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Lot 621
JEKYLL (GERTRUDE)
Sold for £1,080 (US$ 1,693) inc. premium

Lot Details
JEKYLL (GERTRUDE)
Illustrated autograph letter signed (“G. Jekyll”), to her life-long friend, the garden writer William Robinson (1838-1935), thanking him for his book My Wood Fires (“…It is so good a thing to look at that I found myself straying from the sense of the letterpress to admire the print and paper and wood cuts and the whole ensemble. I do envy you your wood fires [at Gravetye] and all their accessories – Wood to burn is here an expensive luxury…”), and sketching the Swiss wood hotte or log-holder which she has installed in her workshop and lobby (“...Forty logs can be stacked in them & they take very little room – I had one from Switzerland and had it copied by a wheelwright in good tough ash...”); after lamenting the death her “dear old friend” James Britten, Keeper of the Botany Department at the British Museum (“...we always had great talks about books and good English and oddities of language – Besides he was a man of infinite humour of the best kind and a good comrade all round...”, she ends by promising to send some plants for one of his rose beds; together with a postcard photograph of a Swiss wood hotte, 2 pages, 4to, small split at central horizontal fold, Munstead Wood, Godalming, 11 October 1924

Footnotes

  • Gertrude Jekyll to William Robinson. She had first met William Robinson in 1875, and soon afterwards became a regular contributor to his influential periodical The Garden: “Her obituarist attributed to Miss Jekyll and William Robinson ‘not only the complete transformation of English horticultural method and design, but also that wide diffusion of knowledge and taste which has made us almost a nation of gardeners’” (Michael Tooley, in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography). Robinson’s book My Wood Fires, published in 1917, describes his garden at Gravetye Manor, near East Grinstead, which in fame rivalled Gertrude Jekyll’s own at Munstead, from where her letter is written.
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