Typed letter signed, one page, "Christmas Eve 1920". To an unidentified American reviewer.


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Typed letter signed, one page, 4to, Giardino Fraita, Anacapri, Italy, "Christmas Eve 1920". Apparently to an American reviewer, sending thanks for a notice of Young's Undergrowth, and providing additional information and corrections: ". . . [I]t isn't all mine, having been written in collaboration with my brother. . . . [I]t is an old and very immature work, the first volume of fiction to which I ever contributed, and I should be sorry to think it was expected to be representative of my art. . . . It corresponds, in point of fact, with the period of Walpole's book THE WOODEN HORSE. Nor am I Walpole's junior. We were born in the same year, though he has devoted all his life to letters, while I have spent eight years of mine as a busy country doctor and another five in the British army during the European War. . . ." Folds; minor soiling, else good. Included in the lot is an autograph poem signed which appears to be in the hand of Young's brother, Eric, one page, 5 3/4" x 9", Berry Head, July 1917, (signed "E. Brett Young." and additionally dated 27/11/17." at the top). 21 lines of verse titled "The Jay.", which begins: "Wandering by Savernake in Spring / 'Back!' -- the jay startles me. Swift-seen, / A spot of sky on either wing / He dives in the trees & hides in the green. . . ." Deckled edges, some foxing; else good.

Francis Brett Young (1884-1954); English novelist, short-story writer, poet, and physician. During the First World War Young served with the Medical Corps until he was invalided out in 1918. From 1920 to 1929 Young and his wife, singer Jessie Hankinson, lived in Capri. In these years the couple traveled widely, making trips to South Africa, the United States and the Lake District of England. They returned to live in England in 1932, initially in the Lake District as neighbours of fellow novelist, Hugh Walpole. Undergrowth, Young's first book, co-authored with his brother Eric, was published in England in 1913. An American edition followed in 1920. The author's prolific output included Portrait of Clare (American title, Love is Enough; 1927) which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and My Brother Jonathan (1928), adapted for film in 1948 with Michael Denison, Dulcie Gray and James Robertson Justice in the cast, and again for a British television series in 1985 starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Barbara Kellerman. (Item ID: 20474)

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