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Lot 29
BUCHANAN, ROBERT WILLIAMS (1841-1901, poet and novelist)
Sold for £600 (US$ 935) inc. premium

Lot Details
BUCHANAN, ROBERT WILLIAMS (1841-1901, poet and novelist)
EARLY AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED ('Robt. W Buchanan'), to W.M. THACKERAY, writing when eighteen years of age, forthrightly urging Thackeray to read and then publish two poems in The Cornhill Magazine ('Do not throw this letter aside; but take it up, think over it, and read it thro' - as a man, not an editor. I demand this in the first place: because, if you only glance over it, the suit it propounds is hopeless...'), expressing the hope that The Cornhill is not devoted only to the work of those of established reputation ('...if so, you will read my poor little M.S....'), telling him about the opinion and advice he received from G.H. Lewis after he had forwarded a portion of a contemplated work ("Publish a volume of such poems, & you will make a position for yourself"), stating his present purpose plainly and without 'rigmarole' ('...the publication of either of the two enclosed poems in your Magazine would do my projected adventure more good than you can ever be aware...'), appealing to his generosity, asking pardon for his own familiarity, stating his admiration for Thackeray ('...you have not a warmer admirer in Britain...'), and suggesting that he burn the poems if they are not up to the mark, 4 pages, octavo, tipped onto a Cornhill Magazine publication department filing orange paper folder with the Magazine number CCCCXXIV, receipt note at head (7 February 1860), 9 Oakfield Terrace, Hillhead, Glasgow, undated but noted on the folder that the letter was answered on 17 May 1860

Footnotes

  • Thackeray did not answer the letter himself; that was left to Mr Williams, and he took three months to do so.
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