A Charles Morgan collection

 

Charles_Langbridge_MorganDiscovered in a catalogue of the late 1990s from the estimable dealer in autographs, David J Holmes, is a long description of a collection of holograph letters, typed letters, and post-cards from Charles Morgan (1894 – 1958 ), the English novelist and playwright who became a household name in the 30s and 40s. The price asked was $8,500.

Twenty years ago Morgan was out of fashion and unread, hence the relatively low price, which works out at about £18 a letter. In the same catalogue a letter of two pages from A. A. Milne would cost you $1,000, while one of similar length from Virginia Woolf is priced at $2,000. Today, while there will always be fans of Milne and Woolf, Morgan’s popularity has hardly improved, though apparently there are signs of a ‘revival ‘. However, in the world of literary biography quantity is everything. A single, if fascinating, letter from the creator of Pooh Bear would mean very little to a Milne biographer, and the same could be said for the Woolf letter. Continue reading

FirstEditionandBookCollector1607

The First Edition and Book Collector (1924)

Sent in by jot watcher RMH (a man who knows a bad book magazine when he sees one) this neat analysis of why magazines fail. The Alan Odle cover and illustrations seem to be the only saving grace...

When a magazine folds after a handful of issues there are usually just a few reasons why:

1) The editor dies and no replacement can be found
2) The financial backing dries up
3) There are too few new contributions in hand
4) No-one buys the magazine.
5) The magazine is really not that good

In the case of The First Edition and Book Collector, which expired after just  two issues in the autumn of 1924, the latter was probably the reason. The only redeeming features of this real stinker of a first issue are Thomas Hardy’s first publication, a short story   that was first published in 1865, and some wonderful black and white illustrations by Alan Odle, a genuine heir to the mantle of Aubrey Beardsley. But even the genius of Odle cannot save this one.

Continue reading