19 May 2004,
Price realised GBP 2,151
GBP 800 - GBP 1,200
P.G. WODEHOUSE (1881-1975)
Two autograph letters signed to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ('My dear Doyle' and 'Dear Comrade Doyle'), 4 Onslow Square and the Constitutional Club, n.d. and 9 August 1912, together 3 pages, 8vo, and 2 pages, 4to.
A mauve smoking jacket and 'my only claim to fame'. In the undated letter, Wodehouse laughs off a misunderstanding over an invitation ('It didn't matter a bit, honestly'), and accepts a replacement invitation, adding 'The only trouble about us coming to you instead of you coming to us is that you won't get to see my new mauve smoking-jacket! My wife bought it for me and insists on my wearing it on all occasions but only in the house'. In August 1912, Wodehouse asks Conan Doyle to 'stand by me in a crisis. A New York lady journalist, a friend of mine, is over here gunning for you. She said "You know Conan Doyle, don't you?". I said, "I do. It is my only claim to fame". She then insisted on my taking her to see you at Crowborough ...'. Wodehouse is 'absorbed' in The Lost World, and mentions a newly finished novel of his own ('I had to write it so quick that I am afraid it is pretty bad'); the letter ends with reference to a forthcoming cricket match against the Publishers.
The superscript of the 1912 letter to 'Comrade Doyle' is presumably an invocation of the mock-socialism of Wodehouse's first great comic creation, Psmith. (2)
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