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The Life and Letters of William Sharp and “Fiona Macleod”. Volume 1

 | 
William Sharp
, 
Fiona Macleod

Chapter Five

Texte intégral

Life: 1889

1The high point of 1889 for Sharp was his first visit, in late summer, to Canada and the United States. His interest in North America increased as he edited in early 1889 a collection of American sonnets for Scott’s Canterbury Poets, and he came to view the States as a market for his work. In January, he offered the Century Publishing Company in New York the American rights to Children of Tomorrow, which was scheduled for British publication by Chatto & Windus in April. Also in January, he proposed two articles for publication in Lippincott’s Magazine in Philadelphia. In the spring, he thanked Thomas Wentworth Higginson, the American man of letters and friend of Emily Dickinson, for a book of poetry and said he would try to mention it favorably in print. He told Higginson, who planned to be in London shortly, that he would hold a copy of American Sonnets to present in person. In July, he sent copies to Frank Dempster Sherman and Clinton Scollard, both represented in the anthology. The accompanying letters praised their poems and expressed his hope to meet them in the fall when he planned “to pay a short visit to E. C. Stedman and one or two other friends in New York.”

2A New York banker and a poet, anthologist, and critic, Stedman was the most powerful literary figure in the United States. He exerted substantial influence over publishers and editors in New York, which had supplanted Boston as the literary center of the country. Sharp could not have chosen a better advocate in the American publishing world. His contacts with Stedman began in the fall of 1887 when he wrote to say he was a Scotsman, not a “Colonial.” Relying on the Australian poems in Sharp’s The Human Inheritance, Stedman had placed him among the colonial writers in an article on the younger British poets in the October issue of the Century Magazine. “Since you are so kindly going to do me the honour of mention in your forthcoming supplementary work,” Sharp wrote, “I should not like to be misrepresented” (Sharp letter to Stedman, 7/22/82). Sharp knew the Century article was to become a supplementary chapter on younger British poets in the thirteenth (Jubilee) edition of Stedman’s groundbreaking study of Victorian Poets first published in 1875. Stedman replied warmly: “Something in your work made me suspect that, despite your Australian tone, etc., you did not hail (as we Yankees say) from the Colonies. So you will find in my new vol. of Victorian Poets that I do not place you with the Colonial poets, but just preceding them, and I have a reference to your Rossetti volume” (Memoir 129).

Fig. 8. An 1897 photograph of Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833–1908), an American poet, critic, essayist, banker, and scientist.
Wikimedia, https://commons.wikimedia.org/​wiki/​File:Edmund_Clarence_Stedman_cph.3a44372.jpg

3This exchange, Elizabeth Sharp noted, “led to a life-long friendship” with Stedman who had “so genial a nature that, on becoming personally acquainted in New York two years later, the older poet declared he had adopted the younger man from across the seas as his ‘English son’” (Memoir 129). That offhand comment contains an important insight. Sharp’s father, who disapproved of his son’s interest in literature and his desire to become a writer, died when Sharp was twenty-one. From that point forward, he sought out older literary men, worked to gain their friendship and approval, and depended on them for advancement, not an unusual pattern for young people making their way in the world. The list of such men in Sharp’s life – Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Addington Symonds, Walter Pater, George Meredith, to name only a few of the most prominent – is unusually long, and the son/father trope pervades his correspondence with them. Of all these, his relationship with Stedman, conducted mainly through trans-Atlantic correspondence, was the most intense and long-lasting. After their initial meeting in 1889, when Sharp stayed with Stedman and his wife Laura in New York, Sharp’s letters became increasingly familiar until Stedman began to function as both a father confessor and a trusted comrade. The first of the surviving letters among the Stedman papers at Columbia University dates from the summer of 1889, shortly before Sharp left for North America. Excepting the short quotation from an 1887 letter that Elizabeth Sharp included in her Memoir, earlier correspondence between the two men has not surfaced. Sharp surely corresponded with Stedman in 1888 as he prepared his anthology of American Sonnets. His dedication of that volume to Stedman – “the Foremost American Critic” – was an expression of gratitude for Stedman’s help in choosing the poets and poems for the volume.

4In a February 16 letter, Sharp told Theodore Watts [later Watts-Dunton] he was staying for a fortnight or more with his friend Sir George Douglas at his estate near Kelso. He was working hard and enjoying the “beautiful old place – near the junction of the Teviot and the Tweed, both of which flow through D.’s property. The Teviot is but 200 yards from my window, and some 300 yards away is the picturesque mound-set ruin of the ancient Roxburghe Castle. Last night I fell asleep to the hooting of the owls blended with the brawling undertone of the Teviot.” The main purpose of the letter was to inform Watts, poetry editor of The Athenaeum, that the second edition of his Romantic Ballads and Poems of Phantasy containing “many important alterations” and a new poem would be published the following week. When the first edition appeared the previous May, he sent Watts a copy and spelled out what he would like to see in a review of the book while telling Watts he did not expect him – given their friendship – to write the review. Now he told Watts he was “a little hurt” that MacColl had not printed a review. He had also been disturbed by some negative remarks Watts reportedly made, but he had chalked that up to “misapprehension” and refused to let it interfere with their friendship. Now he asked Watts, if not inconvenient or disagreeable, to send Norman MacColl, editor of The Athenaeum, a paragraph simply announcing the second edition with alterations and additions. The appearance of such a paragraph in the prestigious Athenaeum would help the book’s sales.

5Sharp began his February 16 letter to Watts by asking what he thought of Hall Caine’s new play. “From what I hear privately (from my wife, Cotton, and others) I gather that it is a very third-rate affair though with some strong melodramatic situations.” Caine’s “Good Old Times” which had recently opened in London’s Princess Theatre was drawing enthusiastic crowds and generating a good deal of money. Sharp and his host George Douglas had little regard for William Barrett, who produced the play and acted in it. They thought Caine should be turning his attention to more serious and consequential fiction and drama. On March 4, back in London, Sharp expressed their concern in a letter to Caine. He was delighted to hear of the play’s financial success,

… though I honestly admit that you, with your high abilities, should be working at more enduring stuff than ordinary melodrama. We need a true dramatic writer, and you have it in you to be the man – but! I have your reputation so truly to heart that what you yourself say is good news to me. Still, it is always something to have achieved so great a financial success in these difficult days – though the financial aspect, with a man like you, ought to be – and in your case is – of secondary import… Douglas [Sir George] believes in you – but dislikes what he calls Wilson Barrettish melodrama: and he expressed an earnest hope the other day that your next play would be, in truth, a big thing. I’m delighted to hear what you say about your prospective novel and play.

6In mid-month, he would try to get down to Bexley, then a village where Caine was living and now a Borough of Greater London, to talk about that and other matters. He hoped Caine, should he be in town the following Saturday, would find his way out to Wescam, the Sharp’s home in South Hampstead, for a party: “Some seventy to eighty literary and artistic friends have been asked – and probably somewhere about 40 or 50 will come.” Those numbers demonstrate the extent to which he and Elizabeth had immersed themselves in London’s literary society.

7Concern about Caine’s work took a back seat in mid-month when Sharp decided to stand for election to the Chair of Literature at University College, London. The Chair was vacant following the retirement of Henry Morley (1822–1894), one of the first Professors of English Literature and a dynamic lecturer who had occupied the chair since 1865. Sharp requested and received supporting letters from Caine, Edward Dowden, and Richard Garnett, and, according to Elizabeth, his candidacy was also supported by Robert Browning, George Meredith, Walter Pater, Theodore Watts, Alfred Austen, Professor Minto, Sir George Douglas, Aubrey De Vere, and Mrs. Augusta Webster. That he sought this post despite having spent only two years studying literature at Glasgow University reflects the self-confidence he gained through his reading, editing, and reviewing. The list of his supporters reflects the extent to which his work and his forceful personality had penetrated and gained the respect of fellow authors. Despite the support of these literary luminaries and the prestige and security the post would bring, Sharp withdrew from consideration when, again according to Elizabeth, his doctor advised his heart might not withstand the strain. Whatever the reason, he was greatly relieved when he was left “in possession of his freedom.” For all his gregariousness, Sharp became agitated whenever he was asked to give a formal lecture or even speak informally before an audience. Realizing this deficiency and concerned about the condition of his heart, his doctors continued to advise against lecturing. As Professor of English at University College, he would not have been able to replicate Morley’s dynamic lecturing and vast knowledge.

8On May 5, the Sharps left London to review the Salon in Paris. On the 9th, Sharp wrote to thank Richard Le Gallienne for his second book of poetry, Volumes in Folio, which he declared he would read with interest when he returned to London in a week or so. In the letter accompanying the volume, which was forwarded to Paris, Le Gallienne said he was planning to accompany the actor Wilson Barret, for whom he served as secretary, on his tour of America in October. Setting aside his opinion of Barret, Sharp told Le Gallienne he would also be there in October and suggested they meet. As it turned out, an attack of asthma prevented Le Gallienne from traveling. On the 10th, Elizabeth sent a short review of the sculpture exhibited in the Salon to James Mavor who printed it without attribution following her husband’s unsigned review of the Salon’s paintings in the June number of The Scottish Art Review. The Sharps left Paris on May 11 to spend a week or so in the countryside. When they returned to London, Sharp asked James Mavor when he needed the manuscript for Pt. I of H. P. Siwäarmill’s “Emilia Viviana” which Mavor had agreed to publish in the July number of the review. In a postscript, he asked Mavor to be sure and preserve the secret of his identity with Siwaarmill. He had used H. P. Siwaarmill, an anagram of William Sharp, for epigraphs in his Romantic Ballads and Poems of Fantasy in 1888 and again for bits of supposed wisdom in Children of Tomorrow which was published on May 10 while the Sharps were in Paris. The pseudonym demonstrates his predilection – well before he created Fiona Macleod – for disguising his true identity. There is no sign of “Emilia Viviana” in the Review which means Sharp failed to produce it – most likely – or Mavor decided not to print it.

9In a mid-July letter to Louise Chandler Moulton, Sharp said he was pleased she had found something attractive in Children of Tomorrow, which had been “badly received by the press.” He was

vain enough to believe that with all its faults & demerits it is not altogether a book of “today”. I have written it as an artist – and someday, if not now, it will gain its measure of recognition. At the same time, it is only a tentative effort, or a herald rather, of a new movement. I see the Athenaeum of today passes it by with “damning indifference” – and, on the other hand, Public Opinion has a long & sympathetic (tho’ fault-finding) review beginning “a remarkable book by a remarkable man”.

10His friend James Mavor printed a carefully worded notice in the June issue of The Scottish Art Review. He recognized the novel’s effort to portray in prose fiction the manifesto of the new Romantic School, whose advent Sharp had forecast in his introduction to Romantic Ballads. For that reason, the novel was interesting in itself and, in an ambiguous phrase, “of no ordinary interest in the history of current literature.” In portraying the complications of two married couples falling in love with each other’s spouses, Sharp had constructed a “powerful drama of passion and destiny.” For the details and “for information regarding the sect called Children of Tomorrow,” Mavor referred “readers to the book itself.” Despite his reservations, Mavor found a way to accommodate Sharp’s request for a notice while preserving their friendship.

11The “book itself” was quite remarkable for its time. It went even further than Sharp’s friend Mona Caird in critiquing the restraints of marriage. The “Children of Tomorrow” would be free to realize their potential and preserve their sanity by developing “romantic” relationships outside the bonds of marriage. Sharp would soon find cause to join those children, but the novel predicted a future of free love that neither reviewers nor readers could sanction. Despite their response, Sharp believed the novel would be recognized in time as a herald of things to come. The strict bonds of marriage surely relaxed as the twentieth century unfolded, but the density and excesses of Children of Tomorrow and the dark improbabilities of its action render it even less readable today than when it appeared.

