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Lot 69
DYCE, ALEXANDER (1798–1869, literary scholar)
Sold for £1,020 (US$ 1,692) inc. premium
Lot Details
DYCE, ALEXANDER (1798–1869, literary scholar)
AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED ('A. Dyce'), to Sir Egerton Brydges, styled thirteenth Baron Chandos (1762–1837), writer and genealogist, in Geneva, giving a damning account of the bibliographer [Thomas Frognall] Dibdin (1776-1847), specifically in connection with the forthcoming sales of Richard Heber's library ('...Dibdin expected to have had the management of the whole concern, but, I believe, the heirs of Heber were afraid to put it into such hands. His strange imprudence has reduced him to the greatest difficulties, & he has not scrupled, of late, to raise money by...the most ungentlemanly practices...his habit of ordering books...& pawning them immediately...I am sorry for him: a kinder-hearted, more obliging person, never lived...'), expressing doubts that his own edition of Skelton will find a publisher and fears that he will have to bequeath the manuscript of it to the British Museum, reporting William Pickering's slow progress with the Aldine poets and his better success with the Bridgewater Treatises, discussing the practices of the editors of the Gentleman's Magazine, commenting favourably on Brydges's portrait and his 'Imaginative Biography' and eagerly anticipating his autobiography, asking his opinion of his own anthology of sonnets, putting down the attacks in the Athenaeum on [Joseph] Haselwood's 'foolish M.S. (the Roxburgh[e] Revels)' to revenge by the editor, [Charles] Dilke (1789-1864), for Haselwood's review of his 'Collection of Old Plays' [Old English Plays] ('...which on every page bore marks of his incompetency for such a work...'), reflecting on the possibility that the attacks might have entirely annihilated the Roxburghe Club but noting that Nichols is printing Lives of Female Saints for the Club ('...they might have selected something better; for the said M.S....is of no value: it is curious neither for story nor language...'), and recommending The Life of Burns by Cunningham, The Life of Crabbe by his son, Mackintosh's History of the Revolution and Maria Edgeworth's Helen, 4 pages, quarto, integral address panel, postal markings and trace of seal, hole where opened slightly affecting text, recipient's endorsement, 9 Gray's Inn Square, 20 March 1834

Footnotes

  • DIBDIN'S 'STRANGE IMPRUDENCE'. Dyce began his London career in association with William Pickering, a publisher distinguished by his standards of book production, and edited for him the works of several sixteenth- and seventeenth-century authors, among them those of Webster, Greene and Marlowe, as well as an anthology of English sonnets (1833), and volumes in the Aldine Edition of the British Poets. He was closely involved with the newly emerging literary societies, becoming a council member of the Camden Society and helping to found the Percy and the Shakespeare societies. His editions of Skelton, Beaumont and Shakespeare became received texts. He was also a leading adversary in the controversy surrounding the Shakespearian forgeries of his former friend John Payne Collier, and wrote several critiques which attacked Collier's editions with increasing severity. Brydges was likewise productive in republishing long-forgotten works of literature, particularly of the Tudor period. He was a founder member of the Roxburghe Club and in 1834 published his Autobiography, Times, Opinions, and Contemporaries of Sir Egerton Brydges.
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