Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

William Morris Colles papers, 1888-1928

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Series III: Additions

All additions to the collection are physically located in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library's General Manuscripts Collection.



General Mss Box 66 Folder 2 Colles, William M., Folio volume of letters (many with Authors' Syndicated numbering).

(2006.2007.M13)



General Mss Box 67 Folder 4 Colles, William M. Four letters--Rossetti; Ollivant; Farnol; Wells

(2006.2007.M61)



General Mss Box 72 Folder 4 Colles, William Morris 4 a.l.s.; 1 a.p.s.-- Arnold Bennett and William Michael Rossetti Michael Rossetti

(2009.2010.M006)



General Mss Box 75 Folder 11 Colles, William Morris. Donovan Dick (J.E. Muddock) Letters

(2010.2011.M097)


Colles, William Morris. Correspondence:

(2010.2011.M160)



General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Allingham, E.G. Autograph letter signed, 4pp, 4to, 4 Burlington Road, Cheshire, 20 August 1924. To the literary agent, [William Morris] Colles, concerning corrections being made to the volume she is compiling (Romance of the Rostrum: being the business life of Henry Stevens and the history of Thirty-eight King Street, together with some account of famous sales held there)

Reading in part:" ... I am extremely sorry that these plates have been printed off so that alteration is impossible -- I thought I was to have hada proof of the illustrations. . . . I suppose it is rather difficult for anyone who does not know Mr. Stevens to quite realize how little accurate knowledge he has of the history of his rooms, of the the things he has sold . . . . It is very tiresome that, after taking so much care to have everything accurate, Mr Stevens should go round ... & muddle things -- I rather wonder, though, that Mr. Stock does not see for himself that Mr Stevens' memory is perfectly hopeless, & that any information ... received from him must be verified. . . . Mr Stevens gave him an old sale catalogue, the front cover of which was to be used in an illustration ... & I saw that it was not one of the Stevens Catalogues at all, but a Catalogue of Hutchins, another auctioneer in King St. It was just a piece of luck that I was able to stop that going into the book .... " With the purple ink stamped date of receipt and identification number in blue editor's pencil typical of material from Colles' files; some soiling and toning; pin hole from a fastener; minor edgewear; else good. Together with an autograph letter signed ("E.C. Allingham"), 2 1/2pp, 4to, same place (and in similar condition; with rusted fastener still present, though not holding leaves together), 16 February 1924. From the author's husband to Colles, urging the completion of the book, apparently in the midst of doubt concerning its potential sale: "The thing that strikes me is that for every one person who orders the book from the circular, and pays down money for it in advance, at least ten would buy it if they saw it in a bookseller's shop, or saw reviews of it in the paper. . . . If seventy people have paid their money in advance, its safe to say at least seven hundred would buy the book if it were published. Don't you think so? .... And could not such an estimate of the probable sales beput up to Stevens? For after all it is his proposition. The book was his idea: it was he who asked my wife, through you, to prepare it. And he has the greatest interest in seeing it appear. I quite realize that Mr. Stevens is not so richas many people imagine .... "

E[mily]. G[race]. Allingham (b. 1876); English author and editor.

In his on-line article, "Unique Auction Sales at Stevens's Auction Rooms, LTD," Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA,CES, CAGA, writes: "If you had a unique collection to sell in the early 1800's and you wanted those items to be noticed and promoted in their best light you would have contacted J.C. Stevens's of 38 King Street, Covent Garden London. Steven's [sic] started as an auctioneer in 1820 by buying into an established auction business at the same location. It will be seen that Steven's [sic] created many new and unique markets utilizing the auction method of marketing that included the sales of the most bizarre and unusual items and collections ever held. He auctioned mummies, shrunken heads, major insect collections, seashells, bird eggs, crocodile skins, witch doctors "Basuto" bags, Tibetan Yak tails, carved coconut teapots, Graeco-Roman bronze lion masks, exotic plants, even complete menageries of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds. His auction sales were the most unusual in the world until Stevens's Auction Rooms. Ltd. was blasted off the face of the earth during World War Two.

But let's not jump to the end so quickly. According to catalogs in my collection the Stevens's Auction Rooms, LTD was established in 1760. However, a chapter in a book titled 'Going, Going, Gone!' by Bellamy Partridge claims that the original Stevens's Auction Rooms were started by an auctioneer named Samuel Paterson. He was a well-known bibliographer. Paterson was credited with starting the third oldest auction room in England in 1776.The auction room was the same address of the later Stevens's rooms, 38 King Street Covent Garden, London, England.

