19 May 2004
H.G. WELLS (1866-1946)
Seven autograph letters signed to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Little Easton Rectory and n.p., 30 August 1900, 3 July 1902 and n.d., 16½ pages, 8vo and 4to (traces of guards).
Wells responds warmly to praise of his books When the Sleeper Wakes, Love and Mr Lewisham and Marriage, refers wryly to his domestic circumstances ('Saturdays Mrs Wells is pleased to call her day - even the Deity only claims one day a week ...'), and enquires after E.W. Hornung. One letter warmly praises A Duet: 'They're a middle class couple & simple at that, but the ass I read seemed to be under the impression that that somehow condemned the book. I've spent a year out of the last three in attempts at a simililarly "commonplace" story, so that I'm not altogether outside my province'. In August 1900, Wells welcomes Conan Doyle's return from the Boer War -- 'What a gorgeous lot of impressions -- not perhaps always gorgeous impressions -- you must have got'. In 1902 he offers congratulations on Conan Doyle's knighthood, remarking in particular on his uniting of popularity and critical esteem.
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