[Morton Luce, Shakespeare scholar.] 29 ALsS, 1 ANS and 1 ACS, to R. N. Green-Armytage of Bath, on literary and personal affairs, with reference to individuals including Edmund Gosse and Sir Israel Gollancz.

Morton Luce (1849-1943), Shakespearian scholar, author of 'A Handbook to the Works of William Shakespeare' and 'Shakespeare, the Man and His Work' [Robert North Green-Armytage (d.1966) of Bath]
Publication details: 
All from 6 Walliscote Road, South, Weston-super-Mare. Between 18 August 1921 and 29 October 1929.
SKU: 15618

The letters total 36pp., 12mo; 12pp., 8vo. The collection is in good condition, on lightly-aged paper. Seventeen of the envelopes are present, all addressed to Green-Armytage at Bath (fourteen to 22 Bathwick Hill, two to 5 Queen's Parade, and one to 'Bath'). Topics include: Green-Armytage's 'Testimonial' on Luce's behalf (1921) and his support (1928) for Luce's application for a 'Pension from the Society of Authors' ('I cannot offer you a Brief - nor a knighthood - nor anything else that measures with your deserts'); samples of his own work, some of it sent for Green-Armytage's evaluation; the publishing arrangements of his 'New Idyllia' (1924); his own and his wife's ill health; the 'funeral of Mr Hyndman'; a request for Luce's assistance with placing an article in local newspapers; his brother's final illness; the Author's Society; the administration of a grant fund ('with your permission and that of Mr. Williams [...] we will sell £50 (a saleable amount) of the Fund; this, I believe, will make the balance £160'); their common Christian faith; the proofs of a newspaper article. A letter of 15 November 1926 contains a list of 'Some Particulars of former Volumes' of his poems (the first of the four entries is: '1. Thysia, 1909. At my expense. Published by Messrs. Bell. Not many copies left of seventh Ed. Intend to revise & re-publish pretty soon.') References to: Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch; Professors A. C. Bradley, J. W. Mackail, Warwick Bond and Lloyd-Morgan; Sir A. W. Ward; the publishers Sir Israel Gollancz, Grant Richards and Gerald Duckworth; Maurice Hewlett; Edmund Gosse; Churton Collins; Sir J. C. Squire (with a cutting regarding Osbert Sitwell's 'entertaining attack' on Squire, 'Who Killed Cock Robin?'); Charles Wells; Frederick Harrison; Bruce Richmond; A. W. Goodhart; George A. B. Dewar and Willoughby Dewar; 'Mr. Jutsum'; 'Phillput the bookseller'. On 9 November 1923 Luce writes: 'I must not forget to say a word or two more about Edmund Gosse; you know enough of the "Curiosities of Literature" to guess that in my remarks "more is meant than meets the eye". Well, about a year ago, Mrs Luce & I were having tea with Sir I. Gollancz at Kings College (Gollancz is one of my oldest & best friends). Said G- to my wife, "The literary work of your husband has never been properly recognized - not nearly indeed; and I am not by any means the only one who says so. By the way, Luce, what about Edmund Gosse. "Oh," I laughed, "I don't think he has ever forgiven me for knowing Churton Collins so well - etc. etc." I ought briefly to explain, that when Gosse was a literary novice, Churton Collins called him to terrible account indeed, he was a long time recovering; and, briefly, he knew my intimacy with Churton Collins.' In January 1922 Luce writes: 'I wd. give a very great deal to learn the attitude towards me of the Authors' Society, for my annual subscription of 30/- is due, and I don't know that I am (between ourselves) disposed to renew it.' In the same letter he refers to the 'third instalment' of his 'long poem in the Nineteenth Century', quoting 'the opinion of one who is perhaps our best critic of poetry, Pr. A. C. Bradley'. (Bradley finds that the poem's 'visions' and 'thoughts' are 'constantly recurring to me unbidden, & bringing with them peace and joy'.) In November 1922 he thanks him for his 'picturesque & profoundly interesting letters' praising his 'Nature in Shakespeare', adding that he has 'just finished another article on similar lines [...] I have put together a volume of poetry, beginning with the three long nature poems that appeared in the Nineteenth Century. I have not yet arranged with any publisher, but find that the cost wd be £70; therefore I have an idea that, to begin with, I might publish merely the three long poems above-mentioned; they wd. make a tidy volume, nearly 1000 lines.' On 20 October 1923: 'I had intended to write to-day to my friend Charles Wells, of the Times & Mirror: he has been good to me [...] I don't think the publishers send to the Times & Mirror, but I asked them to let the Western Daily Press have a copy; [...] Of course, if you can put a notice therein, that would be very valuable'. In January 1923 he announces 'a new Shakespeare article - "Love in Shakespeare," which shd. appear before long in the Nineteenth Century; and the editor has just wished me to write an article on Frederic Harrison for the March number'. In March 1923 he discusses the publication of a volume of poems: 'soon after the New Year, my brother Revd E. Luce) who is a coach at Eton, & knows all sorts of big people (publishers among them) took away with him the MSS. First he interviewed Duckworth, who did not take much poetry, but wanted to see my (unready) volume of Essays; then my brother, after long delays (G. R. was abroad) interviewed Grant Richards [...]'. In the same letter he again discusses the publication of is poems ('I hear from Gollancz this morning that subscribers number only about 70; therefore, I don't intend to lay out from £90 to £120'). In April 1923 he complains that the publisher Grant Richards has suggested that a volume of his essay be prefaced by Quiller-Couch: 'I know Q well enough, but I don't see why I shd. have to put him - or anyone else - in my front window. Some of the conditions of these publishers are odd. And Duckworth told my brother he wd. find Grant Richards dear. Yet think of the £300 that Prof. Warwick Bond (as I understood) had to pay Blackwell. Bond's book of poems came out at Xmas'. On 19 October 1923 he announces that his 'book of poems is to be pubd. by Fisher Unwin on the 31st inst.' In November 1926 he complains about his 'relations with the Author's Society; I almost think I once told you that they - or rather, the Secretary - had not treated me quite fairly; and my great friend therein, Maurice Hewlett, had just begun to take up my cause, when death took him away rather suddenly'. See Luce's obituary in The Times, 7 January 1943. R.N. Green-Armytage was a lawyer and active supporter of the performing arts in the West Country. His papers are in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.