Collection put together by All Souls Fellow, Peter Fraser, while editing the literary essays of the Catholic convert, poet and suffragist, Alice Meynell.
Fraser published his edition of The Wares of Autolycus: Selected Essays of Alice Meynell in 1965 following research and substantial consultation with Meynell’s family - this is that consultation. Each of the books is distinguished in some way: the 1895 second edition of Poems has a handwritten poem on the first flyleaf which appears to be an unpublished verse by Meynell though not in her hand. P.M. Fraser MC (1918-2007) was a Fellow of All Souls and counted a pre-eminent expert on Hellenistic history, creator and moving force behind the monumental Lexicon of Greek Personal Names, and later Director of the British School at Athens, who compiled The Wares of Autolycus: Selected Literary Essays of Alice Meynell, OUP, 1965, to which enterprise the family letters relate. The Essays were drawn largely from Alice Meynell’s weekly column in the Pall Mall Gazette. He drew these Essays mostly from Alice Meynell’s weekly column in the Pall Mall Gazette.
Four autograph letters to P[eter] M[arshall] Fraser at All Souls College, Oxford, from Alice Meynell’s two youngest children, Francis Meynell (poet and co-founder of The Nonesuch Press) and Mrs. Olivia Sowerby, offering obliging assistance with sourcing their mother’s un-republished essays from within their personal archives for a new collection. Each is a single leaf, octavo: from Francis Meynell, one typed, one hand-written - ‘I have heard with much pleasure from Colin Hardie that you intend to prepare for the Clarendon Press an edition of my mother’s essays’ - ‘All the more I shall trust your judgement because you are not a Roman Catholic’ - both May 1964; from Olivia Sowerby two hand-written letters, one dated May 1964, the second similar, offering to ask a niece to delay her own publication of a work that might overlap Fraser’s project.
Together with a Presentation copy from W[ilfrid] M[eynell] to E[dmund] B[lunden] ‘E.B from W.M. Greatham 1927’ of The Augustan Books of Modern Poetry, Alice Meynell, published by Ernest Bell, 1926. Pages iii-30, stapled without covers, creased. (Greatham, Sussex, was the home of Alice Meynell’s older sister Viola.)
Also one further autograph letter signed ‘Gabrielle’, writer and date unknown, returning a book to Peter [Fraser] that referenced Francis Thompson, a poet taken up by Wilfrid and Alice Meynell.
Five volumes of Alice Meynell’s writings from the collection of P.M. Fraser.
ESSAYS by Alice Meynell; Burns & Oates, London, No. 135 of 250 copies printed on handmade paper, May 1914. Presentation copy to ‘Geraldine E. Hodgson April 19,1920, from W. M.’ Large Octavo, quarter buckram over blue paper-covered boards, paper title label to spine, library numbering at foot of spine, boards stained, corners pushed. Endpapers stained, with signs of removal of bookplates; spare spine label inserted amongst endpapers. 267 pages, text clean and unmarked. [Geraldine Hodgson was author of Life of James Elroy Flecker, the poet, published in 1925.]
WAYFARING by Alice Meynell; Jonathan Cape, London, Travellers’ Library edition 1929 (No. 133 in Travellers’ Library series). A collection of some of Alice Meynell’s essays published previously in the Pall Mall Gazette which, her friend George Meredith said: ‘readers with a turn for literature have noticed once weekly in the Autoclytus basket, considering it princely journalism.’ Small octavo, publisher’s blue cloth on boards, gold lettering and figuration to spine; spine ends, corners and some edges slightly pushed, binding sound; yellow paper wrapper, unclipped, tanned spine, chipped at corners and spine ends, hole (4x2 cm) to rear panel; pages clean, text clean; Peter Fraser’s ownership label bottom inside front cover; envelope addressed to Mrs. Sowerby tipped-in to front endpaper, annotated by Peter Fraser, recording this book as belonging to ‘Viola Sowerby (Viola Meynell, the authoress and biographer of her mother) to whom this copy evidently belonged,’ though it is our belief this is in error as Viola was Mrs. Dallyn, while Mrs. Sowerby was Meynell’s daughter Olivia. A very good clean copy internally.
POEMS by Alice Meynell, published by Elkin Mathews and John Lane, London, 1893; limited to 550 copies. 39 sonnets, songs and poems written mostly in Meynell’s youth and published in ‘Preludes’ with a few verses written in her maturer years; includes Ruskin’s favourite of her sonnets, ‘Renouncement’. Brown cloth, small octavo, gold lettering to spine and front panel, corners pushed, binding sound; 72 pages, rough-cut, lightly tanned, clean unmarked text.
POEMS by Alice Meynell, published by Elkin Mathews and John Lane, London, 1893; Second Edition. Front fly-leaf annotated ‘Alice. May 10th 1895’ with verses in pen on both sides in the same hand beginning: ‘How dare you be twenty-two?…’ to recto and ‘O might I be but twenty-three!...’ signed ‘Affectionately A.O.’ (?) on reverse. 39 sonnets, songs and poems written mostly in Meynell’s youth and published in ‘Preludes’ with a few verses written in her maturer years. Green publisher’s cloth faded to brown on spine, small octavo, gold lettering to spine and front panel, top of spine worn, corners pushed, binding sound; 72 pages, end-papers tanned, pages lightly tanned, occasional spotting throughout, clean unmarked text.
THE SHEPHERDESS & other Verses by Alice Meynell; Burns & Oates, London, undated [c.1914]. With ALS from Wilfrid Meynell tipped-in to the inside front cover returning this copy to a Mrs.Strang who, he felt, had herself returned it to him unnecessarily! 17 of Meynell’s best-loved poems, reprinted from the Collected Poems of 1913 being ‘the subject of a separate demand’. Small octavo, paper wrapper with gilt lettering and designs to front panel,browned but otherwise very good, some marking and light foxing to text.