Autograph Letter Signed, to "Wm. Earl Hodgson Esq." F. Anstey, T. Anstey Guthrie.

Autograph Letter Signed, to "Wm. Earl Hodgson Esq.".

One page (of four on a folded leaf) of stationery printed with the address 16, Duke Mansions, Grosvenor Square, W.". Dated by hand "27.Dec.1900".

The text of this letter reads as follows:

My dear Sir: Some time ago you were good enough to write me to send you a story for the "Anglo-Saxon." I have a fantastic humorous story in two parts -- the first consisting of 7,500 words, the second of 7,000 or it might possibly be divided into three or four portions. Would you be inclined to pay £15.15.0 (fifteen guineas) per 1000 words for the English & American serial rights should the story strike you as suitable after perusal -- If so, I could send you a type-written copy. Yours very truly [signed] Anstey Guthrie (F. Anstey)

"F. Anstey" (1856-1934 -- the pseudonym came about due to a misprint) was an at-the-time very popular British writer of the humorous and the fantastic (the two adjectives he applies to the story in this letter); it is said that his first novel, VICE VERSA (1882 -- involving a boarding-school boy and his father exchanging identities) was so amusing that it caused Anthony Trollope's fatal stroke; it was also the inspiration for the 1972 novel and 2003 film "Freaky Friday."

The periodical alluded to is The Anglo-Saxon Review -- a short-lived "quarterly miscellany," created and edited by Lady Randolph Churchill (her son Winston served as an advisor), published by John Lane in handsome leather-bound volumes with elaborate gilt tooling. Contributors included Henry James, Winston Churchill, George Gissing, and Stephen Crane. The subscription list included many from the wealthy, the nobility, even heads of state. But maybe it was all a bit too much -- for there were only ten quarterly issues, from June 1899 to September 1901 (with this letter falling toward the end); while Lady Churchill was volunteering on the hospital ship Maine during the Boer War, Sidney Low and Earl Hodgson managed publication. We find no record of an Anstey contribution, so apparently Hodgson declined Anstey's offer.

The letter is in fine condition (short-hand notation in an upper corner, documenting receipt of the letter on the 28th). Provenance: from the renowned three-generation Dodge Family Autograph Collection. Item #14456

Price: $150.00

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