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    Description

    Mary Shelley Autograph Letter Signed, no place, no date. From Mary Shelley to Lady Sutton, the portion of this letter visible through the mat measures 4.25" x 6.625", and is framed to an overall size of 9" x 11.5". The letter reads in full, "Tuesday, Dear Lady Sutton, I am come to town for a day or two and hope to do my self the pleasure of calling on you before I got to Mourow (?)-Meanwhile can you favor me by obtaining admission for myself and another lady to the Ventilator on Thursday or Friday and sending it to me to 2 Melbury Terrace-Dorset. I hope you are all well. Ever Afft. Yours, MW Shelley".

    As this letter is not dated, the Lady Sutton to whom Mary Shelley is writing could be Anne Manners (1750-1822), daughter of John Manners, Marquess of Granby; or this Lady Sutton might be the second wife of Thomas Manners-Sutton, Jane Butler (1779-1846), daughter of James Butler, 9th Lord Caher and Sarah Nichols.

    In any event, Lady Sutton's family is of considerable antiquity. Her ancestors were the Lords Lexington, who took their title from a village of that name in the north of England, and one of whom served as ambassador to the Court of Turkey. Henry de Lexington, the fourth baron, died in 1257, when the title became extinct. William de Sutton came in for a considerable share of the property of this noble, and his descendant, Robert Sutton, was in 1646 created Baron Lexington of Averham. At the death of his successor in 1723, the title again became extinct, and has not since been revived. From the year 1792 until his death in 1805, Charles Manners-Sutton was Archbishop of Canterbury, and his son, who bore the same name, was for many years Speaker of the House of Commons.

    A previous owner of the letter has written lightly in pencil above the salutation, "Lady Manners Sutton", there is a horizontal and two vertical folds, a small 1" x 1.25" light stain perhaps from stamp, and about three-quarters of the letter displays age toning. The bottom right of the document was professionally repaired some time ago, after the letter had been torn. As a result, part of the "e" and the "y" in the "Shelley" signature are missing. Still, this is a rare opportunity to obtain an entire page of legible Mary Shelley handwriting in a handsome display. From the Betty Bennett Collection.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
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