Paterson primarily sold books, manuscripts and prints. He cataloged and sold many important collections at auction. Paterson was credited with starting the practice of selling books in lots, rather than one at a time. Paterson's love of books made 38 King Street the hang out of many a famous bibliophile. According to Bellamy Partridge, 'A few years before his death Mr. Paterson was succeeded by Messrs. King, Collins and Chapman. Soon Collins withdrew and the concern went under the name and style of Chapman & King; by 1796 Chapman had withdrawn and the firm continued as King & Son.' Through the transitions the business thrived with the sales of books, manuscripts and prints. At the auction room in 1806 a first edition of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" sold for three pounds and three shillings. Also a uniquely titled book "Rules to get Children with Handsome Faces, so that their children may not have such Strange, Prodigious, Ill-boding Faces as their Fathers, 1642" sold for seven shillings.

J.C. Stevens had come into the firm in the 1820's, and by 1834 his name was on the door as sole proprietor; from that time on the King Street rooms continued in the control of the Stevens family, passing from father to son until the institution was well past the century mark', claims Partridge.''


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Allingham, E.G. Autograph letter signed, 2pp, 4to, 4 Burlington Road, Cheshire, 18 August 1924. To the literary agent, [William Morris] Colles

Apologizing for having forgotten to send him proofs of her current work in progress (presumably Romance of the Rostrum: being the business life of Henry Stevens and the history of Thirty-eight King Street, together with some account of famous sales held there), and explaining: "I sent the proofs to Mr Stock ... when I wrote to him respecting the illustrations .... Thirteen of the corrections were printer's errors -- the others were merely spelling errors. . . . The correction I made in one chapter (only a few words) took up exactly the same space as the words taken out. ... There was the question of footnotes. That was all. I only inserted an occasional odd word where there was plenty of space. I shall have finished the Index in a day or two & could send on that proof to you if you would care to see it. .... "

E[mily]. G[race]. Allingham (b. 1876); English author and editor.


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Bennett, Arnold. Autograph letter signed ("E.A. Bennett"), 1 1/4pp, 8vo, on printed letterhead of Trinity Hall Farm, Hockliffe, Beds., 20 November 1900. To literary agent [William Morris] Colles

At the Authors' Syndicate, requesting assistance: "I should be obliged if you ... would see Grant Richards as to 'Fame & Fiction.' Lewis Hind has kindly told him about the book & reports to me that Richards is 'very favourably disposed towards it.' Perhaps you will therefore let him have the MS. at once. You might mention that in addition there are articles on J.M. Barrie, Marie Corelli, & James Lane Allen .... "

Bennett's Fame and Fiction. An Enquiry into Certain Popularities was published by Grant Richards in 1901.


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Benson, E.F. Autograph letter signed, 2pp, 8vo, on printed letterhead of the Union Club, Westward Ho: Bideford, n.d. To Colles

On literary matters: "I am afraid I have no short stories by me: but perhaps I can produce one soon. I hope this means that ... [illegible words] I had sent you earlier are engaged -- I am sure you will tell me any news ... when there is any to tell .... " English novelist, biographer, memoirist and short story writer.


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Caine, Hall. Typed letter signed, one page, 4to, on printed letterhead of Greeba Castle, Isle of Man, 27 October 1900. To the literary agent W. Morris Colles

On business matters: "I seem to remember that the 'Graphic' sold 'The Eternal City' two years ago to the chief Sidney paper. . . . Certainly I saw their announcements. . . . I will send you the Tirebuck book in the hope of your being able to do something with it this Autumn. . . . My reason for keeping it back is that I had hoped to write a preface or memoir before sending it. You might, however, say that such memoir will be written, all well. I think it would be well to offer it first to Heinemann for England and to Appleton's .... "


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Caine, Hall. Typed letter signed {purple type), one page, 4to, on printed letterhead of Greeba Castle, Isle of Man, 15 July 1897. To the literary agent, W. Morris Colles

on business matters: "I hardly know what to say about the drink story. There are already several places for it. . . . Hutchinson has asked for it again ... and Munsey also has asked me to reserve it for his 25 cent publication ... offering to guarantee me a sale of 250,000 copies in all. However, I could wish very much to meet the views of the 'Windsor Magazine' .... I should be disposed to accept less from them than from some others. . . . I do not think I should take less than 300[pounds] from anybody. Indeed, it is an open question whether we would do wisely to sell this story now or wait until after the production of THE CHRISTIAN. My own present impression is that after that you could get nearly any price you cared to ask in reason. . . . If you care to speak to Hutchinson on the subject confidentially, and conditionally ... I am willing, but I do not want the appearance of running the 'Windsor Magazine' hard and would not do so .... I will send you the Fourth Book of THE CHRISTIAN bye and bye .... " Two holograph emendations.


