[ George Harris Healy, Professor of English and curator of Rare Books at Cornell University. ] Typed Letter Signed to 'Mr. Duff', discussing the content of two letters by Daniel Defoe, their monetary value, auction houses, Dr. Rosenbach of New York.

George Harris Healy (1908-1971), Professor of English and curator of Rare Books at Cornell University
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the Department of English, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. 22 February 1949.
SKU: 20603

1p., foolscap 8vo. In fair condition, aged and lightly creased, with some wear to extremities. Healy begins by thanking Duff for his letter, and 'for your generosity in sending me copies of the two letters of Daniel Defoe'. He explains that he has 'searched for their whereabouts for about ten years', and had finally become convinced 'that unless they were in your family they were lost'. The next paragraph (of 13 lines) discusses 'the relationship between the letters and Bowrey's interest in Juan Fernandos', with reference to: the 'presence of Bowrey's jottings', Sir William Temple, Selkirk's return to England in October 1711, and the writing of Robinson Crusoe eight years later. He begins the third paragraph by stating that the reason why Bowrey wanted to see Defoe is 'beyond precise explanation', before reproducing a long note he proposes to publish on the subject, with reference to 'Bowrey's first enquiry' and 'Mr. Review'. The fourth paragraph concerns 'the pecuniary value of the manuscripts', with Healy stating that 'since all manuscripts are unique, that is a hard question'. He explains how the letters might be offered at auction at 'Sotheby's or Hodgson's of London', adding: 'you might do even better (some have) by offering them to the Rosenbach Company, 15, East 51st Street, New York City. Rosenbach is willing to pay high prices for good things, and he does so cheerfully.' If Duff follows this course of action, Healy suggests that he refers to him 'on the subject of authenticity, history, importance, and the like'. The letter concludes with Healy confirming that he would be happy to receive photographs of the letters.