ROBERT WILLIAMS BUCHANAN (1841 - 1901)

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LETTERS FROM COLLECTIONS

1. England

 

Leeds - University of Leeds Library

Letter to Edmund Gosse - 17th February [1887].

11a Park Road
Regents Park
         N.W.
Feb. 17

Dear Mr Gosse,

                   Thanks for your letter. Mine would indeed be a phenomenal book if it awakened no disagreement, especially since it contains so much heterodoxy. On one great point I am glad, however, to receive authoritative corroboration. Herbert Spencer writes to me saying that he long ago came to similar conclusions with myself, concerning Goethe.
         Your friend Dogbery may have stumbled on the truth concerning Hugo; he is nevertheless, in most of his utterances, a silly fellow—and as spiteful as silly—& as disingenuous as spiteful. But nearly all criticism is vicious & wicked, & honest men are scarce.

                   Yours truly
                   Robert Buchanan.

Edmund Gosse Esq.

 

[The year, 1886, has been added to the date in another hand, but I am assuming that the book referred to by Buchanan is A Look Round Literature, which was published in February, 1887 and included essays on Goethe and Victor Hugo.
Given Gosse’s opinion of Buchanan revealed in his diary during the Swinburne libel trial of 1876, this seems a very gentlemanly exchange of views. However, Buchanan had leapt to Gosse’s defence with a letter to The Pall Mall Gazette in October 1886, which might have thawed relations somewhat.]

__________

 

Stratford-upon-Avon - Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Letters to Marie Corelli

 

1. 21st February [1887].

11a Park Road
Regents Park
N.W.
Feb. 21.

Dear Madam,

                   I am obliged to you for your kind and complimentary letter, just sent to me by Messrs. Ward & Downey; and I am very glad, of course, that my Essays have amused you. Of your own writings, to which you allude, I know very little beyond their titles; but I shall certainly take an early opportunity of making myself acquainted with them, as you suggest. Again thanking you I remain

         Dear Madam
                   Faithfully yours
                   Robert Buchanan

Miss Marie Corelli

 

[A Look Round Literature was published by Ward & Downey, in February 1887. Since this is the only book of Buchanan’s published by that firm, it is safe to assume the year of the letter is 1887.]

_____

 

2. 25th March [1890].

Vaudeville Theatre
March 25

Dear Miss Corelli,

                   Pray forgive me — I have been so worried, & flurried, & hurried! — Enclosed please find Box for Friday evening next, when I hope you will be able to be present at Clarissa. I will write again later on. Meantime believe me

                   Yours always
                   Robt Buchanan

         N.B. Never become a dramatic author! “That way madness lies!”

 

[Written on headed notepaper with the printed address (MERKLAND|25, MARESFIELD GARDENS|SOUTH HAMPSTEAD) crossed out.]

_____

 

3. 8th June [1898].

55 Christchurch Road
Streatham Hill
S.W.
June 8

Dear Miss Corelli,

                   As I wired you I deeply regret to say that I cannot come as I had proposed tomorrow. I was in bed up to Sunday with somewhat dangerous symptoms, & my doctor is afraid that I am not yet fit for exposure to wind & weather & the accompanying physical fatigue. I am truly sorry, for I was most anxious to pay my last respects to a brother-poet. Pray believe however that my spirit will be with you, tho’ my body is absent, & again accept the assurance of my profound sympathy.

                   Always yours
                   Robt Buchanan.

Miss Marie Corelli

[On envelope.]

Am returning to London tomorrow, but shall in all probability be down again.

                   B.     )

 

[‘heart’ is crossed out and ‘spirit’ written above.
The letter and envelope have a black border and Buchanan is responding to an invitation to attend the funeral of Marie Corelli’s step-brother, Eric Mackay, who died on 3rd June, 1898.]

mackaytimesobit

[The Times (Friday, 3 June, 1898 - p.4)]

ericmackayobitnyt

[The New York Times (3 June, 1898 - p.4)]

mackayfuneral

[Funeral announcement in The Times (Tuesday, 7 June, 1898 - p.1)]

_____

 

Letters from Collections - continued

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The Fleshly School Controversy
Buchanan and the Press
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The Critical Response
Harriett Jay
Miscellanea

 

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