349
349
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Sr. & Jr.
Estimate
2,5003,500
LOT SOLD. 2,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
349
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Sr. & Jr.
Estimate
2,5003,500
LOT SOLD. 2,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

THE JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: ARTS & SCIENCES, INCLUDING THE MARK TWAIN COLLECTION

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New York

Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Sr. & Jr.

Fine group of 7 letters, written 1877–1898,  including 3 of the senior and 4 of the junior, the latter being part of the junior's extraordinary and intimate correspondence with Lady Hibernia Castleton.


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Catalogue Note

Holmes Sr. (1809–1894) was a physician and author, widely acclaimed by his contemporaries who included Emerson, Longfellow, and Lowell. His writings celebrated life in Boston in a humorous or conversational style. The letters below seem to be written in response to the inquiries of strangers who admired his writing, and he was very forthcoming in commenting on his creative process. Holmes Jr. (1841–1935) was a Supreme Court Justice (appointed by Theodore Roosevelt). At the time of these letters, he was a justice in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, and married to his childhood friend Fanny Bowditch Dixwell. He met his correspondent, Lady Castleton, on a trip to Ireland, and their correspondence was devoted to sharing their thoughts and reading experiences. The letters are as follows:


1. Autograph note signed ("Oliver Wendell Holmes"), 1 page (5 1/4 x 4 1/2 in.; 133 x 114 mm), Boston, 26 March 1877, being a 4-line quotation from his poem "The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table": "A few can touch the magic string ...". Red cloth folding-case, gilt-stamped title label on spine.

2. Autograph letter signed ("Oliver Wendell Holmes"), 4 pages (8 x 4 7/8 in.; 204 x 124 mm), Boston, 24 February 1888, to an unnamed addressee, discussing his own writing and coincidences in thinking of quotations. Red cloth folding-case, gilt-stamped title label on spine.

3. Autograph letter signed ("Oliver Wendell Holmes"), 2 pages (7 x 4 1/4 in.; 178 x 108 mm), Boston, 12 October 1892, to an unnamed addressee, thanking him for sending a microphotograph of the Declaration of Independence and other patriotic representations, "But my eyes have grown dim and I have not used a microscope for ten years or more. I used often to show these things to visitors in my clear-seeing days." Maroon cloth folding-case, gilt-stamped title label on spine.

4. Autograph letter signed ("O.W. Holmes"), 4 pages (10 x 8 in.; 255 x 204 mm), Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, to Lady Castleton, discussing Doré's illustrations of Balzac and other reading, the Alpine Club "the romance of the mountains is in my soul forever ...". Green cloth folding-case, gilt-stamped title label on spine.

5. Autograph letter signed ("OWH"), 4 pages (7 x 4 3/8 in.; 178 x 112 mm), Beverly Farms, 19 August 1897, to Lady Castleton, on spending vacation time with Brooks Adams, on a book by Bellamy called Equality and how the socialists ignore both Malthus and Darwin, with envelope. Half morocco drop-box, gilt-stamped maroon title label on spine.

6. Autograph letter signed ("OWH"), 3 pages (10 x 8 in.; 255 x 204 mm) on letterhead of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Boston, 4 March 1898, to Lady Castleton, reporting on a performance of Wagner's Siegfried, "The world is divided into those who are and those who are not moved by the Sagas of the North," and on his reading of Froude's Erasmus, with envelope. Cream cloth folding-case, gilt-stamped title label,  on spine.

7. Autograph letter signed ("H"), 3 pages (10 x 8 in.; 255 x 204 mm) on letterhead of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Boston, 24 May 1898, to Lady Castleton, in response to Zangwill's Dreamers of the Ghetto discussing his religious beliefs.

THE JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: ARTS & SCIENCES, INCLUDING THE MARK TWAIN COLLECTION

|
New York