Date Published: 1900 to 1939
Binding: No binding & hard cover
Carolyn Wells was a prolific American poet, mystery novelist, and children’s author, who married Hadwin Houghton, the heir of the Houghton-Mifflin publishing empire. Wells often traveled to England and cultivated a wide circle of literary friends on both sides of the Atlantic. She wrote approximately 170 books. Several of her books have been turned into films, "Dearie" (1927), "The Woman Next Door" (1919), "The Mark Of Cain" (1917), "The Countless Charming" (1917), and "He Got There After All" (1917).
The collection contains 17 items dating from 1900 to 1939, specifically, 1 partial manuscript, 8 letters, 3 books, 2 cards, 1 note, 1 decorative envelope, and 1 title page.
1 partial Manuscript:
• Signed ms. (p. 3 only) of poem, re “the wise old fish that never was caught!”
8 Letters (2 ALS and 6 TLS) including signed card, note, and 2 envelopes:
• ALS to Mrs. Lord, 8 November 1920, re her invitation to tea.
• TLS to Thomas Flint, 27 February 1911, re whether Longfellow wrote a particular text.
• TLS to Elizabeth Cleveland, 3 September 1934, with signed News Year’s card, signed typed note, signed inscribed title page of Visiting Villain (1934), 2 envelopes, thanks Cleveland for reviewing her books, worries about Visiting Villain (“it has to do with a tame snake, an enormous Cobra….”), “confine your notes to the wills and any point other than my beloved STREAMLINE.”
• TLS to Mr. Coursen, 15 August 1939, in response to a question about faith and immortality in one of her works, “But the paragraph you note has no reference to immortality, nor has any of the rest of the page. There is no remark whatever about taking things on faith….”
• ALS and 3 TLS to Mark Sullivan (American journalist and political columnist), 23 November 1926, 1 December 1926, 26 April 1928, and 14 August 1932, re typographical errors, proof reading is an obsession, Sullivan’s book is great, his pleasant letters, the missing couplet (“I rag all night and I rag all day, / I think in ragtime and I talk that way”, not allowed to dance in her youth, and her translation of Franz Lehár’s opera (Maid of Athens).
3 Books (two signed):
• Idle Idylls. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1900. Pictures by Oliver Herford, green pictorial cloth, top edge gilt, signed on the front free endpaper: “Mrs. & Henry Harland | with the compliments of | Carolyn Wells | November 1903”. Harland was an American novelist and editor.
• The Lover’s Baedeker and Guide to Arcady. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1912. White pictorial boards with red cloth spine, white pictorial dust jacket. Cover and illustrations by A.D. Blashfield and maps by George W. Hood. First edition. A very good copy with some faint staining to the lower portion of the front and rear covers and some chipping along the bottom edge, some light staining to the right margin of the text. There is an ink owner's name on the second flyleaf and at the top of the dedication page.
• The Technique of the Mystery Story. Springfield, Mass.: The Home Correspondence School, 1913. Introduction by J. Berg Esenwein. The Writer’s Library, A Complete Practical Guide for Detective and Mystery Story Writers of Today. Brown cloth in slightly chipped dust jacket, top edge gilt. Browning residue on the front pastedown from the jacket. First edition in very good condition. A card signed by Wells is affixed to the front free endpaper.
• Custom postal cover hand-signed in ink, post-marked 16 March 1930, featuring original mixed media illustration by notable collector H.M. Brehm, Appleton, Wisconsin
• Valentine post card, quoting 4 lines from Wells, “I can’t get along without you….”
Collection on consignment with LDRB.