WATTS-DUNTON Theodore - Autograph Letter Signed 1908 regarding an article on George Meredith
Theodore WATTS-DUNTON (1832-1914)Autograph Letter Signed (“Theodore Watts-Dunton”) to A.G. Gardiner [editor of the Daily News], congratulating him on an article praising the work of George Meredith.
2 pages 8vo, The Pines, Putney Hill, 17 February 1908.
“Through the courtesy of Mr. G.G. Desmond, I am enabled to send you a line congratulating you upon what is, I feel sure, and notwithstanding its brevity, the finest appreciation of George Meredith I have yet read. This view of its merits, I may tell you, is shared by friends of mine who are peculiarly well equipped to form a judgment of the little essay.
I have just been looking into “who’s who”, and I do not find the record of any publication of yours: Have you published any critical work? If so, I should greatly like to read it. . .”
In a postscript, he adds: “By the bye, as this house is so close upon the high road to London, & so near to the cycle tracks, should you be passing at any time when tea is on, I should be delighted to get a call from you. There must be many subjects upon which we feel a common interest. But I fear it would be necessary for you to give me a day’s notice in order to avoid a contretemps.”
The letter no doubt sprang from an interesting group of associations. Watts-Dunton had effectively saved Swinburne from himself, and the two men shared a house, together with other members of Watts-Dunton’s family, for over twenty-five years. Watts-Dunton was also a close friend of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Meredith was on friendly terms with both Rossetti and Swinburne, so that we find here a group of poets and writers united by friendship and mutual admiration.
The letter is rather dusty, and very slightly foxed at the upper corners of the first page, but otherwise in clear and legible condition.
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