London, South Kensington
28 May 1999
PRINCESS HELENA AUGUSTA VICTORIA,
5TH CHILD OF QUEEN VICTORIA (1846-1923)
Thirty-six autograph letters, two in secretarial hand, signed ("Helena") to Sir Theodore and Lady Martin, together approximately 100 pp., 8, on various headed papers including Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park; Balmoral Castle; Palais des Kronprinzen, Berlin; and Frogmore House, Windsor of which two include elaborate gilt embossed crowns and entwining 'H' and 'C' monograms [Helena and her husband Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein] and various 'Helena' monogram versions, between 22 January 1868 and 4 February 1899.
An endearing series of letters, the majority concerning the publishing of a book she is translating "of [her] dear sister's biography " [?Princess Alice]. "It is with respect to a publisher that I am anxious without delay to speak to you" (8 December 1883). Concerning the publication she writes: "The German publisher has consented to cancel the restrictions about the publications of the translation of his book...and is quite satisfied that it should appear at the end of April or last of May". "I shall enter into treaty with MacMillans as my publishers" (24 December 1883). With regard to an English publication she stresses: "no arrangement of any kind has been come to with any English publication. I have distinctly said nothing can be agreed on till we have come to statisfactory terms with the German publisher. I am working as hard as I can but the translation is not easy as the German is so flowery and the sentences endless" (27 December 1883). Thanking Martin for the "trouble [he has] and [is] taking about my translation" she explains she will be sending him the introduction: "It has endless corrections and I hope will be intelligible" (19 January 1884). She later posts him the epilogue after having "read it to Mamma [Queen Victoria] and she thought it read well" (22 January 1884) writing later concerning a Preface: "I have written something down for my little preface...May I write it in the first person? May I sign my name at the end 'Helena' Cumberland Lodge. Windsor. March 1894" Discussing dedications she explains her preference: "Alice - with the crown is what I would like best" (28 January 1884). She mentions Queen Victoria's views: "Mamma does not wish her name to appear at the end of that statement about my sister's religious views - she says the statement had best be left as you proposed - but she objects to her name being conected to it. I never knew anyone whose faith was greater and more childlike than my dear sister's before she died - She had a force thro' a great struggle previously" (17 March 1884). Final thoughts on the book are with regard to copyright: "The Queen has asked me to write direct to you to say that she never directly or indirectly promised or even hinted that Mr Bergstrassen (German publisher) that he shold have the copyright of the English Editions. All she did was to allow the letter to be translated into German" (12 June 1884). And others. (44)
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