STEPHENS, James (1882-1950, Irish poet and novelist). Seven autograph manuscripts, one typescript signed and one autograph letter signed, including:
Two autograph notebooks of early drafts of stories for 'Here are Ladies', n.p., n.d. ,the first including 'The Threepenny-Piece' and an incomplete draft of 'A Glass of Beer', in pencil on lined paper, approximately 50 pages, 8vo, signed and inscribed on the cover (some leaves torn), brown paper wrappers; the second, a story of a small boy setting out to kill giants, and brief notes for an article for The Irish Review, in pencil, 12 pages, 8vo, blanks, blue paper wrappers;
Autograph drafts for 10 poems (fragments), 26 December 1917 (one) and 1 January 1918, most in pencil, approximately 12 pages, 8vo, bound; three draft reviews, n.d., the first of a book by Clifford Bax on 'representative women', 5 pages, 8vo; the second of 'Mr Heard's work on prophecy', 3 pages, 8vo; the third of W.L. Renwick's edition of Spenser, in pencil, 7 pages, 8vo, all three manuscripts bound.
Autograph manuscript of 'The Purple', signed twice (once in his pseudonym, 'James Esse'), n.d., 3 pages, 4to, and a covering note signed and inscribed 'An unpublished article on the treachery of Irish Intellectuals'; Typescript signed of an article (for the BBC) on James Millington Synge, London, n.d., heavily corrected in autograph, 9 pages, 4to; and an autograph letter signed 'A Cara', National Gallery, Dublin, n.d. [1915-1925], commenting on four books, one page, 8vo. Provenance: purchased from Bertram Rota, 22 April 1937, £15 and James F. Drake, New York, 22 November 1938, $65.
James Stephens was (despite an inauspicious first meeting) a friend of James Joyce, whom he met in Dublin and later in Paris, where Stephens lived from 1913 to 1915 when he became Registrar of the National Gallery of Ireland. His poetic talent was recognised in his youth by George Russell ('AE'), and Padraic Colum and Yeats lectured on him in London. A contributor to Sinn Féin from 1907, he wrote for many periodicals on political and literary subjects. In 1925 he left Dublin for England, where he remained until his death, continuing to visit Paris and lecturing in the United States. He broadcast frequently for the BBC. Seven stories for Here are Ladies were submitted to J.B. Pinker (his agent) in April 1913, but Pinker wanted the length of the book increased. The draft stories in the present lot were completed in Paris, and the book published in October. They, and the typescript article, were among the manuscripts by him sold at the American Anderson Galleries in 1936 (B. Bramsbäck. James Stephens: A literary and bibliographical study, Upsala, 1959). (9)