19 May 2004
JEROME K. JEROME (1859-1927)
Eight autograph letters signed 'Jerome', 'J.K. Jerome' or with initials, and one letter signed, to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Idler Illustrated Monthly, 5 Park Row, SW, 7 Alpha Place, Regents Park, one dated 18 June 1892, six laid down on album leaves or with traces of mount, some foxed, 16 pages, 8vo and 16mo
Studio portrait of Jerome by Elliott & Fry, signed 'Yours ever Jerome K. Jerome', the image slightly foxed, damage to lower corners of mount, 166 x 108 mm.
Jerome praises Conan Doyle's story 'The Curse of Eve' with reservations. He describes it as 'a tremendously powerful study ... having read it I want it ... Let us have the others however a little less sad. I dread the effect upon the sensitive reader.'
In another he refers to his magazine To-Day 'After 4 years work I go out ... poorer than I went in' and the repayment of a debt of £500 he owed Conan Doyle 'lent me at a time when it was of the greatest service to me'.
He also mentions his boat 'lying idle at Abingdon ... at your service'. In 1892 Jerome commissioned some stories from Conan Doyle for his new magazine The Idler with the idea of emulating the success of the Sherlock Holmes stories in The Strand Magazine. When the stories were written, they proved to be too strong for the public taste and Jerome published only three out of eight for which he held the rights. The Curse of Eve was not among them. It was published in Round the Red Lamp 1894. (9)
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