HAWTHORNE (NATHANIEL) Autograph letter signed, to his close friend Henry Bright, 1859
Lot 82
HAWTHORNE (NATHANIEL) Autograph letter signed, to his close friend Henry Bright, 1859
Sold for £1,750 (US$ 2,827) inc. premium

Lot Details
HAWTHORNE (NATHANIEL)
Autograph letter signed ("Nathl Hawthorne"), to his close friend Henry Bright, looking forward to a pugilistic meeting: "I will be at home at the hour you mention. I trust there is no doubt (though you seem to intimate one) of Mr Tom Brown's willingness to be seen by me, – else he might serve me out as a practical example of his pugilistic science, for the benefit of his pupils", one page, 8vo, neatly inlaid to a larger sheet but otherwise in very good condition, 6 Golden Square, London, 12 July 1859

Footnotes

  • HAWTHORNE AND TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL DAYS. Henry Bright of Liverpool, the recipient of this letter, was a close friend of Hawthorne, who described him as 'an extremely interesting, sincere, earnest, independent, warm and generous hearted man; not at all dogmatic; full of questions, and with ready answers'. Bright had been at school at Rugby, the setting of his slightly elder contemporary Thomas Hughes's Tom Brown's School Days, published anonymously in 1857; and indeed on one occasion had shown his American friend round the school. Boxing of course features heavily in Tom Brown's School Days and its author taught boxing at the Christian Socialist Working Men's College; so there seems little reason to doubt that Hughes is the subject of Hawthorne's letter (three years later, during the Civil War, Bright was to tell Hawthorne that Hughes and Lord Houghton were the only two Englishmen he had met who heartily supported the Union cause). Hawthorne was at this period engaged in writing The Marble Fawn. This letter is not published in The Letters, 1857-1864 (The Centenary Edition), xviii (1987), edited by William Charvat and Thomas Woodson. See illustration on preceding page.
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