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Keltie, Sir John Scott. Typed letter signed ("JS Keltie"), one page, 4to, on crested letterhead of the Royal Geographical Society, 1, Savile Row, Burlington Gardens, London, W., 13 March 1909. To W[illiam]. M(orris]. Colles

On literary business: "I had a long talk with Stein about his book. My advice to him was that he should allow you to get offers from say Macmillan, Murray, Smith Elder, Arnold, and others if you liked. You would then ascertain what in the ordinary market the book was likely to fetch. . . . But I told him that the Clarendon Press would certainly not push the book as any of those other publishers would. That is still my view of the matter." Sir John Scott Keltie (1840-1927); Scottish geographer and editor, best known for his work with the Royal Geographic Society. He moved to London in 1871 to join Macmillan Publishers, where in 1873 he became subeditor of the journal Nature, and began separately to write articles on geography for The Times. In 1880 he became editor of The Statesman's Yearbook for Macmillan


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Kennedy, Bart. Autograph letter signed ("Kennedy"), one page, 4to, 44 Roupell St., Cornwall Road, Waterloo Road, Lambeth, n.d. To the literary agent [William Morris] Colles

In part: "I send you my address so that in case you are eager to send me a few hundred pounds or so for any of my stories you may do so. It would be cruel, you know, to keep you in suspense. Yesterday I got L4 .. 7s .. 1 d[?] for a story from The 'Idler'. So the goose for the moment is hanging high. . . . Morley Roberts impressed me most favorably. I guess he's one of the boys. Remember me to him .... " With an additional holograph receipt signed, one page, oblong 8vo, reading "Received from the Authors' Syndicate ms. "What the Chenal[?] Saw" by Marguerite Moore [signed] Bart Kennedy." Bart Kennedy {1861-1930); English novelist, memoirist and journalist


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Macfall, Haldane. Autograph note signed, one page, 8vo, on printed letterhead of 1 Perham Crescent, West Kensington, London, W. 14, 12 March 1918. To literary agent [J.W.] Gilmer [at the Authors' Syndicate, founded by the literary agent, William Morris Colles (1855-1926), who was its managing director]

Writing: "Here you are! British Serial rights for L7.7.0 of 'When & How will the War End?"'. With the agency's customary filing number in blue editor's pencil at the upper left, and with the purple ink stamp indicating date of receipt. Haldane Macfall (1860-1928); British novelist and art historian. His first book, The Wooings of Jezebel Pettyfer. Being the personal history of Jehu Sennacherib Dyle, commonly called Masheen Dyle; together with an account of certain things that chanced in the House of the Sorcerer; here set down .... was first published in 1898. See Wolff 4329 who states of Jezebel Pettyfer: "Was it George Meredith who said it was the best book of the period but he wished it had never been written?"


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Payn, James. Autograph letter signed, one page, 8vo, on crested letterhead of The Cornhill Magazine, 19 March n.y. {but docketed on the verso in contemporary ink, 1891). To [William Morris] Colles

Sending thanks for his letter and replying: "Please remember that I leave everything in your hands, always, as regards payment of stories, & placing of 'Table Talks.' Whatever arrangement you may make I shall be content with .... " With contemporary ink annotations and filing indicators; some soiling and bleed of ink; else good. James Payn (1820-1898); English novelist.


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Payn, James. Autograph letter signed ("J Payn"), one page, 8vo, on printed letterhead of 43, Warrington Crescent, Maida Vale, W., 16 November n.y. (but with the purple ink stamped date of receipt or reply indicating 1891). To literary agent [William Morris] Colles

Informing him: "I have written to 'Vanity Fair' to ask the editor, if it is not too late, to ... post to you 3 more copies of 'A successful experiment' .... I have written since [a story] of 3000 words .... " James Payn (1820-1898); English novelist


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Payn, James. Autograph letter signed, 1 1/2pp, 8vo, n.p., 4 June n.y. (but docketed on the verso in an unidentified hand, 1892). To literary agent [William Morris] Colles

Explaining that he has been ill for some time, adding:" ... I hardly know what I have written. The Cornhill is now provided with...Fiction for a year. . . . You had better see me personally about the Times matter: I never interfere with that paper, but I may be able to advise .... " James Payn (1820-1898); English novelist


