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Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving by Bram Stoker - Extra Illustrated

Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving by Bram Stoker - Extra Illustrated

Regular price $2,999.98 USD
Regular price Sale price $2,999.98 USD

The Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving
by Bram Stoker

London: William Heinemann
First edition, 1906

Complete in two volumes.

These volumes are "extra illustrated" or grangerized: the original owner had the books specially bound to include a collection of signatures and letters from over 20 different people mentioned in the text, mounted on cardstock. As such this copy is unique.

SIGNATURES/letters included in Volume 1:

  1. A handwritten note on Lyceum Theatre letterhead, written by Bram Stoker acting as Irving's secretary, and signed by Henry Irving.
  2. A signed and dated card by William Terris, Adelphi Theatre 1886 (Terris was murdered in 1897 by a fellow actor outside of the Adelphi, which is briefly touched on in the text.)
  3. John Bright, a politician and orator
  4. A letter that begins "Lord Brougham presents his compliments...." which appears to be dated 1833
  5. A letter signed Burdett-Coutts, dated April 20, '73. The text refers to the Baroness Burdett-Coutts, one of the richest heiresses in England at the time.
  6. Letter from Hermann Vezin, an American actor, dated April 16, '90, Glasgow.
  7. Napier, as in Lord Napier, only passingly mentioned in the text
  8. A folded handwritten letter signed Antoinette Sterling, an American singer
  9. A typed letter on Criterion Theatre letterhead, dated April 17th, 1899, with an unidentified signature.
  10. A short handwritten quote signed by Alfred C. Calmour, 1890 (playwright)
  11. Signature of Frank Dicksee - English painter and illustrator
  12. Cora Urquhart-Potter, London Feb 1898, with a green bit of cloth pinned on with the note "For luck, off my Pauline wedding dress"
  13. Signature of Philip Burne-Jones, son of the artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones
  14. Handwritten letter on 26, Cleveland Gardens, Lancaster Gate W. letterhead, which begins by mentioning (Mrs.?) Cyril Maude (stage, and later screen, actor), otherwise not very decipherable
  15. A short note signed by Richard Monckton Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton - an important patron of literature (the section in the text is in regards Stoker and Irving meeting with Richard Burton where Houghton was also a guest, as he had known Burton since childhood.)
  16. Signature of Joseph Hatton, a novelist and editor of the Sunday Times, who wrote the book "Henry Irving's Impressions of America" (1884).

SIGNATURES/letters included in Volume 2:

  1. A letter handwritten and signed by Bram Stoker, on Lyceum Theatre letterhead and dated 31 August 1891.
  2. A partial letter with the signature of Randolph Churchill, Chancellor of the Exchequer and father of Winston Churchill.
  3. Letter from Henry Arthur Jones, playwright
  4. Sarah Bernhardt, dated 1897, celebrated and eccentric Shakespearean actress
  5. A letter dated Dec 14, 1862 on Cuddesdon Palace, Wheatley, Oxon. letterhead. There's a very faint, mostly erased pencil note in the corner "Samuel W... Bishop of ..." suggesting Samuel Wilberforce, the Bishop of Winchester. The passage in the text is in regards Henry Irving's death, for whom the Archdeacon Wilberforce made arrangements, but this would have been Basil Wilberforce, as Samuel had died in 1873.
  6. Overall 21 signatures and letters, only a couple of which are unidentified. Volume 2 also includes a fold-out facsimile letter from Walt Whitman, and both volumes are illustrated, and retain their tissue guards.

Condition: Hardcovers; overall in very good condition, cover boards have some minor scuffing. Upper page edges are gilt, endpapers are marbled. The front page of Volume 1 has a penciled note from a previous bookdealer about the extra-illustrated nature of this edition, but he clearly didn't look too deeply into the signatures as it states the letters and signatures are from "actors and actresses mentioned in the text", which is only partially correct, as seen from the list above. The binding at this page in Volume 1 is cracked, otherwise the bindings remain secure. The books remain otherwise unmarked and clean.

A very presentable, unique and collectable set of books. During his life time, Bram Stoker was primarily known not for Dracula, but as a theatre manager and colleague of Henry Irving, who was considered the greatest Shakespearean actor of the era.

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