464
JUMP TO LOT
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

English Literature, History, Science, Childrens Books and Illustrations

|
London

Emerson, Ralph Waldo--Conway, Moncure Daniel.
BUNDLE OF CORRESPONDENCE BY CONWAY AND OTHERS, TO THE PUBLISHER JOHN CAMDEN HOTTEN, RELATING TO THE COLLECTION OF EMERSON'S ESSAYS EVENTUALLY PUBLISHED AS LETTERS AND SOCIAL AIMS
including c.34 letters by M.D. Conway, and two letters by his wife, discussing the selection of pieces, especially those originally published in Conway's journal The Dial, Emerson's attitude to the project (including extracts from letters by Emerson to Conway), bibliographical decisions on the proposed book, and related subjects; nine letters by Alexander Ireland on similar subjects ("...You are mistaken if you suppose that I disapprove of the proposed reprint. But I think it only fair that Mr Emerson should have an opportunity of correcting & amending any of the pieces he may wish to alter...", 10 August 1870); 13 letters by the printer's Shirley & Harkness; 3 further letters by other correspondents; various lists of works by Emerson; bundle of proofs, with some corrections, notably of Conway's 'Emerson and his Friends'; carte-de-visite photographic portrait of Emerson by Allen of Boston (103 x 64mm); 1870-73
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Catalogue Note

Moncure Daniel Conway (1832-1907), "the least orthodox preacher in London", was American born and had befriended Emerson in Massachusetts in the 1850s. He moved to England during the Civil War and became the Unitarian Minister at London's South Place Chapel. The background to this correspondence was explained by J.E. Cabot in his 1883 prefatory note to Letters and Social Aims:

"Some time perhaps in 1870, Mr. Emerson learned that a London publisher was intending, without consulting him, to make up a volume of his uncollected writings, from the “Dial” and elsewhere. He was much disturbed by this intelligence, and wrote to his friend, Mr. Moncure Conway, to stop the publication if possible. In this Mr. Conway succeeded, but only upon the agreement that Mr. Emerson would himself make such a collection, adding some new pieces, and would send advance-sheets to England, so that the book might appear simultaneously in both countries." 

The project was beset by problems. The elderly Emerson lost his manuscripts in a fire in 1872 and the publisher who instigated the project, J.C. Hotten, died the following year. This correspondence largely ends with Hotten's death, although it includes a small number of letters to his successor, Andrew Chatto (who renamed the firm Chatto and Windus). By this time the elderly Emerson's creative powers were fading and the project was completed with the assistance of J.E. Cabot.

English Literature, History, Science, Childrens Books and Illustrations

|
London