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    Sir Walter Scott Autograph Letter Signed "God Bless you my good friend, Walter Scott". Three pages, 7.75" x 10", November 28, 1825, Edinburgh. Scott writes this letter to English poet Robert Southey concerning changes in the editorship at the Quarterly Review. In part: "Whatever you may have to complain of with respect to Murray's conduct, was totally unknown to me. till the middle or rather the end of October, I had no more idea of Lockhart's being manager of the Quarterly than of my being to-night on the top of Skiddaw. Neither do I know at this moment with whom the plan originated, or how many or how few of those connected with the Review were concerned. Indeed, I neither wrote nor spoke to any friend that I have in the world on the subject, until I wrote on the same day to Heber and yourself - to both my old friends, and literary men, and to you as a most valuable contributor to the work. . . . In respect to Mr. Coleridge, nothing would give me more pain than the idea that either Lockhart or I were edging him out of a lucrative and honourable situation. The situation was offered to Lockhart by Mr. Murray as open and disengaged; he put the question whether Mr. Coleridge's retiring was a thing determined on, and he received a positive answer in the affirmative. He had no access to Mr. Coleridge personally, but never doubted that a full explanation had taken place between Mr. Murray and him. The first question I asked was concerning Mr. Coleridge's connection with the Review, and I was assured it terminated with the new year's commencement. An accident would have confirmed me in this belief had I doubted it for a moment. Lord Giffored, in my house, and in conversation, mentioned Mr. Coleridge's prospects of rising at the bar, and his Lordship expressed a regret that his management of the Quarterly was like to interfere with them. This seemed perfectly to explain why the situation was open. . . . It requires some time to know John Lockhart, and you have been accustomed to associate his name with disagreeable matters. But when you do know him, remember I tell you beforehand, you will like him. If I had not occasion to know him to be both safe, well-tempered, and competent, with a high feeling of honour and public principle, I would rather put my hand in the fire than accept of your generous offer to continue on my account your support to the work which he must in future manage. I shall mention to him when he comes to town this week, that although you are not satisfied with the manner in which the change of Editorship has been intimated to you, yet in consideration of our old friendship, you are not disposed to withdraw from the work an assistance which I know Lockhart will highly appreciate."

    The Quarterly Review, founded in 1809 by John Murray, was going through a change in editor at the time Sir Walter (1771-1832) wrote this letter, a change which worried Robert Southey (1774-1843). This letter was written in part to soothe Southey's concerns. The Review, a political and literary periodical with such notable contributors as Scott, Southey, and Charles Lamb, had just assigned John Gibson Lockhart to replace John Taylor Coleridge, an English judge who had served as editor for less than a year. Lockhart, who would serve as the Review editor until 1853, later wrote a notable biography on the life of Sir Walter in the 1830s. This letter is mildly soiled and age toned. Page three, which has been framed in archival paper with verso visible, contains a "v" cut along the right edge. The verso of page three contains the address, postmark, and red wax seal. This letter offers interesting insight on the early nineteenth century English literary scene; very good.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
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    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
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