[Mary Endicott Carnegie, American socialite, daughter of William Crowninshield Endicott and wife of Joseph Chamberlain.] Two Autograph Letters Signed ('Mary E. Carnegie') to journalist Collin Brooks

Mary Endicott Carnegie (1864-1957), daughter of William Crowninshield Endicott and wife of Joseph Chamberlain [Collin Brooks (1893-1959), journalist]
Publication details: 
Both on letterhead of 41 Lennox Gardens, S.W.1. 28 December 1950 and 4 January 1951.
SKU: 20870

Mary Endicott Carnegie was the daughter of William Crowninshield Endicott (1826-1900), Secretary of War in Grover Cleveland's first administration. She married the British politician Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914) in 1888 and moved to England. After Chamberlain's death she married William Hartley Carnegie (1859-1936), Sub-Dean of Westminster Abbey and Chaplain to the House of Commons. She was painted by Sir J. E. Millais and John Singer Sargent. The present two letters are accompanied by a carbon of Brooks's reply to her first letter, and a transcript from Brooks's journals of a meeting with her immediately following the second of these two letters. The four items in good condition, lightly aged. ONE: ALS. 28 December 1950. 4pp., 12mo. He has presented her with a copy of his book 'Tavern Talk', and she is looking forward to perusing it, being 'among those who enjoy a book which is easy to dip into in the spare half hours which seem to be my only chance for reading'. She asks him to visit her so that she can thank him in person, before lamenting the state of 'this troubled world', adding (appropriately for the daughter of an American Secretary of State for War): 'When I finished my afternoon visit to America the Korean War seemed under control - & now one wonders when it will end & how?' TWO: ALS. 4 January 1951. 2pp., 12mo. She expresses pleasure that he will be able to visit her at a time suggested in her first letter, and another time for 'The Talk', adding that she is 'glad to hear your kind invitations to lunch at the Royal Thames still holds good'. She concludes, regarding the new year: 'I wish the War clouds were not so heavy over its beginning'. THREE: Carbon copy of typed response by Brooks to Item One. 1p., 12mo. He jokingly states that he is going to be 'a very brutal fellow indeed' by suggesting arrangements for his visit and 'that promised long talk'. He continues: 'When you went for your annual visit to America last year – or even the year before – you were under promise to come for a bite of lunch or dinner at the Royal Thames, when I said I would surround you with Sir Charles and Lady Petrie, and Allan and Patsy. If you are still “game”, I will arrange it for an early date.' FOUR: Two sequential 8vo pages of photocopies of typed transcripts from Brooks's journal, carrying the entry for the dates 13 to 16 January 1951. Around a third of the text consists of an account of 'a wonderful talk' at her house on 14 January 1951. Regarding 'Sargent's portrait of Joe [Chamberlain]' she says: 'Have I ever told you – it will interest you – that the papers on which [h]is hand is resting at [sic, for 'are'] the Jameson Raid documents . . . .' [...] I said of S's portrait of her – she must have been about twenty-two - “Do you know why that portrait is peculiarly attractive? It gives you a touch of what I can only call impudence . . .” She said: “Mr Sargeant [sic] liked his sitters to talk with him – perhaps some thing impudent had just been said!” He finds her drawing room 'the very quintessence of 1880. Her tall butler, however, is about 1898.' She is 'frankly baffled by current trends here, but, like all of us, despairs of our avoiding some catastrophe'.