Autograph letter signed, 3pp, 9 December, n.y. To Mrs. Ely.

WATSON, WILLIAM

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Autograph letter signed, 3pp, 8vo, on crested letterhead of the Hotel Astor, New York, 9 December, n.y. To Mrs. Ely, informing her that his wife is ". . . utterly unable to walk out with you -- she is suffering from physical & nervous breakdown, as you may have seen in the papers. . . . My wife is usually quick to recuperate but during today at all events she will have to keep to her room & see no visitors however sympathetic. . . . I need not tell you that the martyrdom she has been made to undergo is the cause of her collapse. . . ." Center fold starting; toned and a bit worn, but good.

Sir William Watson (1858-1935); English traditional poet, controversial in his time for the political content of his verse. Watson was a prolific poet of the 1890s, and a contributor to The Yellow Book. He was also a defender of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, as he dropped out of fashion. "Watson's was a truly tragic life, partly for reasons within his own temperament, partly because of conditions quite beyond his own making. He gained fame overnight by his great poem, 'Wordworth's Grave', in 1890, and in 1892 he was chosen to write the official elegy on Tennyson. . . . [H]e was three times deprived of an honor which he greatly coveted, and to which he was the legitimate aspirant -- the laureateship. . . . Neglect, poverty, debt of crushing proportions, and overwork were Watson's burden through his long life. In 1892 he broke down completely, and for a while was actually insane, with mania and delusions. . . . In 1909 he married Maureen Pring, an Irish lady, who became his staunchest advocate, more bitter than he himself over the treatment given him. . . ." [Kunitz & Haycraft] (Item ID: 20513)



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