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Autograph letter signed.

October 1843 Stock Code: 146431
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Unpublished autograph letter: "Gentlemen... You would greatly oblige me..."

An unpublished autograph letter from Mary Shelley to the publishers Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans. Dated October 1843, White Cottage, Putney, where she had moved the previous month, she requests some specific volumes from Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopædia, a project to which she had contributed a few years prior. This letter was recently extracted from a volume and so was not known to the editors of her correspondence.

Dionysius Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopaedia was a mammoth 133-volume publication, published between 1829 and 1846, to which many eminent figures of the day, including Sir Walter Scott and Thomas Moore, contributed. The Cyclopaedia was organized into nine "cabinets" or areas (rather than the alphabetic organization of the Encyclopaedia Britannica). Bound in cloth and priced at six shillings each, the volumes were an affordable, authoritative reference work. Shelley, who contributed to Italian Lives (1835); Spanish and Portuguese Lives (1837); and French Lives (1839), was the only woman among the 38 acknowledged contributors.

In this letter she writes: "Gentlemen, you were good enough to let me have when writing for the Cyclopedia several of its historical series but they were not then complete. I have seven volumes of the Hist. of England by Sir James Mackintosh - and 2 of Moore's Hist of Ireland. You would greatly oblige me if you would complete them for me..." Thomas Moore contributed four volumes on the History of Ireland, and Mackintosh ten on the History of England.

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Single sheet (179 x 114 mm), written on one side, and mounted (274 x 202 mm).


In excellent condition.


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