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Payn, James. Autograph letter signed, one page, 8vo, on printed letterhead of 43, Warrington Crescent, Maida Vale, W., 16 September ny. (but docketed in contemporary ink on the [blank] verso indicating 1892). To [William Morris] Colles

On a proposed unidentified work: "I do not think it 'good enough'. I don't care for royalties. Moreover I do not believe the book would make 50000 words or near it: but perhaps you know the length .... " James Payn (1820-1898); English novelist


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Payn, James. Autograph letter signed, 3pp, 8vo, on printed letterhead of 43, Warrington Crescent, Maida Vale, W., 20 October ny. (but docketed in contemporary ink on the [blank] verso indicating 1892). To [William Morris] Colles

Concerning literary business terms: "If you can get 20 [pounds] for the little story, I shall be glad or even 15. . . . I have been thinking whether it would not be worth while for you to apply[?] for 'Good Words' in the matter of my new novel. It is you might privately tell them a [illegible word] original story upon a Cornish matter[?]. A good parson is saved from ruin .... "


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Payn, James. Autograph letter signed ("JPayn"), one page, 8vo, on printed letterhead of 43, Warrington Crescent, Maida Vale, W., n.d. (but docketed in contemporary ink on the [blank] verso indicating 26 November 1892). To [William Morris] Colles

Concerning literary business: "The two vols at 21 with illustrations is the best chance. Do not let Mr Cox[?] be deluded by the idea of a six shilling edition at first. The Libraries do not take the novel more than at 21 [?]. My last novel (at 21) with Cassell is in a 2nd edition."


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Payn, James. Autograph letter signed, 2pp, 8vo, on printed letterhead of 43, Warrington Crescent, Maida Vale, W., 16 February n.y. To [William Morris] Colles

Sending thanks, and replying:" ... I have had several stories in serial publications since my agreement with Tillotson. The agreement covers[?] 'no novel or story in serial form' which is surely not the case with a store in one number?. . . . It goes for the States, Australia ... but in England the neighbourhood of Sheffield would be the only forbidden ground."


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Payn, James. Autograph letter signed, 4pp, 8vo, on printed letterhead of 43, Warrington Crescent, Maida Vale, W., 25 March n.y. (but with penciled annotation indicating 1892). To [William Morris] Colles

On literary business matters, in part: "I send you 3 copies of 'My First Book' .... I am writing rather a longer one than any of these, which it may therefore be more difficult to 'place': but the idea was too good a one for a very short story .... I think Lippincott will bid for the American rights to 'A Stumble on the Threshold'. Do you not think ... as the book will not be published, in any case ... that it will be better to revert to the original title .... ? I can [illegible word] if 'the queen' takes the novel, that it will publish two chapters a week = may this be taken for granted? .... "


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Payn, James. Autograph letter signed, 3 1/2pp, 8vo, on printed letterhead of 43, Warrington Crescent, Maida Vale, W., 20 April n.y. To [William Morris] Colles

On literary matters:-" ... I cannot understand how any magazine that looks to hold a decent position should ... delay its payments. . . . I fear from what you say that T.T. is not in a [illegible word] state: it is one of the things I cannot understand .... I am still reading Norris' [?] book; it is rather thin ... but I am going on with it. . . . I should be very pleased for your sake of course to take everything you send me: but Boyle is hopeless. There is no reason why you should not send me the others: their names are unknown to me, but I do want a good novel for the magazine .... "


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Payn, James. Autograph letter signed, 4pp, 8vo, on crested letterhead ofThe Cornhill Magazine, 26 October n.y. (but with contemporary ink identification marks indicating 1892). To literary agent [William Morris] Colles

On a number of literary business matters, in part: "The Sheffield Independent...would be likely to take 'The Prince'. I forget the names of my old friends but you have a list of them .... It is hopeless to ask Vanity Fair this year. The 'Good Words' business wants a little consideration .... As for illustrations serial use recommends ... 3 or 4 chapters a month. The only way of avoiding this difficulty is ... publishing the first part coincidentally in Australia & America & asking them to publish ahead or afterwards which does not affect the copyrights. This can be easily done by arrangement -- the promise of giving up advance proofs -- with the Magazine. . . . In a month or two I could place the whole ms ... but ... life is short & ... getting precious. . . . I ... have only to add that I like the story very much, & certainly never [illegible word] to be more suitable for the magazine in question. . . . I have the greatest confidence in your zeal & sagacity & leave the matter entirely in your hands .... "


