Sumner & Stillman

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DAWN

DAWN

Haggard, H. Rider [Haggard's scarce first fiction] In Three Volumes. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1884. 12 pp Vol III undated ads (paginated [1-4], 1-8). Original light green cloth decorated in reddish-brown and darker green, with original dull grey endpapers. First Edition of Haggard's first book of fiction, which consisted of just 500 copies; it was preceded only by his parentally-published account of recent occurrences in South Africa CETYWAYO AND HIS WHITE NEIGHBOURS (1882). Haggard later wrote that he and his wife had seen, at church one Sunday, "a singularly beautiful and pure-faced young lady," and the two of them decided to try to write a novel with her as a heroine; after a few pages his wife ceased her efforts, but this ultimately became DAWN. He wrote it, originally titled THERE REMAINETH A REST, during 1883; upon the advice of Trübner (publisher of his first book), he rewrote it with a happy ending (as ANGELA). The novel was then published in 1884 as a three-decker by Hurst & Blackett, who changed its title because ANGELA had already been used. 500 copies was the minimum most publishers would bother with; H&B agreed to give Haggard £40 for the first 400 copies sold, plus £30 for any additional 100 copies sold. The following year would see Haggard turn from fiction like DAWN to the fantastic tale that made him a famous and wealthy man -- KING SOLOMON'S MINES. This copy is in good-plus condition, with the two problems that afflict virtually every set that occasionally surfaces on the market: the spines are dull, with their gilt lettering faded, and the original delicate grey endpapers are cracked (but the volumes are as tight as they should be). The boards show minor wear and soiling and the occasional gathering stands slightly proud. But DAWN is a very scarce book, and is truly rare in fine condition (even stickler-for-condition Sadleir had to settle for a set in which "the spines have been washed and the volumes tightened in covers"). Scott 2; McKay 2; Whatmore F1; Allen 15; Sadleir 1085; Wolff 2851; (the number of Vol III ad pages varies -- most sources cite [4]+16 pages (10 leaves), but Sadleir's copy had just 16 pages (8 leaves). Housed in a felt-lined morocco-backed clamshell case.
LOSER TAKES ALL [inscribed copy]

LOSER TAKES ALL

Greene, Graham London: William Heinemann Ltd, (1955). Original dark blue cloth lettered in gilt, with dust jacket. First Edition of this novella about a man who devises a scheme to win big at Monte Carlo -- but his obsession causes him to lose his girl (whom he planned to marry there) in the process; with an acquaintance's help he gains the girl back, but only by losing all the money he had won -- hence "Loser Takes All." The following year appeared the British film with the same (screenplay also by Greene) -- starring Glynis Johns, Rossano Brazzi, and Robert Morley. This is a very good copy (wear on some edges of the boards, minor fading, foxing on the top edge). The dust jacket is just about fine (a couple of short closed tears); because the jacket is in better condition than the volume, one may assume that it was "married" to this book. This is a presentation copy signed by Greene, with the inked title page inscription "For Clive | Graham Greene"; at a corner of the front paste-down is the penciled signature "Clive Hirschhorn | Johannesburg, March 1985". For over 30 years, the South African Clive Hirschhorn was a major London theatre and film critic for the Sunday Express; he also wrote biographies of Hollywood stars like Gene Kelly and of the Hollywood studios Warner Brothers, Universal, and Columbia. He was also a major collector of modern first editions (his collection, including 28 Graham Greene titles, sold at Bloomsbury in October 2012). Additionally, the front free endpaper bears the undated ink signature of Anthony Woodward, a professor of English at the University of Wiltwatersrand in Johannesburg (Hirschhorn's alma mater); among Woodward's writings is "Graham Greene: The War Against Boredom" (Cape Town 1971, Cassis B7112). Quite a nice circle of associations.
The American "Keynotes Series" -- 50 volumes

