Autograph notebook by the biographer and antiquary Thomas Wright of Olney, containing rough drafts of an apparently-unpublished story or novel ('My Little Lady. A Story without a Moral'), and of a lecture on Daniel Defoe and Stoke Newington.

Thomas Wright ['Wright of Olney'] (1859-1936) of Olney, Buckinghamshire, biographer, editor and antiquary, founder of the Cowper, John Payne and Blake Societies
Publication details: 
[Edwardian. Olney, Buckinghamshire.]
SKU: 18906

12mo, 134 pp each on one side of a ring-punched loose leaf, with the leaves attached by green thread within an original worn buckram binder with discoloured endpapers. The leaves themselves in good condition on lightly-aged paper; with those of the draft story ruled in red, and sometimes utilizing scrap paper (for example the blank reverses of prospectuses for Wright's books and scrap pages from Blake Society material). The story, with title in autograph on a separate leaf, covering 78pp, and made up of at least four chapters, but with the order of some of the leaves disturbed, so that it is difficult to ascertain whether it is complete. The first chapter of the story is entitled 'A Wedding in Camden Town', and begins 'One day in 1866 there was a wedding in St Paul's Church in the parish of St Pancras, London. The beautiful and accomplished Helen Marks was married to Mr George Wingrove.' The non-fiction notes cover 56 pp, the first headed 'Daniel Defoe'. Numbered in blue pencil to 70 (plus A and B), with some gaps in the numeration. Begins 'This evening I purpose giving an acct of D with special ref. to his conn with Stoke N. His life is more wonderful than a fairy tale. It is a story of wonder & daring of high endeavour & marvellous success.' Rear endpaper carries a few phrases in autograph relating to the story, including names of characters, beginning 'Helen Wingrove, Mrs Marks her mother' and ending with 'When he comes in one feels that someone of importance has come in'. Neither the fiction nor the non-fiction work features on COPAC, or corresponds to any of Wright's known works. Author of many books and founder of several literary societies, Wright is a puzzling omission from the New Dictionary of National Biography. For some biographical information, see his obituary in The Times (6 April 1936, 'Mr. Wright of Olney | An Industrious Biographer') and his 'Autobiography' (London: Herbert Jenkins, 1936).