12Sharp’s plans for North America crystallized during the summer. Mona Caird asked Elizabeth to accompany her to Austria for “the Suncure at Valdes in the Carpathian mountains,” and they left in mid-July (Memoir 149–50). William went down to Box Hill to spend a few days with George Meredith. His health had not been good, and his doctor had prohibited him from lecturing during his trip to America. On July 27, he told Stedman he had been staying with Meredith in Surrey and was now feeling much better; he had “regained [his] power to sleep,” and it would be good “to get away, and to see no proofs, letters, or MSS for ten days at least.” Of the American trip, Elizabeth wrote, “going by himself seemed to promise chances of complete recovery of health; the unexplored and the unknown beckoned to him with promise of excitement and adventure” (Memoir 150). There is no mention of illhealth during his tour of Northeastern Canada where he stopped on his way to Boston and New York, despite the rough conditions he encountered while exploring wilderness areas. Elizabeth’s comments are the first indication the Sharps’ marriage had begun to inflict strains that intensified and prolonged their frequent bouts of ill-health.

13Word of Sharp’s reputation had made its way across the Atlantic where, in August and September, he was warmly welcomed, first in Canada and then in the United States. Stedman’s sponsorship paved the way, but Canadian and American editors and writers were familiar with Sharp’s Rossetti book, his two books of poetry, his editing and writing for the Walter Scott firm, and his articles in British journals. Their desire to strengthen contacts with London’s literary establishment – augmented by Sharp’s handsome appearance and Scottish charm – resulted in his treatment as a celebrity by prominent literary figures in Canada, Boston, and New York.

14Sharp chronicled his North American trip, as he had his 1884 Italian trip, in a series of letters to Elizabeth. The portions she printed in the Memoir enable us to follow the course of his visit. Charles G. D. Roberts – a well-known poet and a Professor of English Literature at King’s College in Windsor, Nova Scotia – met him when he arrived in Halifax. In a letter to Stedman on August 17, he said he was leaving at once on a trip to Prince Edward Island and elsewhere with Roberts, Bliss Carman – Roberts’ brother-in-law and an aspiring poet and editor – and James Longley, the Attorney General of Canada. He expected to be back in Windsor on August 25 or 26, and he planned to reach New York in early October where he would stay with the Stedmans. After returning from what turned out to be an extensive excursion with Roberts, he described it enthusiastically for Elizabeth:

Prof. Roberts and I, accompanied for the first 100 miles by Mr. Longley, started for Pictou, which we reached after 5 hours most interesting journey. The Attorney General has kindly asked me to go on a three days’ trip with him (some 10 days hence) through the famous Cape Breton district, with the lovely Bras D’Or lakes: and later on he has arranged for a three days’ moose-hunt among the forests of Southern Acadia, where we shall camp out in tents, and be rowed by Indian guides.… I went with Charles Roberts and Bliss Carman through Evangeline’s country. En route I traveled on the engine of the train and enjoyed the experience. Grand Pré delighted me immensely – vast meadows, with lumbering wains and the simple old Acadian life. The orchards were in their glory – and the apples delicious! At one farmhouse we put up, how you would have enjoyed our lunch of sweet milk, hot cakes, great bowls of huckleberries and cream, tea, apples, etc. ! We then went through the forest belt and came upon the great ocean inlet known as the ‘Basin of Minas’, and, leagues away the vast bulk of Blomidon shelving bough-like into the Sea.…

15The trip with Roberts was only the first of many auspicious occasions during his remaining four weeks in Canada. In Halifax, he stayed with the family of Attorney General Longley who took him on the two excursions and introduced him to many of the “leading people.”

16On September 12, his birthday, he told Elizabeth he was now alone for the first time. There was nothing definite about him in the newspapers “save that I ‘abruptly left St. John’ (the capital of New Brunswick) and that I am to arrive in Quebec tomorrow.” He was glad to leave New Brunswick with its “oven-like heat,” endless forests of living and dead trees, and forest fires that nearly scorched him. After reaching the St. Lawrence River he “made a side excursion up the Saguenay River for 100 miles to Ha! Ha! Bay before proceeding up the St. Lawrence” to Quebec where he was the guest of George Stewart, editor of the Daily Chronicle. On September 16 he traveled further up the St. Lawrence to Montreal. From there he wrote to ask Joel Asaph Allen, the father of his London friend Grant Allen, if he could visit him on September 21 at Alwington, an area of Kingston, Ontario and the name of the house where Allen lived. He may not have made it to Alwington as he wrote again to Stedman on the 17th to say he was leaving Montreal for Boston on the 22nd and hoped to reach New York on the 24th where he would spend 12 or 14 days before sailing home on October 6 or 8. Stedman expressed some annoyance at Sharp’s “bewildering changes of plans” as he wanted to settle his plans for the fall. Sharp apologized in a letter of September 22 and asked Stedman to say when he wanted Sharp to stay with him and for how long. He had other friends in New York and would probably have to advance his date for sailing home.

17On Friday, September 22 Sharp went “through the States of Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts” to Boston where he spent the weekend with Arthur Sherburne Hardy (1847–1930), a well-known engineer, novelist, poet, and Professor of Mathematics at Dartmouth College. Boston was “a beautiful place – an exceedingly fine city with lovely environs” (Memoir 153). Hardy introduced Sharp to members of the Harvard faculty and took him to Belmont to visit the novelist W. D. Howells whom he had met in Italy in 1883. Sharp finally arrived in New York on September 25 where the Stedmans’ house became his base for ten days. He spent the weekend of September 28 with Henry Mills Alden (editor of Harper’s Magazine) and his family in Metuchen, New Jersey. In the city, he met Richard Watson Gilder, editor of the Century Magazine; Henry Chandler Bowen, editor of The Independent; and – among others – Richard Henry Stoddart, whom he christened the “father” of recent American letters. He was elected an honorary member of the “two most exclusive clubs” in N.Y. – the Century and the Players – and he attended a special meeting at the Author’s Club where he was “guest of the evening.” Before sailing from New York on October 4, he left instructions with a florist to deliver on Stedman’s birthday (October 6) both a bouquet and a letter, which was the first of many annual birthday letters to Stedman. During the seven weeks of his Canadian and American visit Sharp was entertained, feted, and through the good offices of Stedman introduced to editors of the prominent literary journals.

18In a letter on October 1 from New York, Sharp told Elizabeth about a couple he met in New York: Thomas Allibone Janvier – a journalist and native of New Orleans – and his wife Catherine Ann Janvier, a member of the prominent Drinker family of Philadelphia and an aunt of the twentieth-century novelist Catherine Drinker Bowen. “They are true Bohemians and most delightful,” Sharp wrote, “He is a writer and she an artist…. We dined together at a Cuban Cafe last night. He gave me his vol. of stories called “Colour Studies” and she a little sketch of a Mexican haunted house – both addressed to “William Sharp. Recuerdo di Amistad y carimo.” Soon the Janviers began stopping in London on their way to and from southern France where they spent winters. They became fast friends of the Sharps who, in turn, visited them often in Southern France. Catherine and William developed a special bond. She would be the first non-family member to recognize the writings of Fiona Macleod as the work of William Sharp.

19Sharp landed in Liverpool in mid-October and went on to Germany at the end of the month to meet Elizabeth and accompany her home. Buoyed by his reception in Canada and the United States, he set to work with renewed vigor. Following Robert Browning’s death in Venice on December 12, Sharp wrote a long elegiac poem that appeared in the February 1890 number of The Art Review, and he began a biographical/critical study for the Great Writers Series. He also began a series of prose “Imaginary Journals” modeled after Browning’s dramatic monologues in poetry. One of the projected stories was to be called “The Crime of Andrea dal Castagno” which Sharp described as “A fragment from the Journal of this murderer painter and successful hypocrite, written not long before his death.” He described his plans for the “Imaginary Journals” in a December 18 letter to Richard Watson Gilder, who decided against publishing them. One – “Fragments from the Lost Journal of Piero di Cosimo” – saw the light of day in the January and April 1890 numbers of The Art Review, a short-lived successor to The Scottish Art Review. When he heard Sharp had begun a book on Browning, Oscar Wilde reportedly remarked, recalling the Rossetti books, “When a great man dies, Sharp and Caine go in with the undertaker.”

Letters: 1889

To the Century Publishing Company,1 January 11, 1889

  • 1 This letter is included in a collection of letters to Richard Watson Gilder (1844–1909), who edite (...)

20Wescam | Goldhurst Terrace | So. Hampstead | London, N.W. | 11:1:89

21Dear Sirs

  • 2 The novel was published as Children of Tomorrow: A Romance (London: Chatto & Windus) in April 1889 (...)

22I write to ask if you would care to purchase the American rights of a one-volume novel by me.2 It is to be published by Messrs. Chatto & Windus in the late Spring (probably about the end of April). That firm commissioned the book, on what I consider very good terms, without having seen a page of it or even knowing its plot, or what it is about. They only know that it is a romance upon which I have expended great care, and for which I hope much.

23Its present name, and the name I prefer, is Sanpriel (from the name of the heroine), but as Messrs. Chatto & Windus seem to think that a more attractive title to the general reader would be better. I think of calling it The Labyrinth of Love.

24To a certain extent it is a romance of artistic life, but its main motive is the inexorableness, what Guy de Maupassant calls the brutality and indifference, of Fate; and, over and above this, the tragic play of the passions in two fine natures. Sanpriel herself is racially of the Jewish people (not religiously), and the central idea is the struggle on her part between the Judaic passion and an overpowering love, a love that involves sacrifice of everything save love’s own reward. The close of the book is, so far as I am aware, unlike anything narrated in English fiction.

25I have to deliver the completed MS by the middle of March at latest. I am not willing to arrange about stereos, for reasons into which I need not enter, but if you entertain my proposal and your terms seem to me reasonable I shall send a type-written copy of my MS to you for publication very nearly contemporaneously with the English edition, though of course the latter, for copyright purposes, must have nominal precedence.

  • 3 A letter Sharp wrote to the Roberts Brothers Publishing Company in Boston has nearly identical wor (...)

26It is only fair to add that I have written by this mail to two other American houses with a similar proposal.3 Requesting the favour of a reply at your early convenience, by return if practical.

27I am, Gentlemen, | Yours faithfully, | William Sharp

28Author of “Life of Heine”: “Monograph on Shelley”: “Rossetti: A Record and a Study”: “Earth’s Voices: Sospitra etc.”: “Romantic Ballads”: “The Sport of Chance”: and three serial romances. Editor of “Sonnets of This Century”, etc. etc.

29P.S. I forgot to say that the book will not be a long one – about 250 pp, widely leaded.

30ALS New York Public Library, Berg Collection

To the Editor of Lippincott’s4 Magazine, January 26, 1889

  • 4 James Marshall Stoddart (1845–1921), who Sharp met when he visited Philadelphia in 1892, began edi (...)

31Wescam | Goldhurst Terrace | So. Hampstead | London N.W. | 1/26/89

32Dear Sir

33Would you care to have an article from my pen upon

34(1) Two New English Poets (W. E. Henley and Mathilde Blind)

35(2) The Prose Writing of William Morris.

36I daresay my name as poet and critic is known to you, and will be sufficient guarantee.

37Lippincott’s is the only American magazine I take in regularly: as apart from the [function?] of illustration, I find it the most generally interesting, hence my wish to be one of your contributors.

38Yours faithfully | William Sharp

39Author of “Life of Heine”, “Romantic Ballads”, etc. etc. etc.

40Editor of “Sonnets of This Century”

41If your reply be in the affirmative, please state when the MS would be wanted, and maximum length.

42ALS State University of New York at Buffalo

To Mrs. David Octavius Hill, [late January, 1889]

43Wescam | Goldhurst Terrace | South Hampstead | N.W.

44My dear Mrs. Hill

  • 5 Sir George Brisbane Douglas (1856–1935), a Baronet, was a Scottish poet and a lecturer. Educated a (...)

45This is a line to introduce to you my friend Sir George Douglas,5 who is anxious to make your acquaintance. He is not only a lover of art and literature, but himself a poet and author, and I know that you will find much in common.

  • 6 Mrs. Hill was the sister of Sir Noel Paton. See note to Sharp’s letter to D. G. Rossetti of Septem (...)

46I am going to stay with him (near Kelso) in the latter part of February, and hope, when passing through Edinburgh from St. Andrews (whither I am going on Monday or Tuesday next) to look in upon you. I was very sorry to hear about the Patons’6 fresh troubles – how unfortunate they are.

