Three Typed Letters Signed and one Autograph Letter Signed to Anne Marreco.

James Pope-Hennessy
Publication details: 
1947, 1948 and 1963; London.
SKU: 4675

Upper middle-class English writer (1916-74), editor of the 'Spectator' magazine 1947-9, biographer of Queen Mary, beaten to death by gay lover. The recipient (1912-82) was a writer under the pseudonym Alice Acland. Born Anne Acland-Troyte. Her first husband was Robert Egerton Grosvenor, 5th Baron Ebury, and her fourth Anthony Freire Marreco, the last survivor of the seven-strong British prosecuting team at Nuremberg, with whom she lived in Ireland. A series of camp, gossippy and revealing letters to a close friend. LETTER ONE (8 May 1947, on 'Spectator' letterhead , four pages, 12mo, in autograph, good though grubby and lightly creased): 'Your country eggs are unbelievably delicious - I am so used to the nation ones which taste of disinfectant - I can't exaggerate how I am enjoying them - I shall arrive in Paris gorged.' His mother looks forward to seeing her. 'I genuinely think the book [Marecco's 'Caroline Norton', Constable, 1948] full life [sic] - and it is thank God written with a point of view, which gives it an inner spring. I do think it essential to emphasize her age here and there as I told you.' Maurice is looking forward to seeing her ('He romanticises the English countryside as much as I do the American or French'). Signed 'James'. Postscript: 'The Spectator shd begin to arrive this week. My post starts at BOOKS OF THE DAY.' LETTER TWO (6 October [1948], on Spectator letterhead, two pages, 12mo, typed, very good): 'My darling Anne - youre quite right I dont see the births column, and I didnt see about your child. I am absolutely delighted its a daughter arent you, and that you sound so well and contented with it I mean with her. I am truly, truly pleased: I suppose now its over you have already forgotten the tedium and depression. [...] I am surrounded by a dyke of books, piled on one another, and I am off to Paris by tomorrows early aeroplane so I must work now. [...] I have a fellow-feeling with Boy over your sub-marine friend. There are limits to loyalty & kindness as you shd jolly well know by now.' A little more gossip and talk about eggs. Signed 'James'. LETTER THREE (2 July [1963], on letterhead 9 Ladbroke Grove W11, two pages, quarto, typed, very good in stamped envelope addressed in autograph): Assures her 'that no-one else is seeing' the 'Boatboy' [a book?]. 'I will get it from John [his brother] and return it this week. I am glad you are re-writing [...] This is the only way to write - "anything I can do I can do better" as I told you has become my motto.' He has had a 'delicious evening' with Antoine. 'How strange the Dutch girl sounds. [...] The loss of Evelyn may prove a benefit in the end, who knows? Except that she seems to be taking half the workmen with her - a sort of County Donegal Miss Keeler? (Oh the boredom of all the talk about that now - people in London never let a topic drop until it is in shreds, do they).' He is 'feeling very idle & at a loose end' but is 'gearing' himself 'for a television career (BBC)'. 'London is hot and wet and full of Americans. I am much preoccupied with Harold [Sir Harold Acton?] and his stroke, and may go with him to Greece in September. He finds difficulty in communicating and in remembering names, and is painfully aware of all this. [...] Goodness, what a dull letter! I will do better next time.' Signed 'J'. LETTER FOUR (27 March [1963], on letterhead 9 Ladbroke Grove W11, 2 pages, landscape 12mo, typed, very good in stamped envelope addressed in autograph): 'My darling Anne - I do hope I am not imposing - I rang you up on an impulse, as I simply cannot stand London any more, and the book has got all stuck up here, and I am suffering from acute melancolia & anxiety. You have often proved the person to turn to, and Port Hall seems to me a distant haven.' Assures her that she is not 'going to have a tense and screaming neurotic on your hands'. Has 'given up all those pills, also all that strong drink, and I just want to be with you & Antoine [his boyfriend?] and work. [...] Why, when one thing goes wrong in life, everything else does too? I suppose its just one of those bad patches we all have. | I picture you peacefully writing and gardening. [...] I am tremendously overweight with all my papers [...]'. Signed 'James'.