[William Harrison Ainsworth, Victorian historical novelist and close friend of Charles Dickens.] Autograph Letter Signed, as editor of the New Monthly Magazine [to Alexander William Kinglake], discussing a manuscript article on a 'Russian Tour'.

W. Harrison Ainsworth [William Harrison Ainsworth] (1805-1882), Victorian historical novelist and close friend of Charles Dickens [Alexander William Kinglake (1809-1891), author of 'Eothen']
William Harrison Ainsworth
Publication details: 
'Kensal Manor House / Harrow Road. / May 19th. 1846.'
SKU: 25657

The subject of this article is discussed by William M. Johnston, in his article ‘William Kinglake’s “A Summer in Russia”: A Neglected Memoir of Saint Petersburgh in 1845’ (TSLL, Spring 1967). The memoir was published anonymously by Ainsworth in the New Monthly Magazine, of which he was editor and proprietor, in three parts, but a German translation in the same year revealed Kinglake’s identity. See the entries for Ainsworth and Kinglake in the Oxford DNB. An interesting letter, casting light on Victorian journalistic practices. 4pp, 12mo. Forty lines of text. On a bifolium. In fair condition, aged and worn, with strips of paper adhering to blank areas at head and foot of the reverse of the second leaf. Folded for postage. The recipient is not named. Signed ‘W. Harrison Ainsworth.’ Begins: ‘My dear Sir. I received your Russian Tour at breakfast this morning, and since then I have read it with great interest - an unusual instance for me, for extensive familiarity with manuscripts has not tended to increase my partiality for them. But your paper is not only well written, but very lively and amusing, and I have got through it with great satisfaction to myself. Under these circumstances you will not wonder that I gladly accept it for the New Monthly; and I only regret that I cannot, owing to the Mag[azin]e. being already made up, commence in next No.’ He will however ‘send the paper incontinently to the Printer, with directions to him to forward proofs’ to the writer’s address. He suggests dividing the paper ‘into chapters with separate headings’. He asks how he proposes to ‘entitle it’, and whether he wishes to attach his name to it. He would be pleased to make his acquaintance, and suggests that they dine at the Parthenon Club in Regent Street the following Friday, ‘when we can talk matters over’. If that is not possible, he suggests that they dine ‘here, en famille, on Sunday next at six, likewise’. See Image.