47Lillie joins with me in love.

48Ever your affectionate friend | William Sharp

49ALS New York Public Library, Berg Collection

To James Mavor,7 [February 8, 1889]

  • 7 James Mavor (1854–1925) was a social activist who lived in Glasgow and participated in several soc (...)

50Friday

51My dear Mavor,

52Are you to be in Edinburgh next week?

53I expect to be there all the week, (& to arrive on Monday evening next). If so, perhaps we could arrange to meet.

54My address will be | 2 Coltbridge Terrace | Murrayfield | Edinburgh

55Yours in haste | William Sharp

56ALS University of Toronto

To James Mavor, [February 10, 1889]

57The Marine Hill | St. Andrews | Sunday

58Dear Mr. Mavor

  • 8 A letter to Elizabeth Sharp from Mrs. Hill dated February 4, 1889 indicates she was sculpting a me (...)
  • 9 Sir Patrick Geddes (1854–1932) was a man of many talents and interests. He established the Outlook (...)

59I gather from your kind note that you took the trouble to call at the Central to enquire for my lost “Lareg”. Many thanks for your courtesy. I wrote to the Manager, and he forwarded it on to me. (Better luck than I deserved, you will doubtless think). I return to Edinburgh on Tuesday night. On Wednesday afternoon, unfortunately, I am engaged to “sit” to Mrs. D. O. Hill from 3 till 4:30 – and at 4:30 some friends are to drop in to meet me.8 So, I am sorry to say, I shall be unable to look up Mr. Geddes9 when you are with him. (Before 3, I am engaged).

  • 10 T. C. Martin, unknown friend of Mavor, perhaps the editor of The Leader.
  • 11 Phoebe Anna Traquair (1852–1936), an illustrator, painter and embroiderer, was a prominent member (...)

60How long are you to be in Edinburgh? I wish you could give me the pleasure of dining with me. Could you and your friend Mr. T. C. Martin dine with me at 7?10 (I understand that the Waterloo Hotel is one of the best places to dine with me at, but as I know nothing of it, it would be best to arrange to meet at the portico of the General Post Office a couple of minutes or so before 7). Failing your being able to do this could you look in at Mrs. D. O. Hill’s about 5 o’clock. You would probably meet Sir Noel Paton, Mrs. Traquair, Joseph Thomson (the explorer), J. M. Gray, & one or two others there – and Mrs. Hill would give you a hearty welcome.11 Her address is Newington Lodge, Mayfield Terrace. Take the Powburn car from The Post-Office, and ask to be put down at the opening for Mayfield Terrace. Mrs. Hill’s house is the last on the right, at the gates opening upon Dalkeith Road.

61Does Mr. Martin reside in Glasgow or Edinburgh, & what is the Leader address? If in Edinburgh, I might call on him. I am indebted to you for your suggestion and friendly offices, and like the idea.

62Please drop me a line by return to 2 Coltbridge Terrace | Murrayfield | Edinburgh

63Yours sincerely | William Sharp

64I cannot attempt anything of the kind for several weeks at earliest – but how would Théophile Gautier do to start the “Villon series”? His personality and such books as his “Mlle de Maupin” and “Emaux at Canées” would give satisfactory scope.

65ALS University of Toronto Library

To Theodore Watts, February 16, 1889

66Sir George Douglas, Bart | Springwood Park | Kelso, N. B | 16/2/89

67My dear Watts

  • 12 Hall Caine’s The Good Old Times was produced by Wilson Barrett at the Princess’s Theatre in Oxford (...)

68What do you think of Caine’s new play? From what I hear privately (from my wife, Cotton, and others) I gather that it is a very third-rate affair though with some strong melodramatic situations. I am sorry he should have Barrett12 for a collaborateur as I am convinced the man has little in him.

  • 13 Sharp’s third volume of poems, Romantic Ballads and Poems of Phantasy, was published by the Walter (...)

69I have left the coast and am now staying with my friend Douglas for a fortnight or more, where I am working hard. This is a beautiful old place – near the junction of the Teviot and the Tweed, both of which flow through D’.s property. The Teviot is but 200 yards from my window, and some 300 yards away is the picturesque mound-set ruin of the ancient Roxburghe Castle. Last night I fell asleep to the hooting of the owls blended with the brawling undertone of the Teviot. I hope you are well and hard at work. The second edition of my “Romantic Ballads” will be out next week.13

70The prefatory remarks have been considerably added to: and there are many important alterations in the rest of the poems, besides the inclusion of a new poem, a short one-page lyrical piece called “The Isle of Lost Dreams”. “The Death-Child” and the last verse of “Michael Scott” (Part I) have, in particular, been improved. I do not know how the book has been got up, as it is the publisher’s affair and not mine.

  • 14 Norman MacColl (1843–1904) a native of Edinburgh, was a graduate of Downing College, Cambridge, wh (...)

71I am a little hurt (after what he wrote to me) that MacColl14 has not printed a review of it. It was published ten months ago, and other vols. of verse, Mary Robinson’s, Henley’s etc., which had subsequently appeared, were all reviewed ere the summer was over. However, it does not much matter.

72Let me take this opportunity of saying that I do not expect you now or at any time to exert yourself about anything of mine. Your remarks about me and your reviewing of me duly came round to me – and I should be distressed if you should feel our friendship to involve any bond, however informulate. I think you were unjust in your remarks about me, but through misapprehension, I feel well assured, and from no other cause – and so I dismissed the matter from my mind, after the first surprise and chagrin. Friendship would be worthless indeed if it could not stand save on a “reviewing” basis.

73But as a paragraph is sometimes helpful and does not involve any expression of opinion, perhaps you could kindly send a para to MacColl saying that the second edition of my Romantic Ballads & Poems of Phantasy, with some alterations and additions will be issued shortly (week after next at latest) by Walter Scott. But just if not either in the least inconvenient or disagreeable to you.

74I hope to see you again when I return in March. I have felt for some time as if something were coming between us, and for this I should be very sorry.

75Yours affectionately | William Sharp

76ALS University of Leeds, Brotherton Library

To Hall Caine, [March 4, 1889]15

  • 15 This incomplete letter is reproduced from a transcription/summary made by a staff member at the Ma (...)
  • 16 Sharp is referring to Caine’s play Good Old Times, which was running in London.
  • 17 The Manx’s transcribed summary indicates this is Douglas Sladen, but Sharp was surely referring to (...)
  • 18 “Barrett’s features were cast in a classic mould and his presence was manly and graceful. Hence hi (...)

77… I am delighted to hear it16 is such a financial success though I honestly admit that you, with your high abilities, should be working at more enduring stuff than ordinary melodrama. We need a true dramatic writer, and you have it in you to be the man – but! I have your reputation so truly to heart that what you yourself say is good news to me. Still, it is always something to have achieved so great a financial success in these difficult days – though the financial aspect, with a man like you, ought to be – and in your case is – of secondary import… Douglas17 believes in you – but dislikes what he calls Wilson Barrettish18 melodrama: and he expressed an earnest hope the other day that your next play would be, in truth, a big thing. I’m delighted to hear what you say about your prospective novel and play. Some day after the middle of March I’ll run down to Bexley, and have a chat over these and other matters. If you are to be in town next Saturday afternoon you might be able to find your way out here. Some seventy to eighty literary and artistic friends have been asked – and probably somewhere about 40 or 50 will come. If you can come you will be welcome…

78ALS Manx Museum, Isle of Man

To [James Mavor19], [mid-March, 1889]

  • 19 Although lacking a salutation, this letter is from the Mavor Collection in the University of Toron (...)
  • 20 Henry Muhrman, an important impressionist painter best known as a watercolorist, was born in Cinci (...)

79… the Muhrmann20 article & what length & what illustrations are to be in it.

80She had so set her heart upon getting regular art-criticism (of contemporary art) to do, that she has let her feelings carry her away.

81Overlook it, like a good fellow.

  • 21 This reference dates the fragment as sometime in March 1889.

82Have you made up your April poetry-sheet yet? If not, would you care for the enclosed song? If you don’t care about it, let me know. If, however, you like it, it would be of no use to you, I fear, unless pubd. in April number, for it appears in my romance “Children of Tomorrow” (Sanpriel) which Chatto & Windus will publish somewhere about April 20th.21

83Don’t forget you are pledged to stay with us when you run up to town – & come soon.

84Your friend | William Sharp

85ALS (Fragment) University of Toronto

To Edward Dowden, [March 18, 1889]22

  • 22 Date from postmark on envelope. Sharp became a candidate for this position in the spring of 1889, (...)

86Wescam, | 17A, Goldhurst Terrace, | South Hampstead. | N.W.

87My dear Dowden,

88I am writing to ask you if you will do me the great favour, if you conscientiously can, of a testimonial as to my fitness in your opinion for the post of Professor of English Literature. I am a Candidate for the Chair at London University which Prof. Henry Morley has just resigned.

89Excuse such a succinct note, but there is very little time for the obtaining and remission of Testimonials. It is as a literary man, and as one who has also been much engaged in what may fairly be called educational literature (General Editor “The Canterbury Poets”, Editor of the “Literary Olympic” in Young Folks Paper – a periodical which circulates over quarter of a million weekly – Editor of “Sonnets of This Century”, now in its 30th thousand, etc. etc). that I mainly base my claim, though my philological studies will no doubt stand me in good stead.

90It will materially add to my indebtedness if you will let me hear from you at your earliest convenience.

91Sincerely yours | William Sharp

92ALS Trinity College Dublin

To Hall Caine, March 19, 1889

93Wescam | 17a Goldhurst Terrace | South Hampstead | N.W.

94My dear Caine

95I am writing to ask you to do me the great favour, if you conscientiously can, of a Testimonial as to my fitness in your opinion for the post of Professor of English Literature. I am a candidate for the Chair at London University which Prof Henry Morley has just resigned.

96Excuse much a succinct note, but there is very little time for the obtaining and remission of Testimonials. It is as a literary man, and as one who has also been much engaged in what may fairly be termed educational literature (General Editor “The Canterbury Poets” – Editor of the “Literary Olympic” in the Young Folk’s Paper – a periodical which circulates over quarter of a million weekly – Editor of “Sonnets of This Century”, now in its 30th thousand, etc., etc). that I mainly base my claim, though my philological studies will no doubt stand me in good stead.

97You will naturally add to my indebtedness if you will let me hear from you at your earliest convenience.

98Sincerely yours | William Sharp

99ALS Manx Museum, Isle of Man

To Richard Garnett, [mid-March, 1889]

100Wescam. | 17A. Goldhurst Terrace. | South Hampstead. | N.W.

101Dear Garnett

102I am writing to ask you if you will do me the great favour, if you conscientiously can, of a testimonial as to my fitness in your opinion for the post of Professor of English Literature. I am a candidate for the Chair at London University which Mr. Henry Morley had just resigned.

103Excuse such a succinct note, but there is very little time for the obtaining and remission of Testimonials. It is as a literary man, and as one who has also been much engaged on what may fairly be called Educational Literature (General Editor “The Canterbury Poets” – Editor of the “Literary Olympic” in Young Folk’s Paper – a periodical which circulates over a quarter of a million weekly – Editor of “Sonnets of this Century”, now in its 30th thousand, etc. etc). that I mainly base my claim, though my philosophical studies will no doubt stand me in good stead.

104It will materially add to my indebtedness if you will let me hear from you at your earliest convenience.

105Sincerely yours | William Sharp

106ALS University of Texas at Austin

To Thomas Wentworth Higginson,23 [April, 1889]

  • 23 Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823–1911) was a New England essayist, poet, biographer, historian, Un (...)

107Wescam | l7A Goldhurst Terrace | South Hampstead

108My dear Sir

  • 24 The Afternoon Landscape: Poems and Translations (1889).

109I am much obliged to you for kindly sending me your charming “Afternoon Landscape”.24 I have read the volume with much interest and sincere pleasure, and find that it is one I shall go back to again – a rare thing with a hardened critic like myself. I hope I may be able to say a few words about it in print. It is not only musical and poetic in a high degree, but it has the note of distinction. I wish it all success both here and oversea.

