[ Francis Henry Hill Guillemard, English botanist. ] Elegiac Autograph Letter Signed ('Henry Guillemard'), writing movingly to 'Annie & her coadjutors' on his impending death.

Henry Guillemard [ Francis Henry Hill Guillemard ] (1852-1933), English botanist and traveller
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the Old Mill House, Cambridge. 11 August 1933.
SKU: 18419

4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. He begins by stating that he has of late found the act of writing almost impossible, but that when he goes into his garden, 'there are various things determined that you should not be forgotten; above all those beautiful white Turks' Cap lilies'. He has not been able to enter his garden, and now realises 'that old Charon is in the offing with that low, flat boat of his, ready to convey me, not entirely unwilling, to the other side. One has for some time been increasingly interested in the new abode, which my old ancestor, Jean, wrote so well about in his "Combat entre l'Homme et la Mort".' He has all manner of visitors: 'I think I have been able to get at them because all through life I have seldom had any axe to grind, and have been interested in things. [...] My three years on the Marchesa [ between 1882 and 1884 ] made me hungry for someone who wd recognise even a simple allusion - and I was desperately hard at work, too.' He ends in elegiac tone: 'The thermometer has sunk, & leaves me happier: soon, I suppose, I shall be putting a match to the fire in my grate. A wonderful place, England. But I am thankful to be alive & fairly well in it & to be able to say that I always have delightful memories of our talks, and hopes that they have not finished. I must get old Charon to wait a bit - stand him a drink at the "Pipe & Eel"'. He signs off 'Unchangeably yours | Henry Guillemard'.