BLACKMORE Richard Doddridge - Autograph Letter Signed 1895 from the author of Lorna Doone
Richard Doddridge BLACKMORE (1825-1900)
Autograph Letter Signed ("R.D. Blackmore") to "My dear Madam", regarding the Church and parish to which his mother was attached.
1 page small 8vo with integral blank leaf, Teddington, 4 October 1895.
"The anniversary of my mother's death [70 years ago] reminds me of my debt to the Church & parish to wh. she was so strongly attached. Allow me to discharge that debt, while remaining under deep obligation to you."
Blackmore could not have had personal knowledge of his mother's attachment to the church in question. He was born in a village in Berkshire in June of 1825 and his mother died of typhus when he was only four months old.
Blackmore was deeply attached to the West Country, where his father moved the family after his wife's death, and set his best-known novel, Lorna Doone, in that landscape. Despite this, he spent some years as a young man living on the outskirts of London, in Twickenham and later Hampton. He eventually settled in nearby Teddington, where he spent the final decades of his life.
In a rather odd twist, the otherwise retiring Blackmore became very friendly with a local couple, Arthur and Violet Coward, and agreed to be godfather to their first child, Russell. Blackmore was very fond of the young boy and was devastated when he died, aged six. His parents wished Blackmore to be godfather to their second son, Noel, but Blackmore, who died a month after Noel's birth, was too ill to accept.
There is a strip of tape to the top of the verso of the blank leaf, but the letter is otherwise in excellent condition.
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