Nov 20, 2014 - Sale 2367

Sale 2367 - Lot 264

Price Realized: $ 2,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
"I HAVE NOT YET READ LD BYRON'S BOOK" DE QUINCEY, THOMAS. Autograph Letter Signed, to poet Robert Southey, imploring him to write a letter of introduction for a young scholar friend with tuberculosis, and in a postscript, relating news about Mr. and Mrs. [William] Wordsworth, adding that he had not yet read Lord Byron's book and promising to return it. 1 1/4 page, 4to, written on the recto and verso of a single sheet; moderate bleed-through (but still legible), paper strip mounted recto along left edge (not affecting text), minor loss to lower right corner, signature near lower edge, address panel on verso. Grasmere, 30 December 1812

Additional Details

"On behalf of the Rev'd Henry Leeves . . . I venture to make an application . . . . In November last I saw him . . . having some symptoms upon him of pulmonary consumption. Within the last few weeks these symptoms have increased so rapidly that it has been recommended to him by the Clifton physicians, as his only chance for life, to sail immediately for some warm latitude. Accordingly he intends accompanying a friend, who commands a sloop of war bound to Halifax, as far as the Bermudas--and thence getting a passage to Lisbon, or Cadiz--and perhaps afterwards proceeding to Sicily and Malta. . . . I would entreat of you to furnish him with a letter of introduction to any of the places above mentioned. . . . I can say that he [is] . . . a man of respectable talent--attached to literature--and an excellent classical scholar. . . ."
The postscript: ". . . I have just returned from Ambleside, where Wordsworth and Mrs. W. still remain with William--who is convalescent but delicate . . . . They think of returning tomorrow or the next day to Grasmere. . . .
". . . I have not yet read Ld Byron's book; but I mean to read it in a day or two, and will then return it with Mr. Koster's pamphlet."
De Quincey (1785-1859) was the English author of Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.