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  • Signed Manuscript Letter from Lord Hobart to Granville Penn (undated but likely 1803 the Year Hobart Tasmania Was Named After Him)

    Signed Manuscript Letter from Lord Hobart to Granville Penn (undated but likely 1803 the Year Hobart Tasmania Was Named After Him)

    Robert Hobart (1760-1816) known as Lord Hobart and the Fourth Earl of Buckinghamshire. He was a British Tory and secretary of State for War and the Colonies between March 1801 and May 1804.

    Hobart is named after him. In 1803 the first settlement was made as a penal colony at Risdon Cove on the eastern shores of the Derwent. In 1804 it was moved to a better site at Sullivan’s Cove and the town settlement named Hobart Town or Hobarton. The Voyager letter was written at or about that time as the subject matter was published in 1803.

    The letter in a strong hand is addressed from Hobart to Granville Penn (1761-1844) (great-grandson of Admiral Sir William Penn) an author and scriptural geologist. Written on one age of 8vo with integral address leaf from the House of Commons.

    The letter reads …

    “The translation of Leibnitz’s memoir with the judicious & able observations you have made upon it demand my earliest acknowledgements & I shall put them into Mr Addington’s hands as a proof of your uncommon diligence, and ability to render that diligence of the most Essential Importance to the Public Service – most faithfully yours Hobart”

    Rare and interesting letter signed by Hobart

    Note “A summary account of Leibnitz’s memoir, addressed to Lewis the Fourteenth, recommending to that Monarch, the conquest of Egypt, as conducive to the establishing a supreme authority over the Governments of Europe – Granville Penn – printed by J Hatchard, London 1803” – Leibnitz the great scientist, mathematician and political strategist and rival of Isaac Newton.


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  • Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays – Hazlitt – with Manuscript appraisal by Australian Artist Norman Lindsay – from his Library

    Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays – Hazlitt – with Manuscript appraisal by Australian Artist Norman Lindsay – from his Library

    Published by the Oxford University Press a re-set re-issue of 1955. Small octavo, 276 pages after preliminaries. With an introduction by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch.

    William Hazlitt (1778-1830) knew his Shakespeare and first published “Characters” in 1817. Ever since it has been considered a “go to” reference on the Bards work.

    And, so thought Norma Lindsay who drew on Shakespeare’s characters in much of his much-loved erotic art.

    This little book bought from an auction of some of Lindsay’s extensive library has a delightful “opinion” penned in his hand, with corrections, on the front end paper.

    “No other commentary on Shakespeare can equal these essays – Hazlit(t)’s perfect control of style enhances the splendour of Shakespearean poetry. All other appreciations of it read thinly after his.

    In any case, the inexhaustible fecundity of the plays inspires a fresh interpretation of them with each generation of readers and actors.”

    Shakespeare’s Characters and some wise words penned in the hand of the great Norman Lindsay.


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  • Linus Pauling (Two Times Nobel Prize Winner) – Signed corrected typed letter to colleague Professor D.P. Craig

    Linus Pauling (Two Times Nobel Prize Winner) – Signed corrected typed letter to colleague Professor D.P. Craig

    One of the top 100 scientists that have ever lived. Along with Marie Currie he received the Nobel Prize twice in different fields, Chemistry and Peace the only person to have received two alone in their own right.

    Valence theory and the application of quantum mechanics to molecular theory was his forte. Here we have him corresponding with Australian Professor David Craig at University College, London. Craig spent much time there and then later at the Research School of Chemistry, ANU, Canberra.

    Pauling writes on California Institute of Technology, Pasadena letterhead …. 4th August 1961

    “I thank you for your letter about molecular orbitals and benzene. I have no doubt that a reasonably good job can be done in discussing aromatic molecules by use of the molecular orbital method, in such a way that students find the discussion acceptable. I am not sure that I feel that it is obviously justified to say that the electrons occupying an orbital with a single node are about as stable as in the two-center orbitals of a Kekule structure – I know that this is right, but how the student would feel is another matter.

    Nevertheless, I have not reached the conclusion that I should attempt much of a molecular-orbital discussion in my book, as well as the discussion of simple resonance theory.”

    An enlightening view … Kekule having established his principles in the mid-19thC. It was not until molecular orbital theory that the properties of aromatic molecules could be more readily understood. Pauling used X-ray technology to support his findings. In a number of areas, he was “in competition” with Australian born Sir Lawrence Bragg, who was running the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge. Pauling discovered the protein alpha helix after many years of painstaking work … without this the work on DNA would have come much later. Having won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his pioneering work he became a strong anti-bomb supporter and through his efforts to suppress cold war activity was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Later he became a champion for the use of vitamin C as a near cure all.

    Linus Pauling every Scientists Hero – A letter to a Colleague with relevant Scientific Content


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  • French Thetrical Legend – Sarah Bernhardt – Signed Manuscript Letter 1887, Photographic Portrait and Ephemera

    French Thetrical Legend – Sarah Bernhardt – Signed Manuscript Letter 1887, Photographic Portrait and Ephemera

    Likely the 19th Century’s greatest actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923). A fine hand with bold signature dated 1887. Her personal grey bordered stationery with the Quand Meme motif.

