HOOD (Thomas the Elder, 1799-1845, Poet & Humorist)

Long and entertaining Autograph Letter Signed to Lady MORGAN (Sydney, circa 1783-1859, née Owenson, Irish Novelist, wife, 1812, of Sir Thomas, c. 1780-1843), saying that "Observing in the papers your return to town, pray allow me to call on you by proxy, my Magazine being, pro tempore, my representative", commenting that "the great man of Great Marlboro Street", Henry Colburn, (1784 or 1785-1855, the publisher of the New Monthly Magazine and Humorist), "is very sore, on my assuming the right of speculating with my own brains ... to judge by his rejecting three letters for me addressed to his care, which were sent adrift with the endorsement by the Postman 'Not known to Mr Colburn'", though "I subsequently received a communication from his Cashier to my private address!", Hood encloses "a verse or two [not present] on the subject which you may give away to any young lady who wants my autograph", Colburn "has since done even worse - for in default of Humourists for his Humourist, & not being able to write an article himself he has dreamt one - a 'Legend by Ingoldsby' - it is not advertised in London, where the trick would be soon detected ... what will become of poor Authors when a Colburn is equal to a 'Tale of Trickery?'", explaining that "if there were no Colburnism - if all the world could be quite correct, & no humbug, half the vocation of Punch", to which Hood was an early contributor, "and his fellows would be gone", Hood plans "the same sort of sport in hunting him thro' all his wrigglings & doublings ... that I used to enjoy with the rats, stoats & other vermin at Lake House Wanstead", indeed, "What could you have done as a Wild Irish Girl if all the world had been one Quaker? Eh! Lady Morgan? ... and what a comfort that so much knavery as this world contains to make us weep, is mixed up with so much folly as to force us to laugh. Eh! Lady Morgan? ... and is it not the best and wisest philosophy after all - eh! Lady Morgan? - to count the pieces, we have of our own broken china, though there should be but a jolly Mandarin's head grinning on one of the fragments? And as we are immortal, - as mere dreams may convince us, that having been we must be, tho' but as in dreams, - why then, all we have enjoyed, of good or worthy, we shall live over again, at least in dreams, & so let us make the autotypes as pleasant as possible - eh Lady Morgan?", and ending "Yours very truly", 4 sides 8vo, Devonshire Lodge, New Finchley Road, St John's Wood, 5th January closed tear in side 3 expertly mended, elsewhere in fine condition
Lady Morgan made her reputation with The Wild Irish Girl, 1805. Attacked in the Quarterly Review for her patriotic writing, she put the reviewers into her next novels. She received a government pension in 1837 and from 1839 devoted herself to London society.
Henry Colburn was the long established proprietor of the New Monthly Magazine, whose title read and Universal Register (1814), replaced by and Literary Journal (1821), to which many famous writers contributed, and more recently by and Humorist (1837), edited for him by Hood from 1841 to 1843. Now in January 1844 the writer had just issued the first number of Hood's Magazine and Comic Miscellany. Colburn had been Lady Morgan's publisher since 1814, but she will have taken Hood's raillery in good part.
Lake House was the Hoods' home from 1832 to 1835. It lay in the middle of Wanstead Flats, at the south west corner of Wanstead Park, former home of the heiress Miss Tylney-Long. The mansion house to which it was a lodge had been demolished in 1825. Lake House came with 30 acres of land, and Hood had taken it on the injudicious advice of friends. It had a tall porch with columns and had various wooden extensions, which, with the marshy neighbourhood, contributed to the discomfort. While there Hood wrote his only novel, Tylney Hall, (3 vols., 1834).

Item Date:  1844

Stock No:  56475     


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