  • 25 American Sonnets, selected and edited and with an “Introductory Note” by William Sharp published b (...)
  • 26 Afternoon Landscape.

110My anthology of the best American Sonnets25 is almost ready – but as I notice in an American paper that you are coming to London erelong I shall retain the copy I intend for your acceptance till you arrive. If you will call on me when you do come it will give my wife and myself much pleasure (Monday afternoons and Sunday evenings are best for us), and also, please, bring your collaborators in A. L.26

111Where will your address be in London?

112My wife and I will be in Paris from the 1st till about the middle of May – but thereafter at home.

113With kind regards, | Sincerely yours, | William Sharp

114T. Wentworth Higginson Esq.

115ALS Pierpont Morgan

To John Stuart Verschoyle, [May 1 or 2, 1889]27

  • 27 John Stuart Verschoyle (1853–1915) was a member of an aristocratic Ireland family who received his (...)

116Wescam | 17a Goldhurst Terrace | So: Hampstead | N.W.

117My dear Verschoyle

  • 28 The Sharp’s leaving for Paris on Friday May 5 establishes the approximate date of this letter.

118In case you write making any appointment with Moore, as you suggested, I send this to say that on Friday or Saty I am going to Paris for about three weeks, so must postpone seeing you till the end of May.28

119By the way, what about Mrs. Macdonald’s proposal as to Rousseau?

120You once told me that you might be able to review any novel of mine. Are you still in a position to do so? If so, I should like if you could say something about my forthcoming “Children of Tomorrow”, which Chatto & Windus will issue about the middle of next week. A great deal depends on the reception of this book – against which there will be a dead set in certain quarters. The American publishers have withdrawn from their agreement on the score of the “objectionable tone and morals” of the story – but it is a perfectly frank and honorable and honest exposition of a romantic theme – and nothing more: and is, from the true point of view, a moral – in the sense that it is ethical, fundamentally – book.

121Can you conveniently say a word for it anywhere? If so, I should tell C. & W. to send you a copy.

122In haste | Sincerely yours | William Sharp

123I post you a copy of my “Testimonials”, including your own: as you may care to see other.

124ALS UCLA

To J. Stanley Little, May 4, 188929

  • 29 Probably Le Gallienne’s second book of poetry, Volumes in Folio (1889).

125Letter to hand just as I am starting for Paris (for 2 or 3 weeks): & only time for a hurried P/C.

  • 30 A painting by George Leon Little (1862–1941), J. Stanley’s brother.

126It is a shame about “The Breaking Morn”.30 Taking everything into consideration I should advise trying Olympian. It may attract all the more notice as a refusé. But first could yr. brother not see if either Gonfils or the Fine Art Socy (Bond St). would take it, either outright – or on view & sale.

127Thanks for Pioneer. I hope to read in transit.

128W. S.

129ACS Princeton

To Richard Le Gallienne, May 9, 1889

130Paris | 9/5/89

131Dear Mr. Le Gallienne

132Your note has just reached me (I have a packet of letters sent over only once weekly).

133I shall not be at home again for a week or so: but when I do return I shall read your book with interest.

  • 31 James Sutherland Cotton, editor of The Academy.

134I did hear, at the time, of your arrival in Hampstead, & once or twice (when Mr. Cotton31 or someone has mentioned you) have wondered why you did not call at Wescam.

135I hope you will benefit (you know the sense I mean) by your new life. In the autumn, by the way, we may meet in America, as I am going there for October and November.

136In great haste, | Yours Sincerely, | William Sharp

137ACS University of Texas at Austin

To James Mavor, May 10, 188932

  • 32 This letter from Elizabeth Sharp to Mavor establishes her as the author of “Sculpture at the Salon (...)

138Paris | May10th

139Dear Mr. Mavor

140I herewith send the very short – according to your instructions – notice of the Sculpture at the Salon.

141Mr. Sharp will be writing in a day or two and will then give our next address – we leave Paris tomorrow.

142Yours sincerely | Elizabeth Sharp

143Mrs. Elia A. Sharp | May 10th, 1889

144ALS University of Toronto

To James Mavor, [late May, 1889]33

  • 33 The letter must have been written in late May after the Sharps returned from Paris. Sharp’s Childr (...)

145London

146My Dear Mavor

147I have returned to town – but have mislaid your letter: will you kindly send me a line mentioning again the latest date on which you wish to receive Pt. I of Siwäarmill’s “Emilia Viviana” for the July No.

  • 34 Several words are obscured and illegible at this point.
  • 35 William Ernest Henley (1849–1903) was a poet and critic who edited The Magazine of Art from 1882 t (...)
  • 36 A landscape painter, Arthur Tomson (1858–1905) was introduced to the Sharps by Andrew Lang in the (...)
  • 37 Robert Alan Mowbray Stevenson (1847–1900), cousin of Robert Louis Stevenson, was a painter and art (...)

148I don’t wish to worry you about what may be only in nebulous – but is there any better basis than before34 to The Scottish Art Review’s passing into the hands, editorially, of Henley?35 The Tomsons36 were at our house last night, and informed us that they had been authoritatively told by R. A. W. Stevenson37 that Henley is to take over the editorship of the S. A. R. two months hence?

149Half an hour ago I saw Gleeson White, and he also told me that “Henley has arranged to edit the S. A. R. two months from now”.

150In both instances I conditionally contradicted the statement: but I should like to hear definitely from you, whichever way the matter lies. If there is no truth in it, I think you should take some steps to put an end to a chronic rumour which has undoubtedly something malicious in it.

151Please let me have a line from you.

152Sincerely Yours, | William Sharp

153I am getting on with “Emilia Viviani” and think you will like it. Be sure and preserve the secret of my identity with H. P. Siwäarmill. I hope you will like my “Children of Tomorrow”.

154ALS University of Toronto Library

To__________, early June, 1889

155Murrayfield | Edinburgh

156My dear Sir

  • 38 Perhaps one of Sharp’s two books published in 1889: Children of Tomorrow by Chatto & Windus in Apr (...)

157I am very sorry I have not the book with me of which I wrote to you. It is to be published a week or so hence, I understand. I shall be back in London by the 25th at latest & could send you the matter then, if that will suit you.38

158No, please, do not include Mr. Meredith’s printed letter about myself re: my candidature for the Literature Chair at London University. In no sense is it published – and its mention would be disagreeable both to G. M. & myself.

159In haste | Yours sincerely | William Sharp

  • 39 Since there was only one Sunday 23rd in 1889, the letter dates early June, 1889.

160P.S. I may, in all probability shall, be home by Sunday the 23rd. If you care to look in upon me that evening I could show you the book in question.39

161ALS Princeton

To Frank Dempster Sherman, July 9, 188940

  • 40 Frank Dempster Sherman (1860–1916) was a poet, architect, mathematician, and genealogist. His publ (...)

162Wescam | Goldhurst Terrace | So. Hampstead | N.W.

163Dear Mr. Sherman

164I have much pleasure in sending you a copy of my American Sonnets and Quatrains, wherein you figure to such advantage. The book is going well, and you have been quoted several times, particularly the Quatrain on the Quatrain.

165Perhaps we may meet in the Autumn? I am going to pay a short visit to E. C. Stedman & one or two other friends in New York in October, and I should be sorry to miss you.

166A friend lent me your “Madrigals and Catches” – a delightful volume.

167Best regards, | Yours sincerely | William Sharp

168ACS University of Texas at Austin

To Louise Chandler Moulton, July 13, 188941

  • 41 Date from postmark.

169My dear Louise

  • 42 Children of Tomorrow.
  • 43 The Athenaeum notice appeared in the issue of 13 July 1889. I have not located the review in Publi (...)

170Thanks for your kind note. I am glad you find something in my book42 to attract you. It has been, on the whole, badly received by the press – as I, of course, fully anticipated: but I have been gratified beyond words by the letters I have had from authors whom I look to as masters, from many friends & acquaintances, and even from strangers. Nothing I have ever done seems to have aroused so much enthusiasm. But quite apart from praise and blame, I am vain enough to believe that with all its faults & demerits it is not altogether a book of “today”. I have written it as an artist – and someday, if not now, it will gain its measure of recognition. At the same time, it is only a tentative effort, or a herald rather, of a new movement. I see the Athenaeum of today passes it by with “damning indifference” – and, on the other hand, Public Opinion has a long & sympathetic (tho’ fault-finding) review beginning “a remarkable book by a remarkable man”.43

171Well – time will solve this and all other small matters as efficiently as the great events of this “forlorn little star of earth”.

172I hope particularly to come to see you soon – if possible early on Tuesday – but I am frantically engaged at present, every afternoon & evening, besides much work. At the end of the week we are to stay with George Meredith for a little, & then make a flying visit to Grant Allen. About the beginning of August we both go away, Lillie to the Tyrol, I to Canada and afterward to the States.

  • 44 The first edition was published in 1888 and the second in 1889, both by Walter Scott. A “Postscrip (...)

173Did I ever tell you by the by that my “Romantic Ballads” was exhausted almost immediately upon issue – and that the second edition (much improved) is going well.44

  • 45 Probably Miss Eyre from Boston, and Others (1889).

174So far as I have read, I like your new book45 extremely: but I shall write when I have read it. As yet I have enjoyed the two first stories only.

175Ever yours affectionately | Will: Sharp

176P.S. Your Sonnets in my “American Sonnets” have been much admired, and have several times been selected for quotation.

177ALS Library of Congress, Louise Chandler Moulton Collection

To Clinton Scollard,46 July 19, 1889

  • 46 Scollard (1860–1932) graduated from Hamilton College in 1881, studied at Harvard and Cambridge Uni (...)

178Wescam | Goldhurst Terrace | So. Hampstead. N.W.

179Cher Confrìre

180I have had pleasure in sending you a copy of my “American Sonnets”, containing your own beautiful examples. The book is going very well here, and in the Colonies, & one or two of your sonnets have been noted several times.

181Perhaps we may meet in the Autumn. I am going to pay a short visit to Mr. Stedman & one or two other friends in New York in October. It should add much pleasure to the prospect if I thought I should meet you.

182Yours sincerely | William Sharp

183A friend lent me your “Old & New World Lyrics”, with which I was greatly charmed.

184APCS University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Library

To Edmund Clarence Stedman,47 July 27, 1889

  • 47 Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833–1908), banker, poet, and critic, was born in Hartford, Connecticut. (...)
  • 48 Sir Charles G. D. Roberts (1860–1945), a writer of poetry and fiction, was a professor of English (...)

185C/o Prof. Chas. G. D. Roberts48 | Kingscroft | Windsor | Nova Scotia | 27/7/89

186My Dear Stedman

187Although I put the above address to this note I do not arrive there till somewhere about the 15th of August. I am still in London, though I leave in a few days now. Since my wife’s departure for Austria, I have been staying with George Meredith in Surrey, and am now feeling much better, having again regained my power of sleep: yet I shall be thankful to get away, and to see no proofs, letters, or MSS, for ten days at least.

188You will ere this have received my reply to your last letter, saying how much I appreciated your kind invitation, and how eagerly I look forward to my New York visit, and to meet Mrs. Stedman and yourself in person.

189I shall stay with Roberts for some time, and then go elsewhere in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Upper Canada, throughout August and September. Early in October I hope to be in New York. But I do not wish to be in any way a drag upon any plans you may have entertained. I shall trust to your letting me know if my visit might prove inconvenient.

190Meanwhile I am going to ask you to oblige me in a small matter. Will you kindly direct your bookseller to send me, at above address, to await my arrival, the two following books (the first of which will save me carriage of books – for I am engaged to write something on Swinburne soon: and the second of which will be helpful for excerpts, for another matter): and I can either remit amount to him or to you as may be most convenient.

191It seems like going to see an old friend – to see you: and I am already impatient to be at 44 East 26th St.!

192Cordially Yours | William Sharp

193Roberts’will be my letter-address for most of the time – at any rate until I write to you with another.

194ALS Pennsylvania State University

To Edmund Clarence Stedman, August 17, [1889]

195August 17th

196My dear Stedman,

197I have just arrived in Halifax, and have been met by Roberts, who wants me to go off with him at once for a short trip to Prince Edward Island and elsewhere, so I have only time for this hurried P/C in answer to your kind note. We return to Windsor about Friday or Saturday next.

