gathering fresh laurels'. On the subject of Grundy's play, he states that he does not believe that 'the journalistic world has any claim to be exempt from the satire or even the [extreme?] caricature which is freely allowed in the case of other classes. Literary cliques & côteries undoubtedly do exist as they existed in the days of Delatouche's Tour de Faveur & Delavigne's Comédiens and Scribe's Camaraderie'. He deplores critics who 'will now fall down & worship certain Scandinavian idols & their crude & offensive methods'. He cannot conceive of 'editors who give instructions to critics to denounce plays contrary to their real opinions'. He can 'only say that I have never met with any such editor. For five & twenty years I have been the theatrical critic of the Daily news & the Graphic & for some years of that time I occupied the same post on The Academy besides writing drama notices occasionally for other journals. Altogether I have served under at least thirteen editors and I can conscientiously affirm that never did any one of these attempt to entice me to speak ill of what I thought or might think a good paly or performance or vice versâ.' After some more observations he concludes: 'Depend upon it the whole thing will be forgotten ere long or remembered only to excite wonder that any sensible journalist of decent standing should have made a fuss about it'.