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Lot 110
HARDY, THOMAS (1840-1928, poet and novelist, O.M.)
Sold for £1,680 (US$ 2,647) inc. premium

Lot Details
HARDY, THOMAS (1840-1928, poet and novelist, O.M.)
AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED ('Thomas Hardy'), to Captain Rumbold, stating his later preference for writing poetry rather than prose ('...As to my writing another Wessex tale, as you so flattering suggest, I fear that will never be done. Of late years - indeed for more than 20 years - my attention & efforts have been given to that branch of literature which originally attracted me - before novel-writing did - poetry...'), suggesting that he will find tales quite as good in Wessex Poems and Time's Laughingstocks as in the prose volumes 'with the added advantage that they are short & condensed', praising Rumbold as a soldier ('...I am glad to know...that you are among the worthy ones who are doing good work for us against the enemy...'), lamenting the loss of a friend and relative in the Dardanelles [Frank George] ('...shrapnel put an end to him, to our grief...'), recalling for a poignant reason his visit with Lionel Fox Pitt in November 1912 ('...you & he were the last guests, I think, that my late wife entertained, & she died on the 27th of that month...') and extending him his best wishes in 'this Campaign', 3 pages, octavo, black-edged paper, Max Gate, Dorchester, 4 October 1915

Footnotes

  • POETRY RATHER THAN PROSE. Captain Rumbold, of the 2nd Dragoon Guards and later of the Royal Engineers, was the great-grandson of Sir Thomas Rumbold (1736-1791), Governor of Madras. Included with the letter is an early copy of a letter by Hardy of 26 March 1879 to Anne S. Franklyn, discussing his sources for supposing that Governor Rumbold had once been a waiter at White's Club and agreeing to omit the name from later editions, and a description in the hand of William Plomer (a Rumbold descendant) of correspondence by Hardy to members of the Rumbold family, 4 pages, quarto, and letters by Lefty Lewis and Richard Purdy about the mention of the governor in the book.
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