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2020-02-13 19:13:39
Hardy, Thomas
Autograph Letter Signed, to "Dear Mrs Jekyll"
1893. One page (first of four leaves folded). On "Vice Regal Lodge, Dublin" stationery, undated (but May 1893). The text of this letter reads: I have much pleasure in accepting your kind invitation but I feel certain that we who join you will get the best evening, unofficial though we may be. Yours sincerely [signed] Thomas Hardy. Although the letter is undated, the stationery provides us with the necessary clue -- for it was in May 1893 that Thomas and Emma Hardy made a fortnight-long journey to Dublin, where they stayed primarily at the Vice Regal Lodge. The Vice Regal Lodge (today it is Áras an Uachtaráin, the residence of the President of Ireland) was then the official residence of the lord lieutenant of Ireland, who for less than a year had been Lord Houghton, writer of some minor verse, who was the son of a good friend of the Hardys. "Mrs Jekyll" was the wife of Col. Herbert Jekyll, the private secretary to John Morley -- the Chief Secretary (second in hierarchy under Houghton); Hardy briefly refers to her in his day-by-day account of the trip in THE LIFE OF THOMAS HARDY (p. 263), for May 24th: "We dined this evening at the Private Secretary's Lodge with Mrs Jekyll." (According to Sir Neville Lyttelton, while in Dublin Mrs Jekyll was the "reader" of Viscount Wolseley's manuscript of his Life of Marlborough, which would be published in 1894.) Hardy's acceptance of Mrs Jekyll's invitation includes the self-effacement that turns up in so much of his correspondence. The most important aspect of this trip was that Thomas Hardy met Florence Henniker there; to quote at lengt … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Sumner & Stillman [ABAA] [Yarmouth, ME, U.S.A.]
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