SURTEES, Robert Smith (1803-1864). A collection of autograph manuscripts and correspondence, including letters by W.M. Thackeray, John Leech, Harrison Ainsworth, Mark Lemon and others, with related prints, drawings and photographs, 48 items in total, comprising:
Robert Smith SURTEES. Autograph manuscripts of three chapters of Mr Facey Romford's Hounds, n.d. , together with two unrelated fragments, altogether approximately 23 pages, 4to; and 4 autograph drafts or retained copies (one incomplete, lacking opening), signed (one with initials) of letters to John Leech, J.M. Evans and others, Hamsterley Hall, Co. Durham, 16 August 1851 - 23 December 1862 and n.d., referring to Mr Sponge's Sporting Tour, Handley Cross and Mr Facey Romford's Hounds, together 7 pages, 8vo, with a copy letter in a secretarial hand, referring to Ask Mamma, or the Richest Commoner in England; and three photographs of Surtees, one framed, two cartes-de-visite, hand-coloured; and a lock of hair;
John LEECH (1817-1864). Four autograph letters signed to Robert Smith Surtees, London, 12 September 1853 - [November 1856] and n.d., thanking him for a gift of peaches, asking for suggestions of 'subjects for Hunting Cuts', referring to Ask Mamma and suggesting that 'if in the Title some allusion to hunting, or general sport could be made it would secure our old friends', and asking, in an undated letter, if the colour of Mr Pringle's coat collar can be changed, together 9 pages, 8vo; with six proof engravings of illustrations by Leech of hunting subjects for Surtees' works; and two apparently autograph sketches, showing 'Mister Lawrence the Maidstone Grocer' and an untitled hunting scene, on recto and verso of one leaf, 8vo;
William Makepeace THACKERAY (1811-1863). 5 autograph letters signed to Surtees, 13 Young Street, Kensington and n.p., 23 March 1852 and n.d., four in his upright and one in his sloping hand, three making or accepting invitations to dine together (one refers to 'the mutton-chop transaction'), one postponing an engagement till 'my number of Pendennis is done', and in 1852 deciding against a trip to Newcastle, together 5 pages, 8vo, with a visiting card;
and further letters to Surtees on literary subjects by Harrison Ainsworth (2, in 1852 responding to Surtees' objections to being identified as the author of one of his works, the other insisting that more than half of his next number be devoted to 'Soapey' [Sponge]), Mark Lemon ('Batty is such a mean b___g_d that I can have nothing to do with him'), Lord John Scott (3), Frederick M. Evans (2) and others (14 in total), with three unrelated letters.
R.S. Surtees' novels, predominantly on hunting subjects, enjoyed great vogue in the mid-19th Century; the illustrations by John Leech and Hablot K. Browne ('Phiz') are notable. His most lasting creation, Mr John Jorrocks the sporting grocer, is credited as the inspiration for Mr Pickwick.