ACTON (Sir Harold, 1904-1994, Poet, Novelist, Historian and Connoisseur)

Autograph Letter Signed to ‘Dear Buckley’ thanking him for writing to him “about my Memoirs, which might strike some people as conceited but, as I explained, I had to defend myself against sharp shooters in the shrubberies! One’s recollections of Eton are among the most vivid, and your extract from the old ‘Tatler’ brought them back to me - Feversham and Schreiber I remember well, and the former’s mother Lady Marjorie Beckett, the type that Rubens would have admired. No doubt you have seen Jacqueline Lancaster’s book about Brian Howard who was so brilliant and full of promise in his youth. Dyson’s and the fantastic Miss Alexander Rowland’s, Little Brown’s, Queen’s Eyot, Datchet, naughtiness under the arches, Conybeare and Micky Bland, C.O.Bevan and myriads of others are far clearer to me than last week’s tourist visitors (who come here by the dozen with their Cameras... our Etonian friends were originals and individuals). I seldom stray from Florence but, when I do, I should be delighted to look you up...”, 2 sides folio, La Pietra, Florence, Via Bolognese 120, 17th July

Acton wrote a valuable ‘History of the Bourbons of Naples’, 1927, ‘Memoirs of an Aesthete’, 1948, and ‘More Memoirs of an Aesthete’, 1970. He was a prominent member of the Bright Young Things. He wrote fiction, biography, history and autobiography. During his stay in China, he studied the Chinese language, traditional drama, and poetry, some of which he translated.
Acton is reputed to have inspired, at least in part, the character of "Anthony Blanche" in Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited (1945). In a letter to Lord Baldwin, Waugh wrote, "There is an aesthetic bugger who sometimes turns up in my novels under various names – that was 2/3 Brian [Howard] and 1/3 Harold Acton. People think it was all Harold, who is a much sweeter and saner man [than Howard]." Waugh also wrote, "The characters in my novels often wrongly identified with Harold Acton were to a great extent drawn from Brian Howard". Brian HOWARD (1905-1958) was a poet and Writer.

Item Date:  1970

Stock No:  42603      £225

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