[ Reginald L. Hine, author and attorney. ] 10 Signed Letters (7 in Autograph; 3 Typed) to Franziska Hyde, regarding his writing and hers, with four letters to her from his wife following his suicide, and copies of Hyde's letters to him.

Reginald L. Hine [ Reginald Leslie Hine ] (1883-1949), author and attorney, local historian of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, author of 'Confessions of an Uncommon Attorney' [ Franziska Hyde ]
Publication details: 
Eight on his letterhead, Willian Bury, Letchworth, Herts. 1948 and 1949. Her letters from 7 Byron Place, The Triangle, Clifton, Bristol.
SKU: 19647

The collection of 35 items in good condition, lightly aged and worn. A good-natured playful correspondence on both sides, with both parties delighting in literary byways (Hine signs one letter 'Yours in the love of learning'). ONE: 10 Signed Letters (7 in Autograph; 3 Typed) to Franziska Hyde, and one unsigned Autograph Letter Signed, regarding his writing and hers, with four letters to her from his wife following his suicide, and copies of her letters. Between 5 October 1948 and 20 February 1949. Much of the content concerns her only published work, 'Saxon Crown: A Dramatic Poem' (London: Williams & Norgate, 1949). While at work on his own 'Charles Lamb and his Hertfordshire' (published posthumously) he provides detailed advice and encouragement, two of the early letters broken down under six related headings apiece. One letter is addressed to 'My dear friend & authoress shortly to be'. On 19 October 1948 he writes: 'It was very clever of you discovering me in the wilderness of the British Museum, and I much enjoyed my confabulation with you.' Letter of 22 November 1948 begins: 'This is just a wave of the hand to you, and to thank you for another of your delightful letters. I was intending just to wave the hand without writing, but I do want to insist that whatever Williams & Norgate think, you ought to go forward with the printing. When I consort with publishers I always feel they are thinking almost entirely of the mechanical side, or the financial side, of production and they seem strangely disinterested in the literary quality of one's work. I was only too happy to finance my first book. It is only just like spoiling one's own child, which one ought to do, and I do want to encourage you to go right ahead even if you only sold five copies, which is more than some of the great master of English literature sold.' On 8 February 1949 he writes that he is 'concentrating on Lamb's rake “Old Walter Plumer”', but that it is 'great news that you send me, and you must by now have grown to understand that one needs to take a strong line with publishers. I had found an extra large brick in my garden rockery and am quite disappointed that after all I shall not need to use it. Perhaps your method of peaceful persuasion is the right one, and at any rate it is more suitable to your sex.' TWO: Fifteen Carbon Copies of letters from Mrs Hyde to Hine, with one Autograph Copy of a letter. Dating from between 27 September 1948 to 31 March 1949. Totalling 23pp. The tone in which she begins her first letter is not untypical. She is writing about his 'Confessions of an Uncommon Attorney': 'This delightful book of yours, which was sent to me by my mother Mrs. E. M. Sabine of Adelaide, South Australia, I have now read – with quite uncommon joy, and often with great envy when for instance I read of your “work of excavation” on the floor of Walter Odell's bookshop, or of your delving at Hawkins' offices into cupboards undisturbed for centuries, or of your lunch-hours spent among the ancient records in the attics there. If I were myself an antiquary, you would know at once with what sense of affinity I could share those enthralling moments – but what pretensions can I have to that title, when my hoarded “finds” amount only to two old legal documents (one 1396!), a mammoth tooth, a “lost” portrait of William Shenstone, his gift to Mary Cutler, so inscribed on the back in his own hand; a solitary coin of Edward II, and a few prized and battered black-letter books bought with glee for a few shillings in hunting-grounds which I feel have vanished now, or cannot be the same, Charing Cross Road and the Caledonian Market? Yet since the astonishing discoveries I have made from time to time in my imagination would almost fill a museum, surely I may claim to be antiquarian in spirit! So you will know by this, that within the pages of your “Confessions” I was rapt in an atmosphere after my own heart, and that one whose favourite historian is John Speed could relish your amused deligt in the quaint phrases of a bygone age.' In the same letter she describes herself as 'an Anglo-Saxophile (but not an authentic scholar in this sphere – merely an “aefterspyriga”, entirely self-taught)'. On 17 February 1949 she writes of her forthcoming book 'Saxon Crown': 'Firstbookitis is a dangerous malady and one that I hardly expected to get. I thought I would be overjoyed if ever I got my poem published, but instead I have been very nearly made a Total Wreck with nightmarish misgivings.' THREE: Four Autograph Letters from Hine's wife Florence to Mrs Hyde, three of them signed. Totalling 8pp. All four written shortly after Hine's death on 14 April 1949. The first, undated, letter is revealing about his mental state at the time of his death: 'There is no doubt he had been over-taxing his brilliant brain for some time past – but to what extent none of us guessed – as he was happy & tranquil up to a few short months before the end – then it first went quite suddenly, but even so I would never have dreamt of this tragic happening – had one visualized such a possibility of course we would have closely watched him.' On 13 May [1949] she writes: 'its terrible to think that one minor worry, which anyhow was just about satisfactorily resolved should have been, in his mind, offset against so many feelings – love, friends, literary work – I think it must have been as you say that the breakdown had been warded off for some time & he was unaware of the great strain he was putting upon himself'. A main theme is her anxiety to publish Hine's 'Charles Lamb and his Hertfordshire'. FOUR: Three air mail letters from Mrs Sabine to her daughter FH, addressed as 'Mrs. Charles Hyde'. All three dating from 1948, and one letter including a transcription of a letter from Hine to her. Also included is a publicity photograph of 'Reginald L. Hine, F.S.A., F.R.Hist.S. | 1948'.