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Typed Letter Signed to the writer Ralph Straus, with integral typed envelope.
  • 103497

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KIPLING, Rudyard.

Typed Letter Signed to the writer Ralph Straus, with integral typed envelope.

Published: Bateman's, Burwash, Sussex: 30th November 1917

Stock code: 103497

Price: £650

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An amusing war time letter explaining why two books that Straus had sent to Kipling had been promptly returned: “I’d been away for some time, and a large mail had accumulated which I was dealing with at the rate of knots. result – among packets of books etc. returned to various officers, the two books by Wren were packed up and sent off to you ‘with compliments’ which makes it worse – and I was told I had given the order. It was bad staff work for which I apologise, and the more feelingly because I had not read the books”. He concludes by saying: “Give my best remembrances to George. he will end by discovering the hospital cooks: and then he will have to be dieted all over again. This, alas! is life.” We have been unable to identify “George”. The envelope is addressed to Kingswood Park Hospital, Tunbridge Wells – a hospital that dealt with large numbers of wounded from the fighting in France. Ralph Straus (1882-1952) was a novelist, biographer and book reviewer; the “Wren books” may be a reference to the early works of P. C. Wren, best known for the Beau Geste books, the first of which was published in 1924. Wren, like Kipling, had lived for some time in India.

Lightly creased where folded, light creases to lower fore-corner.

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