Three pages (of a four-page folded leaf), with the handwritten heading "Artillery Mansions | Victoria Street S.W.", dated Oct 24, 1900.
The text of this letter reads:
Thanks for yr. kind letter. I should very much like to write something for "The Anglo-Saxon," but I am so overwhelmed with work this & next month that I could not do anything good enough for yr. next number. If you care to have a contribution for the one after I should like to send you something. Of course, I could do something light & gay, but I wonder if you would accept a more serious & imaginative affair. I am soon going abroad to Algeria, & would prefer doing you either an essay on the desert (Sahara), or one called "The Trappist Monastery." I expect to stay in one in December. If you accept, will you tell me how long the article may be, and also what terms, a thousand words, you would give me. I am here for a week or two longer. I remember meeting you at the Devonshire. Yours sincerely [signed] R. Hichens.
Robert Hichens (1864-1950) was a prominent novelist and journalist of his day, best known for his tales of horrow and fantasy, for his writings about his friends Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, and for THE GARDEN OF ALLAH (1904), which sold well and has been filmed three times. Hichens was writing in response to a letter that Earl Hodgson sent out to numerous authors, asking for material for the new (short-lived) quarterly periodical The Anglo-Saxon Review; a nine-page piece sited among the Trappists in Algeria by Hichens, "La Trappe in Africa," did indeed appear in the eighth quarterly number (March 1901).
(The Anglo-Saxon Review was created and edited by Lady Randolph Churchill -- with her son Winston serving as an advisor, published by John Lane in handsome leather-bound volumes with elaborate gilt tooling. Contributors included Henry James, Winston Churchill, George Gissing, Stephen Crane -- as well as Robert Hichens. 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; while Lady Churchill was volunteering on the hospital ship Maine during the Boer War, Sidney Low and Earl Hodgson managed publication.)
The letter is in fine condition except for a short split at the lower end of a fold; near the top of the first page are some short-hand notations, by the secretary who logged in the letter. Provenance: from the renowned three-generation Dodge Family Autograph Collection. Item #14460