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Two pages on quarto sheet 9 x 8 inches. Fabulous and lengthy letter of over 400 words to publisher John Taylor, (1781 ñ 1864) the publisher of the poets John Keats and John Clare. Leigh Hunt, the great Victorian poet, explains that he has sent the "Harry Brown" letters [the name was actually a pseudonym of a friend], as well as a story, "Hero & Leander," giving details on how long he intends it to be, and why it should not be too short; further offering to write a preface to the letters, suggesting that they meet, and offering to add more letters or stories. Leigh Hunt, as is well known, was one of Keats's earliest patrons, and his first publisher (the younger poet's sonnet Solitude, if I must with thee dwell appeared in the Examiner on 5 May 1816). Under the pen name Harry Brown, Hunt wrote a series of conversational verse epistles to his poetic and political allies, gossipy yet profound in their own way, which were published in the Examiner in 18162 pages, 4to, written on the recto and verso of a single sheet; few short closed tears at lower edge, folds, else near fine condition! In part: "Vale of Health [London], 19 September 1816 As . . . you wish to see the letters written under the signature of Harry Brown, I have sent what I have of them accordingly; & I add also a specimen of the Hero & Leander, though it wants touching again here & there. To the former will be added a variety of notes; & though I am not fond of notes to works of a less chatting nature, yet the letter also, I think, will admit of a preface, such as I may enjoy in writing, & consequently hope the public may enjoy in reading. But if you be inclined, Sir, to strike in with me in these little publications, (and I am secretly desirous of finding myself somewhere, & finding a bookseller that will show an inclination to allow some share of profit to a person really not inclined to ask much) I can talk with you on the subject to much more advantage personally, than in the compass of a sheet of paper. I cannot however come to town just this moment, as the latter end of the week is the busiest part of it with me; but something perhaps may be settled in the mean time, if you are so inclined; & I can afterwards call upon you or Monday or Tuesday, in case you are not able to take a walk or ride hither beforehand. The letters are designed to be 10 in number, though I should probably add two or three more if you had no objection. The Hero & Leander I mean to be about 300 lines; & I make it so short, principally, in the first place, because the incidents, I think, would not allow of more length consistently with the spirit which ought to accompany them; & next, because in case it should succeed, I wish to follow it up in the same way with two or three more of those graceful stories of antiquity, --such as Bacchus & Ariadne, Admetus & Alcestis; & perhaps Cupid & Psyche, --all, of course, told after my own fashion, & not translated or borrowed. . . ." Having built a reputation as a dangerous man by publishing libelous remarks about the King under his own name and being imprisoned for it, Hunt adopted a pseudonym in 1816 in order to continue publishing his more satirical literary exploits: "Harry Brown." Hunt wrote a series of conversational poems addressed to real figures such as Charles Lamb and Thomas Moore entitled, "Harry Brown's Letters to His Friends," which were published in the weekly he co-founded with his brother, the Examiner, beginning in the summer of 1816, and which he later offered to the publishing firm Taylor and Hessey in the hope they would issue them as a volume. Taylor declined, but Hunt continued to write for the Examiner under the name Harry Brown until 1821. A truly wonderful letter by Hunt.
Price: $1,750.00 Item #6202