The American “Keynotes Series” — 50 volumes

1890s Fiction / Beardsley, Aubrey) 50 variant-colored volumes of 25 titles (of 29). Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1893-1896. Original terra-cotta or light blue or light green cloth, decoratively stamped in dark green. Beginning with "George Egerton's" 1893 novel KEYNOTES, for which the series would be named, John Lane of London published, over the course of five years, a series of 33 first editions of fiction; the Keynotes books came to epitomize the 1890s, not only for their content ("The New Women and The New Fiction" per Stetz & Lasner), but also for the design of the volumes (binding and title page designs by Aubrey Beardsley and then by Patten Wilson). Of the 33 titles published in London, 29 were published in Boston by Roberts Brothers (first American editions all), using virtually the same binding and title-page design (except the first volume KEYNOTES, which has the design on the title page but not on the binding). The four that were NOT published by Roberts Brothers were the 21st one THE BRITISH BARBARIANS (because G.P. Putnam had the American rights to it), and the final three (probably due to waning interest: instead, John Lane sent over some copies printed in the UK). The cloth choice was three different colors, as cited above. The rear cover, and the half-title verso, bear the distinctive Keynotes "key," in which are incorporated each author's initials. This collection consists of 50 volumes of 25 (of the 29) titles published by Roberts Brothers: the four that are lacking are the two titles each by Arthur Machen and by M.P. Shiel -- which are easily-enough found, but being highly-sought mystery/fantasy/occult titles, they are in a very different price range (generally $500-$2,000 each). The authors of the Keynotes Series constitute a Who's Who of 1890s up-and-coming writers (especially female ones), but there are also writers such as Fyodor Dostoievsky (POOR FOLK, two copies, with Beardsley's famous "drainpipe" illustration), and Thomas Hardy (THE SPECTRE OF THE REAL, co-written by Florence Henniker, two copies). In all, this group consists of 17 terra-cotta copies, 20 blue ones and 13 green ones, with no two copies the same; there are all three colors of seven titles, two colors of eleven titles, and one color of seven titles. (We do not know whether every Roberts Brothers "Keynotes" title was in fact issued in all three colors.) About four volumes we would rate as very good, but all the rest are near-fine to fine; nice copies of the books of this series have become rather uncommon. More detailed information about the volumes is available upon request.
ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND

ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND

Carroll, Lewis [pseudonym of Charles L. Dodgson] With Forty-Two Illustrations by John Tenniel. Eleventh Thousand. London: Macmillan and Co., 1868. Original red cloth with cover vignettes in gilt, all page edges gilt. Early Edition (fourth printing overall), of one of the landmark books of the 19th Century. The book was initially published in London in 1865, so dated, but John Tenniel was dissatisfied with the printing of his illustrations, so the book was held off the market (except for a very few copies, now bringing six figures); the 1865 copies were shipped to Appleton in New York, who issued them with their own title leaves dated 1866. There was then a new London printing dated 1866 (copies of either of these 1866 printings can now bring $50,000+). Over the coming years, there were numerous additional printings, still in the same-style binding, including this one: as quoted in WM&G, The authoritative Bibliographical Catalogue of Macmillan & Co.'s publications. informs us that that the first edition [which became the first American edition] was published in 1865, the second [the first English edition to be published as such] in 1866, the third in 1867, the fourth in Feb. 1868, and the fifth from electrotype plates in Oct. 1868. It is interesting to note, however, that there are 1867-dated copies reading "Fifth / Sixth / Seventh / or Eighth Thousand", and there are 1868-dated copies reading "Tenth / Eleventh / Twelfth / or Thirteenth Thousand" -- so clearly the copies of a single printing were divided up into several separate "Thousand"s. This copy dated 1868 reads "Eleventh Thousand," and its half-title has a presentation inscription (from "Grandmama" to a girl) dated Sept 12th 1868 -- which date would designate the "fourth edition" cited above. This is a very good copy, perhaps very good-plus: the red cloth is generally a bit mottled, and there are a droplet-mark on the front cover and a glass-ring on the back, but there is much less wear than it typically the case (very minor rubbing at some extremities). The original dark endpapers, bearing the booklabel of a seller in Windsor and of Burn & Co. the binder, are clean and intact. This is an excellent choice for the person who wants ALICE in its original binding style and with the original Tenniel illustrations, but at a price less than 1/100th of an 1866 copy's price. See Williams Madan & Green pp 27-31.
INTENTIONS. The Decay of Lying | Pen Pencil and Poison | The Critic as Artist | The Truth of Masks

INTENTIONS. The Decay of Lying | Pen Pencil and Poison | The Critic as Artist | The Truth of Masks