198Yes, I shall be in N.Y. early in October. Sorry as I am not to see N.Y. in the season, I have perforce to depart so as to get home by the end of October at the latest – so I find meanwhile at any rate. But your friendly hospitality and courtesy already make me look to N.Y. as “home” over here – and to see you will be to meet the American author I most wish to meet. I shall write you again from Windsor, when my movements are arranged, and also (when I return) about the books etc.

199Ever yours, | William Sharp

200ACS Columbia

To Elizabeth A. Sharp, [late August, 1889]

  • 49 Bracketed sections are Elizabeth’s paraphrases.
  • 50 James Wilberforce Longley (1849–1945), a judge and historian born in Paradise, Nova Scotia, edited (...)
  • 51 William Bliss Carman (1861–1929), a cousin of Charles G. D. Roberts, was a Canadian literary journ (...)

201[At Halifax, which he considered] worth a dozen of the Newfoundland capital, [he was met by Professor Charles Roberts who had come]49 to intercept me so as to go off with him for a few days in Northern Scotia and across the Straits to Prince Edward Island. So, a few days later Prof. Roberts and I, accompanied for the first 100 miles by Mr. Longley,50 started for Pictou, which we reached after 5 hours most interesting journey. The Attorney General has kindly asked me to go a three days’ trip with him (some 10 days hence) through the famous Cape Breton district, with the lovely Bras D’Or lakes: and later on he has arranged for a three days’ moose-hunt among the forests of Southern Acadia, where we shall camp out in tents, and be rowed by Indian guides…. I went with Charles Roberts and Bliss Carman51 through Evangeline’s country. En route I traveled on the engine of the train and enjoyed the experience. Grand Pré delighted me immensely – vast meadows, with lumbering wains and the simple old Acadian life. The orchards were in their glory – and the apples delicious! At one farm house we put up, how you would have enjoyed our lunch of sweet milk, hot cakes, great bowls of huckleberries and cream, tea, apples, etc. ! We then went through the forest belt and came upon the great ocean inlet known as the Abasin of Minas’, and, leagues away the vast bulk of Blomidon shelving boughlike into the Sea.…

202Memoir 151

To Elizabeth A. Sharp, [late August, 1889]

203… Mr. and Mrs. Longley were most kind, and so were all the many leading people to whom I was introduced. I was taken to the annual match of the Quoit Club, and was asked to present the Cup to the winner at the close, with a few words if I felt disposed. Partly from being so taken aback, partly from pleased excitement, and partly from despair, I lost all nervousness and made a short and (what I find was considered) humorous speech, so slowly and coolly spoken that I greatly admired it myself!

204Memoir 150–51

To Elizabeth A. Sharp, September 12, [1889]

205(On the St. Lawrence), | 12th Sept.

  • 52 Having traveled from St. John to the St. Lawrence River via the St. John River and overland to Riv (...)
  • 53 George Stewart (1848–1906) was an accomplished and celebrated editor and writer. In Saint John, Ne (...)
  • 54 Sir James MacPherson Le Moine (1825–1912), a charter member of the Royal Society of Canada, was an (...)

206To-day has been a momentous birthday on the whole – and none the less so because I have been alone, and, what is to me an infinite relief, quite unknown. I told no one about my Saguenay52 expedition till the last moment – and so there is nothing definite about me in the papers save that I “abruptly left St. John” (the capital of New Brunswick) and that I am to arrive in Quebec tomorrow. I sent you a card from Rivière du Loup, the northernmost township of the old Acadians, and a delightful place. I reached it from Temiscouata (the Lake of Winding Water) – a journey of extreme interest and beauty, through a wild and as yet unsettled country. The track has only been open this summer. Before I reached its other end (the junction of the St. John river with the Madawaska) I was heartily sick of New Brunswick, with its oven-like heat, its vast monotonous forests with leagues upon leagues of dead and dying trees, and its all present forest-fires. The latter have cause widespread disaster.… Several time we were scorched by the flames, but a few yards away – and had “to rush” several places. But once in the province of Quebec, everything changed. The fires (save small desultory ones) disappeared: the pall of smoke lightened and vanished: and the glorious September foliage made a happy contrast to the wearisome hundreds of miles of decayed and decaying firs. It was a most glorious sunset – one of the grandest I have ever seen – and the colour of the vast Laurentian Mountain range, on the north side of the St. Lawrence, superb. It was dark when we reached the mouth of the Saguenay River – said to be the gloomiest and most awe-inspiring river in the world – and began our sail of close upon a hundred miles (it can be followed by canoes for a greater length than Great Britain). The full moon came up, and the scene was grand and solemn beyond words. Fancy fifty miles of sheer mountains, one after another without a valley-break, but simply cleft ravines. The deep gloom as we slowly sailed through the noiseless shadow brooding between Cape Eternity and Cape Trinity was indescribable. We anchored for some hours in “Ha! Ha! Bay”, the famous landing place of the old discoverers. In the early morning we sailed out from Ha! Ha! Bay, and then for hours sailed down such scenery as I have never seen before and never expect to see again.… At Quebec I am first to be the guest of the well-known Dr. Stewart,53 and then of Mons. Le Moine54 at his beautiful place out near the Indian Village of Lorette and the Falls of Montmorenci – not far from the famous Plain of Abraham, where Wolfe and Montcalm fought, and an Empire lay in balance.

207Memoir 152–53

To Rev. Joseph Antisell Allen,55 [September 16, 1889]

  • 55 Rev. Joseph Antisell Allen (1814–1900) was the father of Sharp’s good friend Grant Allen. A clergy (...)

208C/o W. D. Lighthall Esq | 913 Dorchester St. | Montreal | Quebec | Monday Mg

209My dear Sir

  • 56 The accompanying note reads: THE NOOK. | HORSHAM ROAD.| DORKING. | July 27. | My Dear Father, | Ju (...)

210Your son and my valued friend, Grant Allen, has kindly given me the accompanying note of Introduction to you.56 I expect to spend a night this week in Kingston (probably Thursday, but I cannot say definitely yet, till I reach Montreal, whither I go from Quebec today) and if it would not be an intrusion upon your valuable time, or in any way inconvenient for you, I should much like to look in at “Alwington” for an hour or so.

211Believe me | Yours very truly | William Sharp

212J. A. Allen Esq

213ALS University of Toronto

To Edmund Clarence Stedman, September 17, [1889]

214C/o W. D. Lighthall Esq. | 913 Dorchester St. | Montreal | Tuesday, 17th Sept.

215My Dear Stedman

216I have had to forego many of my projected visits, for I find that I must return to London earlier than I had anticipated. This involves my going to New York even sooner than the date I mentioned to you in my last.

217I now expect to arrive in New York (from Boston) about this day week – that is, about Monday evening or Tuesday of next week. I hope to be in New York for either 12 or 14 days – but I shall not inflict myself upon you all that time, as I am going to spend a night or so with Mr. Alden and probably elsewhere.

218However, I won’t be a great drag upon Mrs. Stedman and yourself – for the mornings I must spend in correspondence and writing, and in the afternoons I shall have much to see and many friends in New York to “look up”, not to speak of promised evenings.

219May I go to you directly on arrival from Boston (either next Monday or Tuesday, probably the latter)? If in any way inconvenient for Mrs. Stedman or yourself, just let me know, of course.

220I an impatient to be in New York, which I have so long wished to visit – one of the Trinity of Greatest Cities.

  • 57 Sherburne Hardy (1847–1930), a civil engineer, editor, novelist, poet, and later a diplomat, was a (...)

221I leave here about Friday of this week for Boston, where (or in Hanover) I hope to see Arthur Sherburne Hardy57 and one or two others.

222With kind regards to Mrs. Stedman. | Cordially Yours, | William Sharp

223ALS Huntington

To Edmund Clarence Stedman, [September 22, 1889]

224Montreal | Friday

225Cher Ami,

226Be merciful and forgive! I see now how inconsiderate I have been – but I had somehow got the impression that you were a “fixture” in town during September and October. I am very remorseful for having been so irritatingly uncertain a factor in your plans. The best way to show that you forgive, will be to tell me frankly just when you had arranged, or when you want, to go into the country: I would not for a good deal deprive so hard a worker of long-looked-forward-to days of rest. I have other friends I could go to, you know: and, moreover, I expect my stay will have perforce to shrink even a little more yet.

227In some justification of what you only too truly call my bewildering changes of plans, I have to plead my anxiety about my wife. She has been at the Sun-Cure in Southern Austria (Illyria), and tho’ now in Dresden and somewhat better, seems to have been anything but “cured”. In fact, she has been, and is, suffering from intermittent fever. I have, therefore, been doing all I can to cut off unessential portions of my programme, so that I may get home earlier than arranged, and, if advisable, go out to Germany to meet her. Fortunately, her note represents her health as much better. All the same, I must now leave New York as soon as practicable. So to this extent, overlook my inconsiderate changes of plan. A man in love (which I still am, though married nearly 4 years) is not a reasoning animal – not a reasonable one at any rate!!

228Cordially yours, | William Sharp

229I shall wire from Boston on Monday morning as to my arrival etc. and as to whether on Monday or Tuesday evening (probably Tuesday).

230ALS Columbia

To Elizabeth A. Sharp, [late September, 1889]

231New York, New York

  • 58 John Henry Wright (1852–1908), a distinguished classical scholar and student of educational proble (...)
  • 59 Arthur Sherburne Hardy.
  • 60 Sharp first met William Dean Howells in Venice in 1883 (see letter dated 10 May 1883 to Elizabeth (...)
  • 61 The Stedmans lived at 44 East 26th Street; Sharp probably arrived there on Tuesday September 17 as (...)
  • 62 Henry Mills Alden (1836–1919) was managing editor of Harper’s Weekly from 1863 to 1869 and then ed (...)
  • 63 Henry C. Bowen (1813–1896) a principal in the firm of Bowen and McNamee, wholesale dealers in silk (...)
  • 64 Richard Henry Stoddard (1825–1903), a poet, editor, and critic, was opposed to literary pretense a (...)

232… So much has happened since I wrote to you from Montreal that I don’t see how I’m to tell you more than a fraction of it – particularly as I am seldom alone even for five minutes. Last week I left Montreal (after having shot the rapids, etc). and traveled to Boston via the White Mountains, through the States of Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Boston is a beautiful place – an exceedingly fine city with lovely environs. Prof. A. S. Hardy (‘Passe Rose’, etc). was most kind.… Cambridge and Harvard University are also very fine. I enjoyed seeing Longfellow’s house (Miss L. still occupies it) and those of Emerson, Lowell, etc. I spent brief visits to Prof. Wright of Harvard, to Winsor the historian, etc.58 On Sunday afternoon I drove with A. S. H.59 to Belmont in Massachusetts, and spent [the] afternoon with Howells, the novelist.60 He was most interesting and genial – I had the best of welcomes from the Stedmans.61 They are kindness personified. The house is lovely, and full of beautiful things and multitudes of books. I have already more invitations than I can accept: everyone is most hospitable. I have already met Mr. Gilder, the poet, and editor of the “Century”; Mr. Alden, of “Harper’s”;62 Mr. Bowen, of the “Independent”;63 R. H. Stoddart, the “father” of recent American letters;64 and heaven knows how many others. I have been elected honorary member of the two most exclusive clubs in N.Y., the “Century” and “The Players”. Next week there is to be a special meeting at the Author’s Club, and I am to be the guest of the evening.…

233Memoir 153–54

To Richard Watson Gilder, September 30, 1889

23444 East 26th Street | N.Y. | Monday Morning | 30 Sept. ‘89

235Dear Mr. Gilder

236Have just returned from Metuchen, where I have been spending Saty & Sunday with Mr. Alden, of Harper’s Mag. Before I left, I gave instructions about the transmission to you of a copy of my “American Sonnets” – but I forgot that it would have to go without inscription. I shall try and look in some day, partly to rectify that omission, and also for the pleasure of seeing you again. If the fates be adverse to this modest plan, then you must accept the will for the deed – or let this hurried note serve the end.

