London, South Kensington
22 November 2002
The Property of the late Lord Wraxall
DODGSON, Charles Lutwidge ('Lewis Carroll', 1832-1898). Autograph letter signed to [Antony] Gibbs, Seal Vicarage, Sevenoaks, 13 October 1882, 3 pages, 8vo, on a bifolium.
Dodgson wrily admits to having 'quite squared accounts' by waiting a month before replying to a delayed letter from Gibbs about a production of Rob Roy; referring inscrutably to 'the "Di Vernon" young lady', who has done well 'both in adopting the advice given her by a stranger, and in not writing to him in reply', and to another theatrical production, and looking forward to seeing Much Ado About Nothing: 'I could not bring myself to see [Sir Henry] Irving attempt so young a part as Romeo - but Bendick is another thing altogether & I think he might be good in it: while Miss [Ellen] Terry is sure to be a delightful Beatrice'; his 'voyage to London was most enjoyable, & I wanted the sea to be a good deal rougher than it was'.
Dodgson's diary records that he saw the production of Much Ado on 11 November, in the company of the painter Theo Heaply: 'I think Irving makes a good Benedick. Ellen Terry is of course charming as Beatrice'. The actress was a close friend and photographic model of Dodgson's. See frontispiece for an illustration of the first page of the letter.
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