WISE (THOMAS JAMES) Autograph letter signed ("Thos J. Wise"), to "My dear Rhys", discussing Browning's essay on Shelley, 1926
Lot 137*
WISE (THOMAS JAMES) Autograph letter signed ("Thos J. Wise"), to "My dear Rhys", discussing Browning's essay on Shelley, 1926
Sold for £375 (US$ 642) inc. premium
Lot Details
WISE (THOMAS JAMES)
Autograph letter signed ("Thos J. Wise"), to "My dear Rhys", discussing Browning's essay on Shelley: "As to Browning's Essay. There is no reason whatever why you should not employ it in any manner you think fit. It is no longer in copyright, & its use is open to all. As a matter of fact the Essay was at no time the property of R.B. At the time when I arranged the reprinting of it for the Shelley Society I asked Browning's permission to carry out the proposal. he told me that the Essay was written upon the commission given him by J.P. Payne (i.e. Moxon & Co), and that he was to have rec.d a fee for doing it. But Moxon & Co went 'bust', and no fee ever reached Browning's hands. The copyright belonged to Moxon & Co, and afterwards passed to Ward Lock & Co"; and very much regretting that they were not in when Rhys and his wife [Grace] called at Heath Drive, 6 pages, hotel headed paper, light dust-staining and small clip-stains, 8vo, Percival's Hotel, Worthing, 9 August 1926

Footnotes

  • WISE DISCUSSES BROWNING'S ESSAY ON SHELLEY, PROMPTED BY MAJOR BYRON'S FORGERIES: Moxon had published The Letters of Percy Bysshe Shelley, with an Introductory Essay by Robert Browning in 1852, all but two of these being forgeries by Major Byron (see the Major's letter and group of forgeries above). Wise's reprint was issued in 1888, the year before Browning's death.

    The recipient of this letter has been identified as the classicist Professor William Rhys Roberts; but seems to us more likely to be Ernest Rhys, quondam Rhymers' Club poet and founder of the Everyman Library. He was author of Browning and His Poetry (1914), and edited a volume of Shelley for Everyman. He is known to have corresponded with Wise (Collins, p. 231).
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