- Authors’ Presentation Inscriptions 3
Arthur Conan Doyle. Memories and adventures. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1924.
copy of Conan Doyle’s Memories and
adventures with his signed inscription was sent to A.H. Reed, as he recalls
in his 1969 autobiography:
“About 40 years ago I found, in a
miscellaneous parcel of letters, a very personal one written by the novelist as
a young man to his mother … With a desire to do as I would have liked to be
done by, I wrote to Sir Arthur telling him I would send him the letter if
desired. I received a reply from his secretary (perhaps he suspected I merely
wanted his own autograph) stating that he would be glad to receive it, and that
in acknowledgement he would send me several letters of eminent people. I
replied, sending his mother’s letter, and stating that all I wanted was a
replacement letter of his own. He did not reply, nor send me the letters he had
promised; perhaps he thought the inscribed Memories and adventures would please me more.”
James Hutchison Stirling. Jerrold, Tennyson and Macaulay: with other critical essays. Edinburgh: Edmonston & Douglas, 1868.
presentation copy was sent by the author, the Scottish philosopher James
Hutchison Stirling (1820-1909) to the eminent biographer and historian Thomas Carlyle
The Oxford dictionary of national
describes Stirling as ‘an ardent admirer of Carlyle … [who] corresponded with
the sage as early as 1842, mimicked his passionate style, adopted his cultural
pretensions, and took his advice to learn French and German as a means to
mastery over contemporary European literature and philosophy.’
the inscription are pencilled notes in Carlyle’s hand. Though he found pages
172-224 ‘worth reading’ it appears Carlyle found much of the rest of Stirling’s
text to be ‘noisy - trivial.’
Hugh Walpole. Fortitude: being a true and faithful account of the education of an explorer. London: M. Secker, 1916.
copy of the early Hugh Walpole novel Fortitude
contains the author’s presentation inscription “to Lady Sackville” on the
flyleaf, with the bookplate of Victoria Sackville of Knole House affixed to the
recipient of Walpole’s gift was Victoria Sackville-West, Baroness Sackville
(1862-1936). Victoria was the illegitimate daughter of the English diplomat,
Lionel Sackville-West, 2nd Baron Sackville, and a Spanish dancer.
Victoria married her cousin, Lionel Edward Sackville-West, 3rd Baron
Sackville. Although an animated figure herself, Victoria’s life has been
overshadowed by that of her daughter, who bore the same name.
usually known as Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962), was a colourful figure with
whom Walpole was well acquainted. Vita was a successful novelist, poet and
journalist, as well as an eminent garden-designer. She is also remembered as
the inspiration for the androgynous protagonist of Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel Orlando.