Autograph Letter Signed from the satirist Percival Leigh to 'My dear Brooks' [fellow 'Punch' contributor Shirley Brooks], regarding his writing, the nature of the joke, the unsuitability of his Hampshire surroundings to literature, and other matters.

Percival Leigh (1813–1889), satirist, the first writer to carve his name into the 'Punch' table [Charles William Shirley Brooks (1816-1874), editor of 'Punch' from 1870 to his death]
Publication details: 
Shirley Warren, near Southampton. 28 July 1865.
SKU: 11979

4pp., 12mo. Good, on lightly-aged paper. He considers the cut excellent, and is grateful to Brooks for having 'managed so well' with his article. 'Many such an article of mine has been sacrificed, though absolutely a pretty good one, and comparatively to that which stood in its place, superexcellent. But such is my luck. By the by, don't measure the quantity of all that I do by what appeareth.' He reports that 'Fred is much amused with the verses on the Queen's first baby. I said that there are two men here besides himself who understand a joke. To be intelligible to anybody except himself a joke must be imbued with the fuliginous element.' Of his Hampshire surroundings he writes: This atmosphere is not favourable to the cultivation of literature. It is intensely local, and entirely so except in as far as it is domestic, and its domesticity is not of an aesthetic character.' Leigh misses 'the influences that suggest ideas to me in Richmond Park, and even in the thick of London. At Winchester and St. Cross there are undeniable ghosts about one, but they are all asleep.' The rest of the letter deals with 'Miss Bateman's photograph', the suitability of Winchester School, and a letter in The Times concerning the 'Phallus Impudicus'.