[ Sir Johm Alexander. Hammerton, editor of reference works. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('J. A. Hammerton'), an effusive letter of condolence to the widow of composer Herman Finck.

J. A. Hammerton [ Sir John Alexander Hammerton ] (1871-1949), Scottish author and editor of works of reference [ Herman Finck [ born Hermann Van Der Vinck ] (1872-1939), composer and conductor ]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of De Walden Lodge, Eastbourne, Sussex. 24 April 1939.
SKU: 19643

2pp., 4to. In good condition, lightly aged. He knew that Finck was ill, but 'the news of his death broadcast on Friday night came as a shock to me. | He & I had known each other for many years, & specially during the last five or six years we had much to say to each other at the Savage, my admiration for him deepening the more I knew him.' Another member of the Savage Club, Philip Page, referred to Finck as 'the most genial man he ever knew', and this was 'endorsed by all his fellow Savages'. As 'Chairman of the House Dinner on Saturday night', Hammerton paid 'a brief tribute to him', and asked 'the Brethren who knew him so well to toast his memory in silence'. He ends with reference to '[a]nother dear friend of mine', who 'passed away within an hour or so of Herman - Sir Wm. Ramsay - to whose widow I have been writing tonight'. While Ramsay 'had his fill of years' at the age of 88, Finck hadn't, 'though his years were full & mostly lovely, and none of us who knew him well will ever hear one of his compositions played without feeling he is still with us . . . dear old Herman.' Finck's 'In the Shadows' was one of the last songs played as RMS Titanic went down.