237I understand now the meaning of a para I read somewhere – that Jersey mosquitoes are big enough to spank! That war with America would be justifiable, if she sent us a healthy young married mosquito-couple, is the opinion of the suffering Briton who signs himself,

238Sincerely Yours, | William Sharp

239ALS Stanford

To Elizabeth A. Sharp, October 1, 1889

240New York | 1:10:89.

  • 65 Thomas Allibone Janvier (1849–1913), a native of New Orleans, worked in Philadelphia as a journali (...)

241Can only send you a brief line by this mail. I enjoyed my visit to Mr. Alden at Metuchen in New Jersey very much. Among the new friends I care for most are a married couple called Janvier.65 They are true Bohemians and most delightful. He is a writer and she an artist… and both have traveled much in Mexico. We dined together at a Cuban Cafe last night. He gave me his vol. of stories called “Colour Studies” and she a little sketch of a Mexican haunted house – both addressed to “William Sharp. Recuerdo di Amistad y carimo”.

242Memoir 154

To Richard Watson Gilder, [early October, 1889]

243Dear Mr. Gilder

  • 66 Charles DeKay (1848–1935), an essayist and poet, was an editorial writer for the New York Times. H (...)

244If you have not already posted Mr. DeKay’s66 books to me will you kindly do so to me at my London address.

245In haste, | Sincerely yours, | William Sharp

246Address: Wescam, Goldhurst Terrace, So. Hampstead, London, NW

247ACS Huntington

To E. C. Stedman, October 6, 188967

  • 67 This letter was written before Sharp sailed on the “Sierra” from New York to Liverpool, post-dated (...)

248My dear Stedman

249This, along with some flowers, will reach you on the morning of your birthday, while I am far out on the Atlantic. May the flowers carry to your poet-soul a breath of that happy life which seems to inspire them – and may your coming years be full of the beauty and fragrance of which they are the familiar and exquisite symbols. You have won my love as well as my deep regard and admiration – and so I leave you to understand how earnestly and truly I wish you all good.

250Once more let me tell you how deeply grateful I am to you and Mrs. Stedman for all your generous kindness to me. We have all, somewhere, sometime, our gardens, where – as Hafiz says – the roses have a subtler fragrance, and the nightingales also a rarer melody; and my memory of my last “fortunate Eden” will remain with me always.

251But I shall not be content till I hear (not by letter but by Postcard) that you have had your long delayed holiday, and have gained new vigour. Do be careful of yourself: You, who have done so much, have yet so much to say and to do – so, at least listen to that plea.

  • 68 Arthur Stedman was Edmund Clarence Stedman’s son.

252I shall always think of you, and Mrs. Stedman, and Arthur,68 as of near and dear relatives. Yes, we are of one family.

253Farewell, meanwhile, | Ever your affectionate | William Sharp

254ALS University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Memoir, 154–55

To Laura Hyde Stedman, October 12, [1889]

255S.S. “Sierria” | Saturday 12th Octr

256My dear Mrs. Stedman

  • 69 Sir Alfred East (1849–1913) was named to the Royal Academy in 1899. His paintings were widely disp (...)

257It is too rough for me to attempt to write with pen and ink – so I am sending you a brief pencilled note. Sometime in the middle of the night, or early in the morning, we expect to reach Queenstown to disembark a few passengers and land the mails. On the whole, we have had a pleasant passage, though with some heavy rolling and a good share of rain and fog. Now that we are nearing the British coast we are coming into true October weather, – blue skies, with fresh keen air. I have made some pleasant acquaintanceships on board – and, curiously enough, with an artist and his mother and sister who live quite close to me in London. There is no one of artistic or literary note on board, except Alfred East,69 the well-known landscape-painter, who is returning from a painting-expedition to Japan.

258I need hardly to say that often and often I think of you and yours, and remember with ever fresh pleasure the visit which your kindness did so much to make delightful. Believe me, I shall never forget, nor cease to have a “warm corner in my heart” for you, and your husband, and son. I do trust that Mr. Stedman is feeling better, and that by the time this reaches you, you will both be in the country, and enjoying a thorough rest. I am sure you both need it. Arthur, I know, was only going away for a few days, but into these I hope he has crammed a month of health.

259I’m afraid I must come to an abrupt conclusion – but the rolling of the vessel is so great that I can hardly keep my seat. I shall be thankful to see Queenstown, and still more to reach Liverpool, some fifteen or eighteen hours later. I expect that two or three letters will arrive for me in New York from my wife – but Arthur kindly promised to send any letters on at once, though I wanted to relieve him of that trouble by instructions to the General or District Post Office.

260I must stop, or I’ll be rolled overboard – and then there will be an end of me as well as of my letter. With affectionate regards to you and yours,

261Believe me, dear Mrs. Stedman, | Ever sincerely yours, | William Sharp

262P.S. I hope the florist (at the corner of Broadway and Madison Sq). did not forget to deliver my letter to E. C. S. and the flowers so as to arrive as a birthday greeting on the morning of the 8th. I made him promise to send them round before 10 o’clock. May he and you live to see many happy, ever happier, returns of the 8th!

263ALS Columbia

To Thomas Robert Macquoid, [mid-October, 1889]70

  • 70 Thomas Robert Macquoid (1820–1912) was a prolific watercolorist and illustrator for, among other p (...)

26417a Goldhurst Terrace | So. Hampstead. N.W.

265Cher Confrére,

266Herewith I send you, for consideration for E. & W., a very fine sonnet by Prof. Chas. Roberts, the foremost of the younger poets in Canada. He is well-known here, as well as in Canada and the States. His third vol, which will be out in 1890 (autumn), is full of remarkable studies in poetic realism.

267Have you had time to consider the suggestion or two I made to you?

268In haste & with best wishes for the success of your Xmas No.
Yours sincerely | William Sharp
I sincerely trust Mrs. Macquoid is feeling better.

269ALS Private

To Richard Watson Gilder, [late October, 1889]

270l7a Goldhurst Terrace | So. Hampstead | London N.W.

271Dear Mr. Gilder

272The books by your brother-in-law, and the present writer, arrived almost simultaneously this evening in London. I had a pleasant passage. Already my most delightful visit to New York seems dreamlike.

273Kindest regards to you and other friends with you and to Mrs. Gilder,

274Faithfully Yours, | William Sharp

275ACS Huntington

To Robert Underwood Johnson,71 November 6, 1889

  • 71 See note to November 6 card to Kineton Parkes (following).

2766th Nov./89

277My dear Mr. Johnson

278Just returned from Germany, so excuse this hurried P/C as I have a great pile of correspondence awaiting me.

  • 72 Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge (1831–1905), an editor and children’s writer, published adult fiction i (...)

279Many thanks for Mrs. Dodge’s fine sonnets.72 Please do not forget your other promise.

280Kindest remembrances to yourself and confréres –

281Sincerely yours, | William Sharp

282ACS Huntington

To Kineton Parkes, [November 6, 1889]73

  • 73 The date stamped on the postcard looks like 8/89, but Sharp was on his way to America on that date (...)

283Wescam | Goldhurst Terrace | So. Hampstead. N.W.

284I sent you a line from Germany a few days ago which I fear cannot have reached you. I forgot your address, & simply put after your name. Editor of Comus, Birmingham. Perhaps you wd recover the P/C by enquiring at the G. P. O.

285In haste | William Sharp

286ACS Private

To James Mavor, December 14, 1889

287Handed in at the Swiss Cottage
To Mavor | 93 Hope St. | Glasgow

  • 74 Mavor’s response appears at the bottom of the telegram: “Glad to have poem Browning.” Mavor was th (...)

288Can you reserve me two to three pages February number for Elegiac poem in memoriam Browning74

289William Sharp

290Telegraph, University of Toronto

To Edmund Clarence Stedman, [December 15?, 1889]

291London

292My dear Friend

293I was so sorry – so grieved for you – to hear of the death of your mother. You who have had so much trouble, and borne it all with such heroic heart and brave demeanour, have again been saddened by disaster. I wish I could say or do something to lighten your pain: you know at any rate that you have my loving sympathy. I gave myself the satisfaction of writing a short account of your mother in a paper here, based on that in a paper you sent me.

  • 75 Shortly after Robert Browning died on December 12, 1889, Sharp agreed to write a biography of Brow (...)

294And so Browning75 – beloved and revered friend and great poet – has gone!

295But a Xmas-note must not be all sad. We will think of you and yours, and drink your healths in loving remembrance. May the gods give you in 1890 the leisure you require, and may your strenuous high song make itself heard in renewed strength and heart.

296Always affectionately yours, | William Sharp

297ALS Columbia

To Henry Chandler Bowen, December, 1889

29817a Goldhurst Terrace | South Hampstead | London | NW

  • 76 For Henry Bowen, see note to late September 1889 letter to Elizabeth Sharp.

299Dear Mr. Bowen,76

300Just as I was about to begin one of my promised articles for you, I have been asked to write the monograph on Robert Browning for the Great Writers Series. As it is wanted speedily, and as this is a very heavy addition to my already numerous outstanding commissions, I shall, I am genuinely sorry to say, be unable to send you anything till Spring at best.

301But it occurred to me that you might care to have the Sonnet I wrote three nights ago, on hearing the sad tidings from Venice of Browning’s death. I loved the man as a friend as well as revered him as a great poet. I had meant to print it in the Academy, or elsewhere here – but send it to you instead.

302And as I am writing at any rate, I send two other short poems for your consideration.

303How often I think of my delightful visit to New York! I wish you would come over next, as a reversal. Both Edgar Fawcett and Edgar Saltus have been paying us short visits. Of the Harlands (Sidney Luska) we see much.

304Allow me to wish you a pleasant Noeltide and a fortunate and happy 1890.

305With friendly remembrances | Yours sincerely | William Sharp

306ALS Princeton

To Richard Watson Gilder, December 18, 188977

  • 77 This letter is interesting because it was dictated to Sharp’s sister Mary and is in her hand. Seve (...)

30717a Goldhurst Terrace | So. Hampstead | London. | N.W. | 18:12:89 |
Dictated

308Dear Mr. Gilder

309I am engaged upon a series of “Imaginary Journals”, and wonder if you would care to have one for The Century.

310As the style and scope of the series will of course be various, no one example will quite show you a precedent: still, as an essai pour servir, perhaps you may care to glance at the enclosed.

311The proofs are duplicated of an “Imaginary Journal” by me which is to appear in the January issue of The Art Review. In each of the series, my effort is to reach the real self of the person represented: to show them in quintessential moods. Collectively, they will (in some measure) demonstrate the strange mental and spiritual complexities of the Modern Renaissance, a period which I hold to have begun its efflorescence earlier than is commonly granted, and hold, also, to have undergone suspension, or perhaps a Protean interfusion, till the beginning of this century, when it has been, and still is, culminating.

312Two others of the series will in due course appear in The Art Review: one in Blackwoods: and one in Macmillan’s.

313I am slowly (work of this kind is necessarily very gradual and careful) writing the others which will complete my work. Perhaps you would care to have one of these.

314(Fragments from)

3151. The Lost Journal of Gaspara Stampa

316“il Saffo de Nostri Tempi”, as she was called. The beautiful Venetian poetess, whoselover, Collalto, was seduced by Diane de Poitiers when he went to the French Court as an ambassador.

3172. Do [ditto] of Giorgione

318Dealing with his love of colour and music; etc.

3193. Do [ditto] of Gerard de Nerval

320The French Romanticist poet, whose strange manner of death has never been satisfactorily explained.

3214. Do [ditto] of Baudelaire

322a purely psychological revelation.

3235. The Reverie of Bazzi.

324Fragments from The Journal of Bazzi (Sodoma) while painting the St. Benedict Frescoes at the Convent of Monte Oliveto in the wilds of Umbria.

3256. The Passion of Parmigiano

326His “passion”, as it literally was, at the end of his life, was Alchemy. It ruined him, but not until it had first ruined his art.

3277. The Crime of Andrea dal Costagno

328A fragment from the Journal of this murderer painter and successful hypocrite, written not long before his death. (Vide Vasari)

3298. A Dark Day of St. Francis

  • 78 Sharp’s hand concludes the letter from this point.

