OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES JR. - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 01/21/1898 For Sale
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OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES JR. - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 01/21/1898:
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Take a Look at This Week's Specials!CHIEF JUSTICE OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES JR. - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 01/21/1898
- HFSID 78186 OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, JR
Signed autograph letter to his English lover, Lady Clare Castletown, discussing his recent reading, and telling a joke at the expense of journalist Richard Harding Davis.
Autograph Letter signed: "Yours, OWH", 3½ pages, 8x10. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Supreme Judicial Court, Court House, Boston, 1898 January 21. To "Hibernia" (Lady Clare Castletown of County Cork, Ireland). In part: "I am thinking so much as to my chances of seeing you this summer. Your book - The Washington Ford has given a real thrill. The human mind is perfectly mechanical. Even when it feels most spontaneous. I probably have told you before, how, when I had a wound in my heel, I would see man after man as he approached irradiated with the same self-congratulatory smiles, and there would follow a reference to Achilles...I have not any serious big job at hand either of reading or writing and for the last day or two I have amused myself with 'Gossip of the Century' one of the endless number of books of this sort which give one a thin entertainment. I would rather read about D'Orsay and Ashton Smith and Robbins the saleeer than about...all the saints of the Tennyson Cult who would so have liked to be geniuses if God had made them that way...I heard a story the other day told of Richard Harding Davis (whom you met) and Gibson (the man who draws pretty girls). Probably it has been told of others. They come to a restaurant and sit down and give their order and then leave the table for a moment. On their return they find two others sitting at it. They make a row and the others are transferred to another table. After feeding, feeling ever amicable, RHD goes up to the others, hopes he has not inconvenienced them, and says 'perhaps it may interest you to know that I am Richard Harding Davis and that is Mr. Gibson. Don't mention it says the other - 'I am God and this is my son.'...." OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, JR. (1841-1935), son of the renowned poet, lived at home until he married his schoolmaster's daughter, Fanny Dixwell, in 1872. They remained married until her death in 1929. He and his wife did not have any children. In the 1890s, Holmes began an affair with a married woman, LADY CLARE CASTLETOWN. This is one of his letters to her. There are 102 letters from Holmes to Lady Clare in the Holmes papers at the Harvard Law School Library. Although the correspondence covered a period of 30 years, 86 letters were written in the three years from Holmes' first meeting in 1896 to the period surrounding his second meeting, mentioned in this letter, in 1898. Apart from a few letters in 1914 and 1916, these were the major years. He wrote 18 in 1896, 33 in 1897 and 35 in 1898, including four and a cable in June prior to his voyage. After 1898, there was a sudden drop in numbers to two for the year and then a long hiatus when no letters were sent, from that year until 1914. The letters were then resumed, but they had become more impersonal and detached. Lady Castletown died in 1925. The Holmes-Lady Castletown affair is detailed in The Grand Panjandrum: Mellow Years of Justice Holmes (University Press of America: 1988) written by former Connecticut Congressman John S. Monagan. Holmes was appointed in 1882 to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, becoming Chief Justice in 1899. Appointed by Theodore Roosevelt in 1902, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. served as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court until he retired at age 90 in 1932. Richard Harding Davis, war correspondent and managing editor of Harper's Weekly, was said to be the model for the "Gibson Man," artist Charles Dana Gibson's dashing male figure in the popular Gibson Girls illustrations. Folds. Lightly soiled and creased. Light ink show-through.
See more material from these signers:CHIEF JUSTICE OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES JR. See more listings in our SUPREME COURT (544) category.
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