    She addresses “Mon Cher Paul” mentions her pretty niece and trying to arrange a suitable time to catch up.

    The letter is accompanied by a photographic portrait of Bernhardt, a cabinet card depicting the legend in Camille by Dumas which she performed in 1882. 16cm by 11cm mounted on original card minor edge chips, plain back.

    Also relating to her tour of America (see below) two “Between the Acts & Bravo” cigarette cards, also from the 1880’s, issued by Thomas Hall, New York. 7.5cm by 4cm each, very good condition.

    1887 was an interesting time for the “Divine Sarah”. She was well established by this time but had

    developed an extremely lavish lifestyle and had a gambler for a son that she supported financially. Already accustomed to touring a mammoth tour of South and North America was organised by her manager Edouard Jarett. It was hugely successful an she returned to Paris the year of this letter with a million francs. Unfortunately, her manager died of a heart attack on the tour … it didn’t stop Sarah indulging in some of her favourite pastimes … such as collecting exotic animals. She brought back an alligator that seemingly was partial to champagne. Among her other strange activities was sleeping in a coffin when trying to get into character for rather dowdy parts.

    Sarah Bernhardt – Signed manuscript Letter – 1887 – with Cabinet Card from that period.


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  • Arthur Conan Doyle Manuscript Letter 1902

    Arthur Conan Doyle Manuscript Letter 1902

    Legendary writer, creator of Sherlock Holmes and man of many talents Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) … he was knighted the year of this letter.

    A strong hand in black ink on watermarked paper headed Undershaw, Hindhead, Haslemere (in Surrey). Doyle had built Undershaw in 1897 a magnificent property, the layout of which was designed to assist his wife who was already very ill at the time. He remained there until 1907 the year after her death. Visitors at Undershaw included Virginia Woolf, Bram Stoker and J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan was written in Play form in 1904)

    Undershaw was the place he wrote The Hounds of the Baskervilles which had been serialised and published the year before this letter, the last instalment being published in the prior month … the letter dated 28 V / 1902 in Doyle’s distinctive style.

    A polite note of apology the letter reads …

    “Dear Mr Crookenden … I returned last night from the Continent to find your interesting letter and enclosure awaiting me – by an error I had omitted to leave forwarding instructions at the club (the Athenaeum) and beg you to accept my apology for delay in answer. Very many thanks. Yours faithfully A. Conan Doyle” … with his distinctive device below

    Mr Crookenden surely Isaac Adolphus Crookenden who carried the name of his grandfather a great writer of Gothic Tales much admired my Doyle. In turn this Crookenden was the maternal grandfather of Lawrence (Larry) Olivier.

    A simple letter but nicely written with a bold signature on the letterhead of his grand country home where he had just completed “The Hounds”; addressed to an interesting character with an intriguing family background.

    Arthur Conan Doyle – Signed manuscript Letter


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  • The Collected Poems of Sidney Keyes – With Unpublished typescript Poem “Ode to Hitler”

    The Collected Poems of Sidney Keyes – With Unpublished typescript Poem “Ode to Hitler”

    Published posthumously by Routledge, London a fourth impression, 1951. Small octavo, xxiv, 123 pages, original binding, very good condition. The typescript poem “Ode to Hitler’ is dated June 1941 (whilst he was till at Oxford – see below). There is a manuscript note on the endpapers “including unpublished poem”; also a note from Anthony Smith, Headmaster of Dartford Grammar School, which Keyes attended “Dear Professor Porter, I am returning three items we borrowed from you …”. This is October, 1987 and there had been a special Keyes Conference held at the school that year … it is possible that the unique poem was one of the borrowed items, and that this book was Porter’s Professor Porter is likely the Theologian who was at Oriel college, Oxford for 13 years from 1949.

    The typescript poem contains an overtyped correction “Lonely” in the third last line – shown in the image. The manuscript date “June 1941” is surely in Sidney Keyes’ hand, by comparison with the facsimile of a hand written poem included in “Collected Poems”

    This is a special story. Sidney Keyes (1922-1943) was raised by his maternal grandparent, his mother died shortly after his birth. He began writing poetry at a very young age, influenced by Wordsworth, Rilke and Jung. He won a scholarship to Queen’s College, Oxford. At University he wrote two books “The Cruel Solstice” and “The Iron Laurel” for which he was later awarded the Hawthornden Prize. He was very active at Oxford editing the Cherwell Magazine and forming a dramatic society. Leaving Oxford in 1942 he joined the army and sadly died in active service in Tunisia in April 1943.

    All up there are 110 poems of which half relate to the War. All of his poems written during active service were lost.

    “Ode to Hitler” is a seven verse poem the first six comprising seven lines, the last six. It is a serious matter, whilst being clear in meaning. We do not want to publish all here … but here are the final lines.

    “You tapeworm of the mind, you will forgive
    My wanderings, stung by a sudden fury;
    Not even speaking for my country, only
    A mouthing sharp-tongued poet for the lonely
    And awkward speaking. But you will never thrive
    While we, the sour and cunning, stay alive.”

    A special writer and poet who gave his life too young and, a potentially important unpublished work.



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