[Arethusa Gibson on Thackeray: 'Is he not a little odd?'] Autograph Letter [from her to her mother Lady Cullum], expressing uncertainty about 'Mr Thackery', mocking MP and diplomat David Urquhart, and praising the 'Turkish Chargé d'Affaires'.

Arethusa Gibson [née Susannah Arethusa Cullum] (1814-1885), society hostess, wife of Thomas Milner Gibson (1806-1884), Liberal politician [William Makepeace Thackeray; David Urquhart]
Publication details: 
No place or date, but circa 1846-1848, when Thackeray was publishing under the pseudonym 'Michael Angelo Titmarsh'. On letterhead of 'Arethusa'.

See the separate entries on the Gibsons in the Oxford DNB, which notes 'her eclectic salons, attended by diplomats, writers, politicians, and, after 1848, European exiles. Regular guests included Dickens, Thackeray, Hugo, Lady Morgan, the Disraelis, Cobden, and Louis Napoleon'. (Dickens wrote part of his last novel, 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood', at the Gibsons' London house.) The present item is from the papers of Arethusa's mother Lady Ann Cullum (1807-1875), wife of Rev. Sir Thomas Gery Cullum (1777-1855) of Hardwick House. 4pp, 12mo. Bifolium.

[HMS Arethusa, ship's log, 1837.] Manuscript log of HMS Arethusa, while stationed in 'Passa D'Arcos Bay' [Paço d'Arcos, Portugal] and travelling from Cadiz to Lisbon. With 'Remarks' including a death and burial at sea, and punishment by lashing.

[HMS Arethusa, 46 gun fifth-rate Royal Navy ship, launched in 1817]
Publication details: 
Passo de Arcos First entry while 'At Single Anchor in Passo D'Arcos Bay' [Paço d'Arcos, Portugal], dated 24 July 1837; last entry from 'Fort St. Julian' [on the mouth of the Tagus river], dated 30 September [1837]

HMS Arethusa, the fourth of nine Royal Navy ships to bear the name, was a 46-gun fifth rate launched in 1817. (Fifth-rate ships served as fast scouts or independent cruisers. Owing to their combination of manoeuvrability and firepower, they were often assigned to interdict enemy shipping.) She was was renamed HMS Bacchus in 1844 on conversion into a hulk, and was broken up in 1883. The present item is 21pp., 8vo. Stitched. In fair condition, on lightly aged and worn grey paper. With loose heavily worn remains of brown marbled wraps (front and back cover detached from one another).

Mimeographed typed 'SECRET' Royal Navy First World War intelligence document by 'Hugh Miller | Paymaster | "Arethusa"' [later a Rear-Admiral], titled 'Information obtained from a German officer. Action at Heligoland' [Battle of Heligoland Bight].

Rear-Admiral Hugh Miller (1880-1972), Royal Navy [First Battle of Heligoland Bight, 28 August 1914]
Publication details: 
Headed 'H.F.0022'. Dated from '"ARETHUSA" | 27th November, 1914.'

3pp., foolscap 8vo. Mimeographed in purple on three leaves. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper, with marks at head and in left-hand margin of each leaf from rusted pin. The first leaf stamped 'SECRET' in blue ink in top left-hand corner.

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