Typed Letter, Signed

To Grahame's literary agent, Albert Curtis Brown, concerning the death of his son.

GRAHAME, Kenneth

GRAHAME, Kenneth Typed Letter, Signed To Grahame's literary agent, Albert Curtis Brown, concerning the death of his son.

1920.

A single page of letter paper, headed "Boham's", dated 26 May 1920, thanking Curtis Brown for his "kind words of sympathy with us in our overwhelming sorrow." following the death of Grahame's son, Alastair. He touches upon Alastair's last days, "The dear boy went back to Oxford this term so full of new plans and interests, with "Mods" safely behind him, and liberty to follow a wider range of thought and reading. From all one can glean, his last days were specially happy ones. He was laid to rest in Oxford on his 20th birthday." He also mentions Alastair's enjoyment of a Curtis Brown party, he attended, "You may like to know, that his little visit to you was a matter of constant pleasant recollection. Owing to the war, he had led so secluded a life, socially speaking that this was a real "event", and the memory of it was cherished by him." Tipped onto black paper at the upper corners and light creases from the original folding, excellent condition.

An extraordinarily resonant letter, one of very few in which Grahame talks about the great tragedy of his life - the death of his son. Alastair, affectionately known as 'Mouse' to his parents, had been indulged by his mother whilst Grahame, who had built himself a picture of his son's capabilities entirely at odds with reality, encouraged him to achieve the academic success that he had failed to do. Alastair was awkward in the company of his peers and bullied at school (Rugby, and later at Eton) and by mid teens was almost totally blind in one eye. He was thoroughly depressed at Oxford and it is thought that one fateful evening he walked out from Christ Church, up to Port Meadow where he lay down on the railway line to await the next train. Kenneth Grahame never accepted this version of events and this letter and talk of his happy last days points to this state of denial.
Albert Curtis Brown, an American journalist living in London, set up his literary agency in 1899 and his handling of Grahame's Wind in the Willows was one of his first great successes. Although Grahame produced no significant body of work after 1908, Curtis Brown remained his agent and friend. In 1918 in a well meaning attempt to cheer up Alastair, Curtis Brown invited him to his daughter's coming out dance.
"She found him reserved and sardonic, and still suffering badly from acne. He made no attempt to dance, but spent all the time talking 'interminable dullness' to her father" - Peter Green (Kenneth Grahame A Biography)
It is to this visit that Grahame refers in the final paragraph of his letter.
Grahame's letters appear infrequently in commerce and those with content of substance are rare indeed.

Stock ID: 40265

£3,500.00

Add to bag Add to favourites Make an enquiry

Browse related books

The Wind in the Willows

GRAHAME, Kenneth / SHEPARD E.H.

£2,250.00

The Wind in the Willows

GRAHAME, Kenneth

£5,500.00

The Wind in the Willows

GRAHAME, Kenneth

£15,000.00

The Wind in the Willows

GRAHAME, Kenneth

£75,000.00

The Wind in the Willows

GRAHAME, Kenneth / SHEPARD, E.H.

£12,500.00

Changing Pictures

POTTER, Beatrix

£750.00

Anne of Green Gables

MONTGOMERY, L.M.

£25,000.00

Now We Are Six

MILNE, A.A.

£3,500.00

Ginger & Pickles

POTTER, Beatrix

£2,500.00

Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes

POTTER, Beatrix

£2,500.00

The Tailor of Gloucester

POTTER, Beatrix

£4,500.00

Dealings With the Fairies

MACDONALD, George

£3,500.00

The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse

POTTER, Beatrix

£4,500.00

The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes

POTTER, Beatrix

£2,000.00

Autograph Letter Signed

POTTER, Beatrix

£2,000.00

Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor

PEAKE, Mervyn

£12,500.00

The Black Riders

NEEDHAM, Violet

£350.00

The Tale of Tom Kitten

POTTER, Beatrix

£2,500.00

Racundra's First Cruise

RANSOME, Arthur

£250.00

Charlotte's Web

WHITE, E.B.

£15,000.00