BURKE, Thomas (1887-1945). Two typescripts, including autograph corrections, and annotations by the publisher, the first of 'East of the Mansion House', comprising nine short stories, the titles including 'The Pash', 'Black Country', 'White Wings' and 'Crash' etc., approximately 122 pages, 4to; and galley proofs of two stories ('Ah Lum' and 'The Tablets of the House, for Cosmopolitan Magazine), and two printed stories (on pages removed from a journal), the pages renumbered in pencil for publication in book form; and a note by George H. Doran (Burke's New York publisher) to 'C.S.', 1 July 1926, sending 'The moth-eaten MS of East of Mansion House'; altogether approximately 130 pages, 4to;
the second, the typescript of his novel, 'The Sun in Splendour', including corrections by the author in ink and in pencil, and annotations by an editor, mostly in red ink and blue pencil, 422 pages, 4to (some pages worn at edges and slightly browned, dust-stained and creased); and duplicate pages (carbons) of chapters I - V, marked for serialisation, and a note by the publisher, 24 September 1926, 'The only living copy of the final MS for The Sun in Splendour Burke'; each work in a tan morocco-backed cloth case. Provenance: both purchased from Scribners, New York, 1 March 1946, $75.
The Sun in Splendour, named for a public house in Islington, where much of the novel is set, is a novel of place and character, with a romantic thread. In his memoirs Burke refers to the inspiration for the work: 'The oddest thing will start a story, usually something that bears no traceable relation to the story in its completed form ... From the sight of a hilarious young actor in the Savoy Grill came my novel, The Sun in Splendour, which nowhere introduces hilarity or actors'. (T. Burke. Son of London, 1946). The author, born in South London, first worked on the foreign pages of The Tribune and made his name as an author of short stories, set in various districts of the capital. His memoirs include his recollections of the 'Vigo Street group' of the 1890s, including Aubrey Beardsley, Ernest Dowson, A.C. Benson, William Watson and Wilde's publisher, Leonard Smithers, and the fringe literary circles which he frequented. Both the present works were published in New York in 1926, and in London a year later.