[ Sophia Neate. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('Sophia Neate') [ to the actor Charles Charrington ], regarding a lecture in Woking on 'A People's Theatre'.

Sophia Neate (1832-1908) of Heatherside, Woking [ Charles Charrington (1854-1924), actor-manager, and his wife the actress Jane Achurch (1863-1916); Charles Lutwidge Dodgson ('Lewis Carroll') ]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of Heatherside, Woking. 12 June 1897.
SKU: 19847

Sophia Neate took on the care of Sally Sinclair and her siblings – 'child-friends' of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson – when their parents died. Neate received financial support from Dodgson and the actor Lionel Brough. On first meeting Mrs. Neate (26 June 1879) Dodgson wrote in his diary that he ‘found her so interesting that I stayed 4 hours!' He occasionally visited her and noted the progress of the Sinclair children as they grew. 3pp., 12mo. Bifolium. Aged and worn, with light staining at foot of gutter. She is reminding him of his 'kindly promise to come & lecture for us on Sunday the 24th.' She discusses the announcement of the lecture and printing of 'Bills', and expresses a hope that he will be able to arrive at Woking on the previous day, 'as the trains on Sundays are troublesome. I have much pleasure in offering you my spare room and all the hospitality in my power - And if Mrs. Charrington could be persuaded to accompany you I do not think we should be strangers long'. Should he 'require Lantern or Black Board to illuminate your lecture on "A People's Theatre" they have 'both to use when needed'. Charrington was a Fabian socialist. He and his wife organised the first English performance of 'A Doll's House', and the present item would appear to relate to the 'Ibsen campaign' promoting naturalistic theatre, which he mounted in the 1890s.