Lot 624: ALS signed "J. Conrad," one page both sides, 8 x 10, personal letterhead, April 21, 1915. Letter to well-known Scottish politician and writer R. B. Cunninghame Graham, helping navigate the tricky business of publishing, in part: "A. Knopf, partner of my publisher Kennerley in the US (New York City), has been writing to me with very proper enthusiasm about your work which he has been studying of late, apparently, with a view of introducing it to the American public….From a literary point of view there is no doubt that you will find your public there. But this is a business matter mainly. The great thing is that the integrity of your work should be preserved and your interest in it properly secured. It wouldn't do to put yourself in the hands of a publisher unconditionally. You being far away I consulted my good friend and agent Mr. Pinker. He thinks that the business is worth going into….I would guard the literary side of this transaction while P would do the rest of the necessary diplomacy—tho' indeed the literary side too would be quite safe in his hands…For instance, Knopf wants to make up a vol: of Selections from your stories to begin with; but P at once said that this mustn't be allowed (and I fully agree with him) on the ground that it would be literary vandalism." In very good condition, with large professionally repaired tears to edges, and blocks of toning from previous amateur tape repairs (most evident on the front). Cunninghame Graham was in Argentina at the time of this letter, making it exceedingly difficult for him to handle publishing matters in New York. A wonderful letter from one writer to another.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 460
Wednesday, 16th September 2015
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