[Juliana Horatia Ewing, children's author.] Autograph Letter Signed (in her view 'Not an elegant signature!'), writing in high spirits to [Marion?] regarding 'our "Play"' with 'a round chess board' (illustrated), quoting from Alice in Wonderland.

Juliana Horatia Ewing [née Gatty] (1841-1885), Victorian children's author
Publication details: 
1 February 1880; Ecclesfield.
SKU: 22433

4pp, 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged, with the conclusion and signature ('Juliana Horatia Ewing. | (Not an elegant signature!)') of the letter cross-written at the head of the first page. Drawing of a 'round chess board', with explanation, on second page. An excellent intimate letter, to a family member or friend whose name is not clearly written (Marion? Marnie?). She begins by acknowledging her 'very delightful' letter, and expressing pleasure at 'the prospect of our "play" in town'. The recipient can certainly be 'fitted in later on', and Ewing is 'more hopeful than certain of being fit to move for weeks yet', but she asks her to 'wait for me!' She has been lent a photograph of 'Auntie', but she wants one 'for the Game. I am a little puzzled about the Queer Ones. Do you mean that charming Tug of War one?' She continues on the subject, insisting that there be one of 'dear Redcap'. She explains that 'the Game is like a round chess board if you ever saw one', with illustration and further explanation. 'I do not suppose, dear, you will like it any the worse, because (to save myself the trouble) I am using an old board that I think my mother did years ago & never filled up for us!' Turning to another topic she writes: 'I wondered if the Capt. Gill were year one. How charming about R's speech!' She thanks her for 'sending me a sermon off & on! - If I strive with fate as yet, still, if I am not able to go, then it will comfort me very much that you thought I could not.' She gets 'nearly distraught with longing' to get all her 'household gods unpacked somewhere [...] The loss of my books is an inconvenience. I am always wanting this & that!' She asks her to ask 'Kitty' if she has 'kept anywhere her notes of the colouring of the picture of "Home" (an old ruined house & deer &c) which she made for me, from last Academy but one'. She turns to her 'valuable autographs', regarding which she feels 'a perfect brute'. 'Like the Duchess in Alice in Wonderland - "I make you a present of all I have said already" - Don't you think this letter would do for your friend? It has no secrets, & I have found rather an [easy going at?] pen (& in this age of scamping they often splutter!) - and I really cannot think of anything to write out - An awful confession for a scribbler by trade!' She ends with love to all, '& a kiss to that rascal who says Nein!'