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Lot 436
SITWELL (EDITH)
Sold for £1,075 (US$ 1,783) inc. premium
Lot Details
AUTOGRAPH LETTERS AND MANUSCRIPTS
SITWELL (EDITH)
Collection of approximately 50 letters to George Raper and his wife, of the Daimler car hire firm, Rapers Bros of Chelsea, regarding the services of his company and the many personal errands run by him for her, giving an intimate and sometimes startling insight into the Sitwellian lifestyle (ordering, inter alia, books, Basildon writing paper, peroxide, “a violet cardigan of the largest size”, tooth brushes, her jewellery stored at Coutts, a “hat-box full of MSS” to be delivered to Messrs Bumpus, belladonna plasters, nail scissors, “a dozen fairly large but not too large manuscript envelopes, also two sheets of blotting paper, -- and finally, a pocket comb and a bottle of Listerine”, mansize boxes of Kleenex, liver sausage, Chanel No 5 from Selfridges’s, bone knitting needles, Elizabeth Arden’s Muscle Oil, and much else); together with inscribed copies of Fanfare for Elizabeth, The Canticle of the Rose and Victoria Glendinning’s biography; plus printed ephemera, including RFH reading programmes, some soiling, in a folder and loose, 1955-62 where dated

Footnotes

  • George Raper, as these letters reveal, served as something of a general factotum to Dame Edith, especially as regards the procurement of liver-sausage and Listerine; but also as a confidant, as for example when she asks him to deliver a letter to Kenneth Clark, adding “I dread tomorrow, as Lady Clark has let me in for the Austrian Ambassadress at the rehearsal, and of course she will interrupt all the time!!”. He was present at some of the defining moments of her later life, for example driving her and her godfather Evelyn Waugh with Alec Guinness and others, to the Sesame Club after her reception into the Roman Catholic Church at Farm Street in 1955; he was also her guest at her last reading in the Royal Festival Hall in 1962.
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