[Chauncy Hare Townshend, poet, clergyman and dilettante.] Autograph Letter Signed ('C. Hare Townshend') [to George Cruikshank] explaining that he will never let his 'favourite picture', Cruikshank's 'Cinderella' quit his walls, or have it retouched.

Chauncy Hare Townshend [born Townsend] (1798-1868), poet, clergyman, collector, dilettante, friend of Charles Dickens [George Cruikshank; Victoria an Albert Museum, London, Hampstead Conversazione]
Publication details: 
21 Norfolk Street, Park Lane [London]; 29 April 1859.
SKU: 21639

2pp, 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged, with thin strip of paper from mount adhering to the reverse of the blank second leaf. The unnamed recipient is the artist George Cruikshank, and the present letter is a reply to a letter from Cruikshank among the Townshend papers at Wisbech, dating from the previous day (28 April 1859). In that letter Cruikshank asks to borrow back his painting 'Cinderella', in order to add some touches to it, and exhibit it at the Hampstead Conversazione. The painting is among those bequeathed by Townshend to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The present somewhat tetchy letter reads: 'My dear Sir. | I regret that I am unable to comply with your request about the picture of Cinderella. I make it a general rule, when I once possess a picture never to let it quit my walls, where it hangs for the gratification of my friends & myself. I do not feel that anything could improve my favourite picture. Indeed nothing would grieve me more than to have it retouched.' From the distinguished autograph collection of the psychiatrist Richard Alfred Hunter (1923-1981), whose collection of 7000 works relating to psychiatry is now in Cambridge University Library. Hunter and his mother Ida Macalpine had a particular interest in the illness of King George III, and their book 'George III and the Mad Business' (1969) suggested the diagnosis of porphyria popularised by Alan Bennett in his play 'The Madness of George III'.