Wilde, Oscar London: James R. Osgood, McIlvaine & Co., 1891. Original yellow-green cloth decorated in gilt. First Edition of this group of four essays on literature, art, society and criticism -- which consisted of 900 copies (plus 600 printed for America with the Dodd, Mead imprint). Published just a week after Wilde's only novel THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, INTENTIONS precedes all of his famous plays which came out during the span 1893-1899. In the opening essay, Wilde laments the "decay of Lying as an art, a science, and a social pleasure." He takes to task modern literary realists like Henry James and Émile Zola for their "monstrous worship of facts" and stifling of the imagination. What makes art wonderful, he says, is that it is "absolutely indifferent to fact." The next essay, "Pen, Pencil, and Poison," is a fascinating literary appreciation of the life of Thomas Griffiths Wainewright, a talented painter, art critic, antiquarian, friend of Charles Lamb, and - murderer. The heart of the collection is the long two-part essay titled "The Critic as Artist." In one memorable passage after another, Wilde goes to great lengths to show that the critic is every bit as much an artist as the artist himself, in some cases more so. A good critic is like a virtuoso interpreter. Finally, in "The Truth of Masks," Wilde returns to the theme of art as artifice and creative deception. This essay focuses on the use of masks, disguises, and costume in Shakespeare [Goodreads]. Charles Ricketts created the Fin-de-Siècle binding design and lettering -- in the same year that he also designed, for the same publisher, the binding of TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES. This is a near-fine copy -- there is faint mottled fading that always seems to afflict this book's cloth, but there is little wear other than minor rubbing at the extremities (small partly-erased signature on the endpaper). INTENTIONS has become a difficult title to acquire in better condition. Mason 341.
THE WESSEX NOVELS (all 18 volumes including the first edition of JUDE THE OBSCURE)

THE WESSEX NOVELS (all 18 volumes including the first edition of JUDE THE OBSCURE)

Hardy, Thomas London: (first 17 volumes) Osgood, McIlvaine & Co.; (18th volume) Macmillan and Co., 1895-1913. [Together, 18 volumes.] All in matching original dark blue-green cloth with front cover monogram device in gilt. First Uniform and Complete Edition of Hardy's prose -- including three first editions. Osgood McIlvaine produced the original sixteen volumes, containing all of Hardy's fiction written until then, individually during the years 1895-1896; his last novel, JUDE THE OBSCURE, first came out during those two years, so that first edition was published as Vol. VIII of these volumes. (Due to the outcry over the daring subject matter in Hardy's last novels, he would write no more fiction; for the 32 years of his life remaining after JUDE, he would write only verse.) Subsequent to the first 16 volumes, two collections of previously-unpublished fiction, THE WELL-BELOVED (1897) and A CHANGED MAN (1913) came out -- the latter by Macmillan -- so the first editions of these two constituted the final volumes in this series, Vols XVII and XVIII. Even the volumes that are not first editions are very important: Osgood, McIlvaine's edition is an important one. The text of every novel was thoroughly and carefully revised, the topography (names and distances) corrected where necessary, chapters frequently retitled, and much rewriting done. In addition Hardy prepared a special preface for each volume (prefaces which have a peculiar interest when read consecutively as the work of 1895-96). [Purdy] Thus the Wessex Novels constitutes the definitive edition of Hardy's fiction -- the version of each novel as he ultimately wished it to endure. (All but JUDE had originally appeared as two- or three-volume novels, when the format and even the content were dictated by the lending libraries that would buy up most of the copies of authors' first editions.) Each novel also includes a frontispiece by H. Macbeth-Raeburn, as well as the ubiquitous Map of Wessex. Note: the included copy of WESSEX TALES bears on the front paste-down a "From the Author" leaf, which is signed (and dated 27 March 1897) by Hardy's Dorset friend Thomas Perkins, who had been headmaster of the Shaftesbury Grammar School and in the 1890s was rector of the North Dorset village of Turnworth (Turnworth House was "Hintock House" in Hardy's THE WOODLANDERS, and during these years Hardy would ride on his Rover Cob bicycle to that grand hall to give talks); an avid amateur photographer, Perkins was very interested in Dorset history, especially its architecture, and at the time of his death in 1907 he was writing MEMORIALS OF OLD DORSET. As for condition, this is a remarkable set. A couple of volumes have subtle repair at the spine ends, and one volume lacks its front free endpaper, but all of the other volumes (including all three first editions) are not too far from fine. It is worth pointing out that if one assumes a reasonable price of say $750.00 for this first edition of JUDE THE OBSCURE, that leaves $900.00 for the other 17 -- which is only $53.00 each. Purdy pp 279-282.
Autograph Letter Signed

Autograph Letter Signed, to “Dear Sir” [the editor of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine]

