GISSING (GEORGE) and H.G. WELLS. Typed memorandum for the American edition of Gissing's Novel The Town Traveller
Lot 80
GISSING (GEORGE) and H.G. WELLS. Typed memorandum for the American edition of Gissing's Novel The Town Traveller
Sold for £1,500 (US$ 2,542) inc. premium
Lot Details
GISSING (GEORGE) and H.G. WELLS
Typed memorandum for the American edition of Gissing's Novel The Town Traveller, signed twice and initialled once by both Gissing and H.G. Wells with the word 'London' inserted by Gissing and the words 'In witness of this signature' added by Wells, and also signed twice by Frederick Stokes and once by Frederick Cane for the publisher Frederick A. Stokes Company, whereby Gissing assigns to Stokes the rights of printing and publishing the book in America and Canada for a 15% royalty with an advance of £100, 2 pages, three small paper losses and two small stains, clip hole at top left hand corners, folio, 22 February 1898

Footnotes

  • Material relating to the publication of Gissing's work is uncommon. The joint presence of Gissing and Wells on the document is most unusual.

    The Town Traveller, written in five weeks for serialisation specifically to relieve Gissing's financial hardship, was published in 1898 . He described it to Wells as 'my vulgar new book... It is a thin book; I couldn't help it', but Wells found it 'amusing'. It was, however, an immediate commercial success, selling 2,500 copies within two weeks and a further thousand by the end of a month. A six-penny edition of 20,000 copies was printed in 1902. In the present agreement Clause 8 ('That the said George Gissing agrees to give to the said Frederick A. Stokes Co. the first offer of his next new novel after the one above mentioned') has been deleted and has Wells's and Gissing's initials against it in the margin.

    Gissing and Wells met in 1896 and remained friends until the former's death. They came from similar backgrounds and experiences, shared the same general attitudes and wrote on similar themes. Their temperaments and fortunes were, however, entirely different. In 1904 Wells wrote a memorable essay about his friend: George Gissing: an Impression. Their extensive correspondence has been published. It was an important friendship bound by a strong affection and enjoyment of one another's company. He and his wife arrived in Rome on 8 March 1898.

    Although the document is dated 22 February 1898 and Gissing gave his place of residence as London, the agreement was actually executed in Italy and signed sometime in March 1898. Gissing had been in Italy since the previous September working on his books Charles Dickens, By the Ioanian Sea and Veranilda. He had been told by his agent, Colles, that the serial press was not interested in The Town Traveller so it was a great surprise to learn of the Macmillan/Stokes interest in it as a book. Jointly they offered the largest advance Gissing had ever received.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Simon Roberts
    Specialist - Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs
    Bonhams
    Work
    Montpelier Street
    London, United Kingdom SW7 1HH
    Work +44 20 7393 3828
    FaxFax: +44 20 7393 3879