SEARLE Ronald - Typed Letter Signed 1967 to the cartoonist and illustrator Jean Effel
Ronald SEARLE (1920-2011)
Typed Letter Signed (“Monica & Ronald”) to “Dear Francois” [the noted French cartoonist and illustrator Francois Lejeune, better known by his nom de plume, Jean Effel], telling him he has received a letter of invitation from M. Chevignard, and hopes to see Jean and Madame Effel at the celebrations in June, for which he has agreed to design the menu.
1 page 4to, 4 rue Antoine-Dubois, Paris, 28 March 1967.
A delightful letter, written mostly in English, with bracing dash of Franglais.
“We have just come back from our week of work in the Haute Savoie where there was too much snow 20000 metres up there on the mountains! Also we have both managed to catch the grippe!
However . . . despite a head that turns I wanted to tell you that I have received a further letter from Monsieur Chevignard. In it he proposed that our invitation should be extended for the “CHAPITRE d’ETE” on the 17th June – which is also a reunion for the “Marins”.
In his letter he also extened [sic] a person [sic] invitation for Monica and indicated that both you and Madame Effel might be able to accompany us. I do hope so. It would be marvellous if we could all be there together.
I have written to Monsieur Chevignard today, thanking him and accepting the invitation for the 17th June.
I have also agreed to design the menu for that evening.
We hope that you are having a marvellous time and enjoying the air of the Manche.
Breath deeply . . . “
Monsieur Jacques Chevignard, who extended the invitation, was at the time Secretary General of the Confrérie du Tastevin, a society which promotes all things Burgundian, but most especially its food and wine. There is no doubt that the invitation, and the task of designing the menu, would have appealed greatly to Searle, who produced the memorable volume, The Illustrated Winespeak.
Searle’s handwritten part of the message – “Dear Francois –“, “-As ever Monica & Ronald” and the underlining of “marvellous” – are all in pink felt-tip, very typical of the late 1960s.
There is a very small tear at the left edge of the bottom fold of the letter, and the lower left-hand corner is somewhat crumpled, but does not touch the text.
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