330If you would care to have any of these you might specify the two you fancy most, and I should send you one of them. But could you print for certain in 1890?78

331Best wishes for Xmas and the New Year!

332Yours sincerely | William Sharp

  • 79 A poem by Sharp entitled “Remembrance” appeared in the Century, which Gilder edited, in December 1 (...)

333P.S. I enclose two short poems for yr. consideration.79

334ALS New York University Fales Library

Notes

1 This letter is included in a collection of letters to Richard Watson Gilder (1844–1909), who edited the Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine from 1881 until his death in 1909, and to Robert Underwood Johnson (1853–1937,) who worked on the magazine under Gilder and served as editor from 1909–1913. A notation in the upper-left corner of the manuscript “ansd. 2/17/89” is in the same handwriting as similar notations on later letters addressed personally to Gilder. Gilder’s editorship began when the Century Publishing Company bought out the Scribner interest in Scribner’s Monthly (1870–1881) and renamed the magazine The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine. By 1885 the Century had a huge circulation (over 200,000), but it began to decline in the nineties as its rising interest in feminism turned away many of its male readers. Also, the new photo-engraving techniques used by the competing ten-and fifteen-cent periodicals took its toll. Gilder’s publications include The New Day (1875), The Poet and His Master (1878), Lyrics and Other Poems (1885), Lincoln’s Genius for Expression (1909), and Grover Cleveland: A Record of Friendship (1910). Following his editorship of the Century, Johnson established the Hall of Fame at New York University and directed it from 1919 until 1937. In 1920 and 1921, he served as Ambassador to Italy. His works include Poems (published in 1902, enlarged in 1908, 1919, and 1931) and his Memoirs, Remembered Yesterdays (1923).

2 The novel was published as Children of Tomorrow: A Romance (London: Chatto & Windus) in April 1889. It was issued in the United States in 1890 by F. F. Lovell & Company.

3 A letter Sharp wrote to the Roberts Brothers Publishing Company in Boston has nearly identical wording. The third company that received a similar letter may have been F. F. Lovell and Company, which published the novel in the United States.

4 James Marshall Stoddart (1845–1921), who Sharp met when he visited Philadelphia in 1892, began editing Lippincott’s Magazine in 1889, succeeding William Shepherd Walsh who was the editor when this letter arrived.

5 Sir George Brisbane Douglas (1856–1935), a Baronet, was a Scottish poet and a lecturer. Educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge, he combined the running of a large country estate with his literary and academic endeavors. The family seat was Springwood House, Kelso, in the Scottish Borders. His publications include Poems (1880), The New Border Tales (1892), Diversions of a Country Gentleman (1902), and The Pageant of the Bruce (1911).

6 Mrs. Hill was the sister of Sir Noel Paton. See note to Sharp’s letter to D. G. Rossetti of September 22, 1881.

7 James Mavor (1854–1925) was a social activist who lived in Glasgow and participated in several socialist organizations including the Fabian Society, the Social Democratic Federation, and the Socialist League. In 1894, George Bernard Shaw named a lead characters in his play Candida James Mavor Morell. In 1888 and 1889, Mavor edited The Scottish Art Review and in January through June 1890 that periodical’s short-lived successor, The Art Review, which was published by Walter Scott through the good offices of William Sharp. In 1892 Mavor was appointed Professor of Political Economy at the University of Toronto where he chaired the Political Science Department until he retired in 1923. He was active in establishing the Toronto Art Gallery and the Royal Ontario Museum, and he wrote government reports on immigration, wheat production, workmen’s compensation, as well as an Economic History of Russia.

8 A letter to Elizabeth Sharp from Mrs. Hill dated February 4, 1889 indicates she was sculpting a medallion of William Sharp, thus his sitting to her from 3 till 4.30. She hoped to get the medallion cast the week of February 4. Either she was still working on it in mid-February or she was sculpting a bust of Sharp, as she was wont to do of people she thought famous or special. Writing to her friend Elizabeth, addressed as Lilly, on the 4th, she was still under the spell of Sharp though he had gone: “I see so much of the growth of the Spirit in him, or expansion of Soul, I cannot put words upon it but you know the feeling of being in the presence of a Being from a higher Sphere?” This letter is in The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley.

9 Sir Patrick Geddes (1854–1932) was a man of many talents and interests. He established the Outlook Tower at the head of Edinburgh’s High Street with its camera obscura and oversaw the building of Ramsay Gardens, a group of flats, artists’ studios, and a student residence hall near the Outlook Tower. He was the central figure in the Scottish contingent of the Celtic Revival that began in the 1890s. Although Sharp was unable to meet him during this visit to Edinburgh, they met soon after and in 1895 Geddes named Sharp the Literary Editor of his Celtic-oriented publishing firm, Patrick Geddes & Colleagues. Geddes went on to gain respect and fame as a city planner.

10 T. C. Martin, unknown friend of Mavor, perhaps the editor of The Leader.

11 Phoebe Anna Traquair (1852–1936), an illustrator, painter and embroiderer, was a prominent member of the Arts and Crafts movement. Joseph Thomson (1858–1894) was an explorer of Africa and a rival to Henry Morgan Stanley. Illness plagued his explorations, forced him to return permanently to England, and caused his early death. His best known book was Through Masai Land (1885). John Miller Gray (1850–1894) was an art critic and the first curator of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Sharp lamented his premature death in a letter to Watts-Dunton of October 11, 1894.

12 Hall Caine’s The Good Old Times was produced by Wilson Barrett at the Princess’s Theatre in Oxford Street in February 1889. Barrett (1846–1904) was an actor, dramatist, novelist, and theater manager. His plays include Now-a-Days (1889), Pharaoh (1892), and The Sign of the Cross (1896). Barrett adapted several Caine novels for the stage, among them Ben-my-Chree (from The Deemster) (1888), The Manxman (1894), and The Bondman (1893).

13 Sharp’s third volume of poems, Romantic Ballads and Poems of Phantasy, was published by the Walter Scott firm in 1888. Its sales exceeded expectations, and a revised edition was issued in late February 1889.

14 Norman MacColl (1843–1904) a native of Edinburgh, was a graduate of Downing College, Cambridge, where he excelled in classics and came to know Charles Dilke, proprietor of the Athenæum. In 1871 Dilke appointed him editor of the magazine for which Watts (later Watts-Dunton) served as Literary Editor. See Sharp’s letter to Watts of 23 May 1888.

15 This incomplete letter is reproduced from a transcription/summary made by a staff member at the Manx Museum.

16 Sharp is referring to Caine’s play Good Old Times, which was running in London.

17 The Manx’s transcribed summary indicates this is Douglas Sladen, but Sharp was surely referring to Sir George Douglas with whom he was staying in Scotland when he wrote to Watts about Caine’s play on 16 February 1889.

18 “Barrett’s features were cast in a classic mould and his presence was manly and graceful. Hence his predilection for classical impersonations… [H]is method of acting was usually stilted. In melodrama he presented heroic fortitude with effect. His dramas made no pretense to literature. They aimed at stage effect and boldly picturesque characterization without logical sequence or psychological consistency” (DNB, Supplement 1901–1911, p. 103).

19 Although lacking a salutation, this letter is from the Mavor Collection in the University of Toronto Library and was addressed to Mavor.

20 Henry Muhrman, an important impressionist painter best known as a watercolorist, was born in Cincinnati in 1854. He trained there and in Munich and died in Meissen, Germany, in 1916.

21 This reference dates the fragment as sometime in March 1889.

22 Date from postmark on envelope. Sharp became a candidate for this position in the spring of 1889, but withdrew his candidacy before the election after consulting with his doctor (Memoir 149).

23 Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823–1911) was a New England essayist, poet, biographer, historian, Unitarian minister, and abolitionist. He was also, notably, colonel of the first black regiment in the Union army from 1862–64 as well as the “discoverer” of Emily Dickinson. His publications include Harvard Memorial Biographies (1866), his only novel, Malbone (1869), Young Folks History of the United States (1875), and Carlyle’s Laugh and Other Surprises (1904).

24 The Afternoon Landscape: Poems and Translations (1889).

25 American Sonnets, selected and edited and with an “Introductory Note” by William Sharp published by Walter Scott in May 1889. Sharp dedicated it to E. C. Stedman, “the Foremost American Critic,” who helped in the selection process.

26 Afternoon Landscape.

27 John Stuart Verschoyle (1853–1915) was a member of an aristocratic Ireland family who received his B. A. from Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1881 and was appointed Curate of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Marylebone in 1882. In London he became a friend and supporter of Frank Harris and secured for him the editorship of the London Evening News in 1883 and of The Fortnightly Review in 1886. Verschoyle assisted Harris in his editing and became formally an assistant editor of The Fortnightly Review in 1889. While living in London between 1882 and 1891, he made many friends in the literary and political worlds. After he left the city to take up Rectorships in Suffolk and Somerset, he maintained a London residence where he continued to entertain many luminaries. Sharp here expresses hope that Verschoyle will arrange a mention or review of his Children of Tomorrow in The Fortnightly.

28 The Sharp’s leaving for Paris on Friday May 5 establishes the approximate date of this letter.

29 Probably Le Gallienne’s second book of poetry, Volumes in Folio (1889).

30 A painting by George Leon Little (1862–1941), J. Stanley’s brother.

31 James Sutherland Cotton, editor of The Academy.

32 This letter from Elizabeth Sharp to Mavor establishes her as the author of “Sculpture at the Salon,” which appeared unsigned [pp. 13–14] immediately following her husband’s unsigned [pp. 12–13] review of the Salon paintings in the June 1888 edition of The Scottish Art Review.

33 The letter must have been written in late May after the Sharps returned from Paris. Sharp’s Children of Tomorrow, referenced in the postscript, was published about May 10, 1889.

34 Several words are obscured and illegible at this point.

35 William Ernest Henley (1849–1903) was a poet and critic who edited The Magazine of Art from 1882 to 1886 and The London, a society paper, from 1887 to 1889, when he became editor of the Scots Observer, an Edinburgh journal of the arts and current events. He continued in that position when the magazine was transferred to London and re-titled the National Observer in 1890. He resigned that editorship in 1894. Whoever began spreading the word that he was about to become editor of The Scottish Art Review must have confused that journal with the Scots Observer. A robust, outspoken conservative sympathetic to the growing imperialism of the time, Henley was not well regarded by William Sharp and his circle of friends. Among his publications are Book of Verse (1880), Views and Reviews (1890), Poems (1901), and In Hospital (1901).

36 A landscape painter, Arthur Tomson (1858–1905) was introduced to the Sharps by Andrew Lang in the mid-1880s and through them he met his second wife, Agnes Hastings, a childhood friend of Elizabeth Sharp’s. The Tomsons remained close friends of the Sharps.

37 Robert Alan Mowbray Stevenson (1847–1900), cousin of Robert Louis Stevenson, was a painter and art critic for The Pall Mall Gazette. He wrote The Art of Velasquez (1895), Peter Paul Rubens (1898), and Velasquez (1899).

38 Perhaps one of Sharp’s two books published in 1889: Children of Tomorrow by Chatto & Windus in April and the anthology of American Sonnets by Walter Scott in the Canterbury Series.

39 Since there was only one Sunday 23rd in 1889, the letter dates early June, 1889.

40 Frank Dempster Sherman (1860–1916) was a poet, architect, mathematician, and genealogist. His publications include Madrigals and Catches (1887), New Waggings of Old Tales (1888), Little-Folk Lyrics (1892), and A Southern Flight (1905). Date from postmark.

41 Date from postmark.

42 Children of Tomorrow.

43 The Athenaeum notice appeared in the issue of 13 July 1889. I have not located the review in Public Opinion.

44 The first edition was published in 1888 and the second in 1889, both by Walter Scott. A “Postscript to the Second Edition” indicates the edition contained one or two textual variations from the original readings and a new short lyric, “The Isle of Lost Dreams.”

45 Probably Miss Eyre from Boston, and Others (1889).

46 Scollard (1860–1932) graduated from Hamilton College in 1881, studied at Harvard and Cambridge Universities, and served as Professor of English Literature at Hamilton College from 1888–96. He published many volumes of poetry, among them Pictures in Song, 1884; With Reed and Lyre, 1886; Old and New World Lyrics, 1888; and Ballads, Patriotic and Romantic, 1916.

