New Arrival

‘far and away the most artistic thing that I ever wrote!’

Autograph Letter, signed, 7 February 1936, to Allan Ferguson, presenting a copy of: The Strange Papers of Dr. Blayre. By Christopher Blayre.

Selsey Bill, Sussex: 1936.

Price: $750.00


About the item

Ink on paper, one page, on letterhead of Large Acres, Selsey Bill, Sussex. 1 vols. 8vo. ‘far and away the most artistic thing that I ever wrote!’. Folded. Tipped to the pastedown. Letter fine. Book in original pale blue-green cloth, presentation inscription on front flyleaf, front panel of dust jacket tipped to lower pastedown. Spine faded and toned, boards faded with some mottling, very good minus.

Item #365829

Edward Heron-Allen (1861-1943), educated at Harrow, was something of a polymath. While articled in training as a London solicitor, he took up violin-making and published Violin-Making as it Was and Is (1884), lectured in England and America on palmistry, later studying Persian and translating the Rubaiyat and other works. Heron-Allen retired from the law at age 50, built a house in Sussex, formed a large books collection, and studied the coastal foraminifera. He served in British intelligence during the first world war and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society for his microscopical research.

Heron-Allen was author of a number of stories that “reflect his fascination with the borderline between science and the occult” (ODNB). The Strange Papers of Dr. Blayre (1932) collects these writings, published under the pseudonym.

In the letter presenting The Strange Papers, Heron-Allen writes to Allan Ferguson (1880-1951), physicist and professor at the University of London: “I think that ‘Purpura Lapillus’ is far and away the most artistic thing that I ever wrote! I think that ‘The Book’ runs it close, and I know that you will appreciate ‘The House on the Way to Hell.”

The Strange Papers of Dr. Blayre is inscribed: “Allan Ferguson from Christopher Blayre February 1936” and the striking illustration on the front panel of the dust jacket has been preserved.