Whitman, Walt [Whitman writes his own epitaph] One page, "Camden New Jersey: Aug: 29 '89" [so handwritten by Whitman]. The text of this letter reads: Yr's of yesterday rec'd with picture suggesting piece (illustration in text). Will this do? I shall want proof (wh- don't forget) -- the price is $25. -- Respectfully [signed] Walt Whitman On August 28th -- the day before -- Harper's editor Henry Mills Alden had written Whitman soliciting a poem that could appear in Harper's New Monthly Magazine -- and with that request, Alden had enclosed an image of an 1867 George Inness painting "The Valley of the Shadow of Death" (in which a white-robed figure stands at the opening of a very dark, cloud-shrouded canyon) -- the "illustration in text" for which Alden wanted Whitman to write a poem. ".I send it on the chance that it may meet some spontaneous current of poetic movement in you. If it does will you let the movement have its course & let us have the result in the shape of a poem which we may print in our magazine? We intend using the illustration as a frontispiece." The very next day, Whitman sent this letter, enclosing (but not included here) his "spontaneous current of poetic movement," a 21-line poem he titled "Death's Valley (To accompany a picture; by request)." As prompted by the illustration Alden sent, the poem consists of Whitman's thoughts on death, and in particular on his own mortality (he was approaching his 70th birthday). Nay, do not dream, designer dark. For I have seen many soldiers die, After dread suffering -- have seen their lives pass off with smiles; And I have watched the death-hours of the old; and seen the infant die; The rich, with all his nurses and his doctors; And then the poor, in meagreness and poverty; And I myself for long, O Death, have breathed my every breath Amid the nearness and the silent thought of thee. Thee, holiest minister of Heaven -- thee, envoy, usherer, guide at last of all, Rich, florid, loosener of the stricture-knot call'd life, Sweet, peaceful, welcome Death. In this letter Whitman asks "Will this do?" and requests $25.00 in payment: yes it would do, and on September 1st Harper's paid him the $25.00 (per the Commonplace-Book). But the poem would not appear in the magazine for almost three more years -- in the April 1892 issue. And that issue's frontispiece is not Inness's painting, but rather J.W. Alexander's portrait of a very old-and-tired-looking Whitman -- a sketch of which also appears with the poem on pp 708-709. Why the three-year delay, and why the change in the illustration? Because Walt Whitman had just died on March 26, 1892. And that raises the question: when, 29 months earlier, Alden had asked Whitman to write a poem to accompany an illustration about death, had this been Alden's intention all along? -- to "trick" Whitman into writing, in effect, his own epitaph, for publication upon his death? The letter's condition is near-fine -- very minor toning and wear at the marginal edges, faint evidence of prior archival mounting at the corners. For this letter see Whitman Archive ID med.00881 ("The location of this manuscript is unknown," with the letter's text gleaned from an Anderson Galleries sale in 1923); Whitman Correspondence #2100; for the poem see Myerson F22 (broadside), E2769 (Harper's 1892 appearance), and C8.I.f (Leaves of Grass, Boston 1897).
Autograph Letter signed ("Nath' Hawthorne")

Autograph Letter signed (“Nath’ Hawthorne”), to “Dear Sir” (“Collector of Customs / New York”)

Hawthorne, Nathaniel One page on light blue paper, with the handwritten heading "Consulate USA | Liverpool 2 Jany 1856". The text of this letter reads: I wrote to you on the 30 ult[im]o City of Washington that the Certificate of Registry of the SS Ericsson had been left behind. I now herewith enclose it to you [not present] trusting that it will reach you in time for the vessel. I am Your Obed Servant Nath' Hawthorne. At the bottom of the page is an initialed note by a clerk, "Handed enclosed Registry to Mr [?] Ingraham Jany 23 1856". In 1852 Hawthorne had written a glowing biography of one his 18 classmates at Bowdoin College, Franklin Pierce, in support of the latter's Presidential campaign -- and when Pierce was elected, he rewarded Hawthorne with the political appointment of U.S. Consul in Liverpool; in 1853 the Hawthornes took up residence there. (Hawthorne had had a position at the Salem Massachusetts Custom House during the years 1846-1849, but lost in it a political shakeup; he lambasted his former employer in the first chapter of the novel he wrote a year later, THE SCARLET LETTER). In 1856 Pierce failed to win the Democratic nomination for re-election, with the result that Hawthorne's appointment ended early in 1857 (-- though the family stayed on in Liverpool until 1859, when they returned to Concord). In May 1864 Hawthorne would die while vacationing with Pierce in New Hampshire. This letter is a function of Hawthorne's appointment, sending along to Heman Judd Redfield, Collector for the Port of New York (another Pierce political appointee), a ship's certificate that had been left behind in Liverpool. The SS Ericsson was an immigrant steamship that in January 1856 sailed from Le Havre, presumably via Liverpool, and arrived in New York City on January 16th (its passenger manifest for that voyage is on-line, listing the thirteen passengers with age, country and profession). It was named for John Ericsson, the Swedish-American who had already invented a naval screw propeller and other designs, and would soon design the ironclad USS Monitor. During the Civil War, the ship would be part of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron under the command of Rear Admiral Samuel F. DuPont, headquartered at Port Royal (South Carolina). The letter is in fine condition (old folds, two small pieces of tape at the top of the blank verso).
ROUGHING IT and the INNOCENTS AT HOME