47 Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833–1908), banker, poet, and critic, was born in Hartford, Connecticut. After opening his own brokerage office in New York in 1864, he became known as the “banker-poet” and exercised considerable influence over the American literary establishment in the eighties and nineties. He became William Sharp’s best friend in the United States, and Sharp’s letters to him became increasingly intimate. Their relationship became that of a father and son sharing their most intimate experiences in coded language. Excepting the few letters or portions of letters Elizabeth used in the Memoir, we have only Sharp’s side of the correspondence, but Stedman’s is often reflected in Sharp’s responses. Stedman produced many books, among them Poems Lyrical and Idyllic (1860), Poetical Works (1875), Victorian Poets (1875), Hawthorne and Other Poems (1877), Lyrics and Idylls: With Other Poems (1879), Poems Now First Collected (1894), and A Victorian Anthology (1895).

48 Sir Charles G. D. Roberts (1860–1945), a writer of poetry and fiction, was a professor of English Literature at King’s College, Windsor, Nova Scotia, between 1885 and 1895. His works include Orion and Other Poems (1880), In Divers Tones (1886), New York Nocturnes, and Other Poems (1898), Barbara Ladd (1902), The Heart That Knows (1906), The Vagrant of Time (1927), and Selected Poems (1936).

49 Bracketed sections are Elizabeth’s paraphrases.

50 James Wilberforce Longley (1849–1945), a judge and historian born in Paradise, Nova Scotia, edited The Halifax Chronicle and served as Attorney General of Canada between 1884 and 1896. He was the author of two biographies: Joseph Howe (1904) and Sir Charles Tupper (1916).

51 William Bliss Carman (1861–1929), a cousin of Charles G. D. Roberts, was a Canadian literary journalist, editorialist, and poet. He worked for various magazines, including the New York Independent (1890–92) and the Atlantic Monthly. After 1889, he spent the rest of his life in the U. S. A., although he was a frequent visitor to Canada. His reputation rests on his first collection of poems, Low Tide on Grand Pré (1893). His other works include Behind the Arras: A Book of the Unseen (1895), Ballads of Lost Haven: A Book of the Sea (1897), By the Aurelian Wall, and Other Elegies (1898), April Airs (1916), Later Poems (1921), Ballads and Lyrics (1923), Far Horizon (1925), Wild Garden (1929), and Sanctuary (1929).

52 Having traveled from St. John to the St. Lawrence River via the St. John River and overland to Rivière du Loup, Sharp made a side excursion up the Saguenay River for 100 miles to Ha! Ha! Bay before proceeding up the St. Lawrence to Montreal.

53 George Stewart (1848–1906) was an accomplished and celebrated editor and writer. In Saint John, New Brunswick, he founded and edited Stewart’s Literary Quarterly Magazine from 1867 to 1872. In 1879 he went to Quebec where he edited the Daily Chronicle until 1896. A voluminous writer, his chief works are Canada Under the Administration of the Earl of Dufferin (1878) and The Story of the Great Fire in St. John, New Brunswick (1877). The New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia, w3.stu.ca/stu/sites/nble/index.aspx

54 Sir James MacPherson Le Moine (1825–1912), a charter member of the Royal Society of Canada, was an antiquarian and the author of Maple Leaves, 6 vol. (1863–1906), a collection of short sketches on the general and local history and legends of Canada. The site of a Huron village established in 1697, Lorette is now Loretteville, a suburb of Quebec.

55 Rev. Joseph Antisell Allen (1814–1900) was the father of Sharp’s good friend Grant Allen. A clergyman of the Irish Church, J. A. Allen emigrated to Canada in 1840 where he married Catharine Ann Grant, the daughter of Charles William Grant, 5th Baron de Longueuil, a title created by Louis XIV in 1700, and the only title in Canada that is officially recognized. The Reverend Allen became the first Anglican minister of Holy Trinity Church on Wolfe Island, near Kingston, Ontario where Grant Allen was born in 1848. Allen was living in Alwington, an area of Kingston and the name of the great house in that area where Allen probably lived.

56 The accompanying note reads: THE NOOK. | HORSHAM ROAD.| DORKING. | July 27. | My Dear Father, | Just a line to introduce our very good friend William Sharp, whom you probably know as the author of a life of Rossetti, and of many graceful poems. He is his own best credential. If you like him half as much as we do, you will welcome him well. In haste (for we’re just off) | Yours affectionately. | Grant.

57 Sherburne Hardy (1847–1930), a civil engineer, editor, novelist, poet, and later a diplomat, was a Professor of Mathematics at Dartmouth College. He edited Cosmopolitan for two years, 1893–95. His works include Francesca of Rimini (1878), But Yet a Woman (1878), The Wind of Destiny (1886), Passe Rose (1889), Aurélie (1912), and Things Remembered (1923).

58 John Henry Wright (1852–1908), a distinguished classical scholar and student of educational problems, left Johns Hopkins to become Professor of Greek at Harvard in 1887. Justin Winsor (1831–1897), a librarian and historian, was superintendent of the Boston Public Library from 1868 until 1877 when he became librarian at Harvard. His works include Bibliography of the Original Quartos and Folios of Shakespeare (1876) and (as editor), the Narrative and Critical History of America (1884–89), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Winsor.

59 Arthur Sherburne Hardy.

60 Sharp first met William Dean Howells in Venice in 1883 (see letter dated 10 May 1883 to Elizabeth Sharp). See Chapter 2, note 49.

61 The Stedmans lived at 44 East 26th Street; Sharp probably arrived there on Tuesday September 17 as indicated in the previous letter to Stedman.

62 Henry Mills Alden (1836–1919) was managing editor of Harper’s Weekly from 1863 to 1869 and then editor of Harper’s Magazine until his death in 1919. His works include God in His World (1890) and Magazine Writing and the New Literature (1908). For more about Alden, see note to Sharp's letter to E. A. S. dated late September 1889.

63 Henry C. Bowen (1813–1896) a principal in the firm of Bowen and McNamee, wholesale dealers in silk, was one of the publishers of the New York Independent, a weekly religious journal, from 1848 to 1896 and edited the magazine from 1870 until 1896. Sharp published in the Independent between 1889 and 1893.

64 Richard Henry Stoddard (1825–1903), a poet, editor, and critic, was opposed to literary pretense and “Bohemianism.” During the last thirty years of his life, his house was a favorite meeting place for literary men in New York. His works include Poems (1851), Songs of Summer (1857), Abraham Lincoln: A Horatian Ode (1865,) The Book of the East (1867), and The Lion’s Cub (1890).

65 Thomas Allibone Janvier (1849–1913), a native of New Orleans, worked in Philadelphia as a journalist with the Times, the Evening Bulletin, and the Press between 1871 and 1880. There he met and married in 1879 Catharine Ann Drinker (1841–1922), a member of the distinguished Drinker family. (She was an aunt and the namesake of the twentieth-century novelist Catherine Drinker Bowen.) For three years, starting in 1880, the Janviers traveled in Colorado, New Mexico, and Mexico. In 1883, they settled in New York’s Greenwich Village, where they lived for a decade. In 1893, they began spending winters in Provence, stopping in London briefly while in transit. After this first meeting in 1889, the Janviers became close friends of both Sharps. “Mrs. Janvier was the first person on either side of the Atlantic to penetrate Sharp’s disguise as Fiona Macleod, and she received a letter [from Sharp on Jan. 5, 1895] admitting the identity” (Dictionary of American Biography, vol. V., pp. 613–14). Thomas Janvier’s publications include Color Studies (1885); The Mexican Guide (1886); The Aztec Treasure House (1890); Stories of Old New Spain (1891); Embassy to Provence (1893); In Old New York (1894); In Great Waters (1901); Henry Hudson (1909); and From the South of France (1912).

66 Charles DeKay (1848–1935), an essayist and poet, was an editorial writer for the New York Times. His works include The Bohemian: A Tragedy of Modern Life (1878), Hesperus, and Other Poems (1880), The Vision of Nimrod (1881), The Vision of Esther (1882), and Bird Gods (1898).

67 This letter was written before Sharp sailed on the “Sierra” from New York to Liverpool, post-dated, and given to a florist to deliver with flowers to Stedman on October 8th, Stedman’s birthday (see next letter).

68 Arthur Stedman was Edmund Clarence Stedman’s son.

69 Sir Alfred East (1849–1913) was named to the Royal Academy in 1899. His paintings were widely displayed in Europe and the United States. He also wrote The Art of Landscape Painting in Oil Color (1906).

70 Thomas Robert Macquoid (1820–1912) was a prolific watercolorist and illustrator for, among other publications, the Graphic and Illustrated London News. His wife Katherine Sarah Macquoid (1824–1917) was an equally well-known travel writer and novelist. “1889” is written in pencil on the letter. Mid-October 1889 is a reasonable date since Sharp had just returned from the United States and Canada where he had been entertained by Roberts.

71 See note to November 6 card to Kineton Parkes (following).

72 Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge (1831–1905), an editor and children’s writer, published adult fiction in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s Magazine, and The Century. In 1870 she became an associate editor of Hearth and Home, and from 1873 until her death, she edited the juvenile magazine, St. Nicholas. Her works include Hans Brinker: or, The Silver Skates (1865), A Few Friends and How They Amused Themselves (1869), Rhymes and Jingles (1874), Along the Way (1879, republished in 1904 as Poems and Verses), Donald and Dorothy (1883), When Life is Young (1894), and The Land of Pluck (1894).

73 The date stamped on the postcard looks like 8/89, but Sharp was on his way to America on that date. Shortly after returning from the United States in mid-October, he went to Cologne to meet his wife, who had been staying with Mona Caird at Veldes in the Carpathian Alps during her husband’s absence. The card’s probable date is 6 November 1889, the day he also sent a card to Robert Underwood Johnson, which he dated and in which he says he had just returned from Germany. W. Kineton Parkes (1865–1938), a novelist and critic, edited Comus from November 1888 to October 1889. He also edited The Library Review in 1893–1894. His works include Shelley’s Faith: Its Development and Relativity (1888), The Pre-Raphaelite Movement (1889), The Painter Poets, ed. for the Canterbury Poets Series (1890), Love a la Mode: A Study in Episodes (1907), Potiphar’s Wife (1908), The Altar of Moloch (1911), The Money Hunt: A Comedy of Country Houses (1914), Hardware (1914), and The Art of Carved Sculpture (1931).

74 Mavor’s response appears at the bottom of the telegram: “Glad to have poem Browning.” Mavor was the editor of The Scottish Art Review and its short-lived successor, The Art Review, which appeared monthly from January to July 1890. Sharp’s long elegiac poem (twelve stanzas) on Browning appeared in the February number of The Art Review. For more on Mavor, see note to Sharp’s February 10, 1889 letter to him.

75 Shortly after Robert Browning died on December 12, 1889, Sharp agreed to write a biography of Browning for Walter Scott’s Great Writers Series. Sharp's poem “In Memoriam: Robert Browning,” appeared in the January 1890 issue of Belford’s Magazine, a periodical published by Belford, Clarke, & Co. in Chicago.

76 For Henry Bowen, see note to late September 1889 letter to Elizabeth Sharp.

77 This letter is interesting because it was dictated to Sharp’s sister Mary and is in her hand. Several years later Sharp decided to reinforce the independent identity of Fiona Macleod by having Mary copy all her letters and send them from Edinburgh where she lived. Her handwriting became that of Fiona Macleod. This is the only instance discovered so far of Sharp’s using Mary as an amanuensis prior to the advent of the Fiona Macleod letters in 1894.

78 Sharp’s hand concludes the letter from this point.

79 A poem by Sharp entitled “Remembrance” appeared in the Century, which Gilder edited, in December 1891. See note to Sharp’s letter dated 11 January 1889.

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 8. An 1897 photograph of Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833–1908), an American poet, critic, essayist, banker, and scientist.Wikimedia, https://commons.wikimedia.org/​wiki/​File:Edmund_Clarence_Stedman_cph.3a44372.jpg
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