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Payn, James. Autograph letter signed, 2 1/4pp, 8vo, on crested letterhead of The Cornhill Magazine, "Saturday night" n.d. To literary agent [William Morris] Colles

On potential publication rights: "I do not think it will be wise to keep the matter of my novel hanging over beyond Thursday. That is the last day that Messrs Strict[?] & Co. can keep the thing ... & I should be unwise to give up the 90 [pounds] .... I confess I don't like the notion of [illegible names] having anything of my autobiography in book form. I could moreover get considerable sums for anything of that kind both in America & the colonies, & I don't think the sum offered is ... nearly good enough .... "


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Payn, James. Autograph letter signed, 2pp, 8vo, on crested letterhead of The Cornhill Magazine {but additionally addressed in holograph, 43 Warrington Crescent, Maida Vale), n.d. To literary agent [William Morris] Colles

On an unidentified proposal: "[illegible name] ... cannot help us. Today I hear[?] that I can possibly get ... 15 [pounds] from Calcutta for the book if begun in July. Would this be an good in connection with your 400 ... friends, or could they be [illegible word] up for another 100 .... "


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Payn, James. Autograph letter signed, one page, 8vo, on crested letterhead of The Cornhill Magazine, n.d. To literary agent [William Morris] Colles

Sending thanks for an illegible author's story, suggesting that its title be changed, and replying that it" ... would not suit the Cornhill. .... [A]s for Mr Philpotts' 'scenario'; it is well enough {though I can see no reason why it should end badly[?]) ... but I can say nothing of course without seeing the Book."


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Rossetti, William Michael. Autograph letter signed {"W.M. Rossetti"), 4pp, 8vo, on printed letterhead of 3 St. Edmund's Terrace, Regent's Park, N.W., 5 December 1896. To literary agent, W[illiam]. M[orris]. Colles

Concerning a work in progress: "At last I take up again that matter of 'Poems by the late John Lucas Tupper' .... [A]ll is now on the very eve of completion, & I expect to send you the entire copy in a few days. I enclose [no longer present] The General Authority signed by Mr. J.H.E. Tupper, & my cheque .... When Mr. J.H.E. Tupper signed the Authority there was a reasonable prospect of my remaining in London, & attending to all the business-matters, & passing the proofs. But since then it has become indispensable that I shd go for a while to Australia; &, if the necessity arises during my absence, Mr. J.L. Paton undertakes to pass the proofs .... [P]lease understand that -- altho' I have no personal interest whatever in any profits arising from Mr. J.L. Tupper's poems -- I mean under existing circumstances to be responsible for all expenses .... " John Lucas Tupper (1824[?]- 1879); English artist, sculptor, poet, critic, and author, an early member of the Pre-Raphaelite circle who remained close to several original members of the Brotherhood until his death. William Michael Rossetti edited Poems by the Late John Lucas Tupper, which was published in 1897, and to which he also contributed the "Prefatory Notice"


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Wiggin, Kate Douglas. Autograph letter signed ["Kate Douglas Wiggin {Mrs. Riggs)"], 2 1/4pp, 8vo, on printed letterhead of Baldwin's Hotel, 19, Dover Street, Piccadilly, W., 18 May [1905]. To the literary agent, [William Morris] Colles

Informing him: "Houghton Mifflin & Co having changed their London representatives ... to Constable's I am following the fortunes of 'my horse' & have joined Constable's zoo. I have a very large & generous offer from that house & it is not coupled with '13 as 12' though that has heretofore been my ... slogan! I am very very sorry to leave my old friends Gay & Bird who ... have done their best for my books, & of course retain all my old ones .... "

Kate Douglas Wiggin {1856-1923); American educater and writer of children's stories; author of The Birds' Christmas Carol {1887) and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1903). In 1895 she married her second husband, New York City businessman George Christopher Riggs.


General Mss Box 81 Folder 2 Zangwill, Israel. Autograph letter signed ("I Zangwill"), one page, 8vo, on printed letterhead of 24, Oxford Road, Kilburn, n.d. [but docketed in an unidentified hand "wrote Crawford 4.Xl.95"]. To the literary agent, [William Morris] Colles

Replying: "You may ask Crawford to send my cheque through you if you like ... but as your recollection of our conversation is so vague, you must understand how little of it remained in my mind .... I am off to Scotland lecturing."

Israel Zangwill (1864-1926); English novelist, philanthropist, author of The Bachelor's Club (1891), The Old Maid's Club {1892), and Children of the Ghetto (3 vols, 1892).