Date Published: 1945 to 1997
Binding: No binding & hard cover
This collection is comprised of 29 items dating from 1945 to 1997, specifically, 20 letters, 6 books, 1 manuscript, 1 card, and 1 news clippings.
Julian Gustave Symons was a British crime writer and poet who also wrote social and military history, biography and studies of literature.
Henry Reymond Fitzwalter Keating was an English crime fiction writer, most notable for his series of novels featuring Ganesh Ghote of the Bombay CID. In 1985 he succeeded Symons as President of the Detection Club, a group of Britain’s foremost mystery writers.
4 Typed Letters Signed (TLS)
• 1 TLS to Mr. Wakefield [Robin Waterfield], 5 February 1974. “I wish I could say that I had something that might be suitable for the Amate Press. My reminiscences have been published, however!” (London Magazine Editions had published Symons’s Notes from Another Country in 1972.) “If I do write something else of the right kind of length I'll send it to you.…”
• 1 TLS to Kim Herzinger, 30 November 1982, re university course on Sherlock stories (Conan Doyle)
2 TLS to Reg Gadney (English painter, thriller-writer and screenwriter) from Symons, 2 pp. in envelopes, London, 28 March-29 May 1974. Symons would love to have lunch at the Royal College, he writes. “You missed only a boring but short speech by Lucie-Smith, and then a series of stories, Kingsley's pretty funny, others not… I've said something about your last book in a long review for THE NEW REVIEW, No 2….” One letter slightly stained, doodles on verso,
3 Books (2 signed):
• The Immaterial Murder Case (2 copies) London: Victor Gollancz, 1945. His first mystery.
- one copy in jacket signed “Julian Symons-- | what a bad book! | June 1976 | the date of | the comment.”, bookplate of Adrian Homer Goldstone, an avid American book collector.
- The other copy a blue cloth hard cover, without a jacket in a mylar sleeve.
• Bloody Murder. From the Detective Story to the Crime Novel: A History. London: Faber and Faber, 1972. Uncorrected proof copy, wrappers. Inscribed on the upper cover, “For March or For April pubn. 1972”. With the ownership signature, half-title notes, numerous marginalia and underscorings by Reg Gadney.
• News-cuttings of two articles from The Times, “Whatever Happened to the Great Detective?” (by Symons, 27 July 1974) and “The Man who was Bulldog Drummond, Warren Tute Meets Gerard Fairlie….”, 14 December 1974).
• “Nil By Mouth, Inspector Ghote”, in a spiral bound notebook (215 × 127 mm.) containing notes and text, annotated by the author on the upper cover “To be published in Winter’s Crimes 1987, from Macmillan)”,  pp. The text also appeared as chapter eleven of Inspector Ghote, His Life and Crimes. London: Hutchinson, 1989.
• 4 ALS to Symons,
- 19 October 1964 (with envelope),
- 19 January 1986,
- 20 August 1986, 2 pages
- 10 September 1986, thanking Symons for his kind review of Keating's The Perfect Murder and complimenting Symons on the pioneer work he's done on his book The End Of Solomon Grundy, no relation to Roly Keating, both participants at Cologne in March 1986, equates James Stewart with Ghote, thanking Symons for the newsletter, recovering and at home in plaster (pulmonary embolism), Xanadu Press and The 100 Best Crime Novels, Ig Bellew in hibernation.
• 2 ALS and 1 TLS to Peter Ladkin,
- 9 April 1975, and 30 November 1997,
- n.d., ALS re signing Keating’s books, reimbursing Keating for postage, collecting autographs, Ladkin’s admiration for detective fiction, and Keating’s dedication to writing.
• 1 ALS to Colin Huggett, 14 December 1986, enclosing the manuscript of his notebook (“Nil By Mouth, Inspector Ghote”).
• 1 TLS to Debra Swinley, 8 February 1986, with envelope, delighted that she likes his books, keeps working drafts and associated material, Boston University Library was interested in his archives but did not offer much money for them, was visited by an American dealer who advised him “to put on the market at one time all the Inspector Ghote material, has “two drafts and some working papers for books” written under the pseudonym of Evelyn Hervey, “I think this puts the ball in your court….”
• 1 ALS addressed Dear Stacey, 28 May 2006, offering sympathy and advice about writing: “But I am at this moment writing a new Ghote story to be called `Inspector Ghote's First Case', though I doubt it will come out here till 2008 (probably March).”
3 Books: (all signed)
• Death and the Visiting Firemen. London: Gollancz, 1959. Keating’s first book, a bright and firm copy in red paper boards. With the dust jacket (protected, unclipped) having moderate browning and slight fraying to the top edge. Affixed to the front free endpaper is a signed paper in which Keating has written: “For | Peter W. Ladkin | H.R.F. Keating”. The jacket states: “a detective story with one of the most enjoyably outré opening scenes you will have come across for years”.
• Inspector Ghote Goes by Train. New York: published for the Crime Club by Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1972. Grey cloth, a grubby and very rubbed copy, but in a very good dust jacket, a presentation copy inscribed on the front free end paper by Keating for Colin Huggett.
• Evelyn Hervey. Into the Valley of Death. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1986. Red paper boards. A fine book in dust jacket. Signed by the author on the title page: “Evelyn Hervey is H.R.F. Keating”. In this third mystery story about Miss Harriet Unwin, a governess, she tries to prevent a hanging for murder. The plot was lifted (as Keating admitted in the author’s note) in part from Philip Macdonald’s The Noose (1930).
1 Christmas card: (signed)
• “to you and your father, Harry Keating”, n.d.
Collection on consignment with LDRB.
Very Good. Item #8678