ROUGHING IT and the INNOCENTS AT HOME

Twain, Mark With 200 original illustrations by F.A. Fraser. London: George Routledge and Sons, 1882. Original red cloth pictorially decorated in black and lettered in gilt. First Combined UK Edition of this very early Twain title. In February 1872, Routledge published two fragile "yellow-back" Twain volumes -- "ROUGHING IT" (244 pages) around the 10th to 16th, and THE INNOCENTS AT HOME (224 pages) around the 17th to 24th; each was a "copyright edition" because, for copyright purposes, each slightly preceded the (combined) 592-page American edition titled ROUGHING IT. Later in 1872, both Routledge volumes were reissued bound together, though still separately printed and paginated. Beginning with TOM SAWYER in 1876, Chatto & Windus became Twain's UK publisher, and introduced the bright red pictorial binding that would grace Twain's UK works for the next two decades or so. In 1882 (as here), Routledge printed this new profusely-illustrated combined edition (495 pages), in the bright red pictorial cloth binding popularized by Chatto & Windus. This copy is in the uncommon second binding state -- still with the original leaves and the Routledge title page, but with "Chatto & Windus" rather than "Routledge" at the foot of the spine; Routledge was not going out of business, but obviously C&W had taken over the binding and distribution of this title. This is a bright, near-fine copy (spine slightly faded as always, a couple of rear-cover droplet-marks, but very little external wear; occasional light foxing and a few pages with red "bleeding" from the cloth). The early-1880s was the time UK publishers experimented with binding with staples rather than string, and this copy is an unusual instance of a hefty staple-bound book that has held together very well. Blanck 3630 (no mention of copies with C&W on spine, but 3635 constitutes a later combined printing dated 1883); also see 3335 & 3336 & 3599.
ORIENTATIONS

ORIENTATIONS

Maugham, William Somerset Colonial Edition. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1899. Original olive green cloth. First Edition, colonial issue, of Maugham's third book -- following LIZA OF LAMBETH and THE MAKING OF A SAINT. It is his first collection of short stories (six), one of which ("The Punctiliousness of Don Sebastian") had been his first story to appear in print (in the October 1898 issue of Cosmopolis) -- a magazine that followed the peculiar practice of printing its texts one-third in English, one-third in French, and one-third in Spanish. "The idea is that it would thus find readers in all three countries," Maugham said. "Unfortunately it found readers in none." [Morgan] ORIENTATIONS was published as a volume in Unwin's six-shilling Green Cloth Library, just like Joseph Conrad's first two books. 2000 copies were printed, but that includes copies for the colonial library (like this one) and many that were remaindered. This copy reads "Unwin's Colonial Library" at the foot of the spine, lists 61 volumes in that library (this being #60) on the half-title verso, and reads "Colonial Edition | For Circulation in the British Colonies and India only" on the title page. Condition is very good, a bit rubbed at the binding extremities, with a few small marks on the cloth. This colonial edition is curiously scarce; Toole Stott suggests that some of the colonial copies were re-directed to the domestic market, minus their half-titles. Toole Stott A3a.
MIDDLEMARCH: A Study of Provincial Life

MIDDLEMARCH: A Study of Provincial Life

Eliot, George In Two Volumes. Harper's Library Edition. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1873 [both volumes]. Original green cloth. First American Edition, second issue (printing?) -- of George Eliot's best-known book, and what is today regarded as one of the greatest literary accomplishments of the 19th Century. The novel first appeared in eight wrappered five-shilling parts in England, one issued every two months beginning on 1 Dec 1871 and ending on 2 Dec 1872 (the last two were sped up) -- soon after which (early December) the novel was also available in four cloth-bound volumes. Meanwhile in America, Harper was serializing MIDDLEMARCH in Harper's Weekly, from Dec 16 1871 through Feb. 15 1873. The week of Dec 28 1872, Harper published the novel in two volumes -- the first American edition -- as Vols VI and VII of their "Novels of George Eliot," and with "Harper's Library Edition" on the title pages. In that first issue, Vol I was dated 1872 and Vol II 1873. This set is from the second issue, with both title pages dated 1873 but otherwise identical; B&R calls this the "inferred second printing," though it is possible that these were the same textual leaves equipped with one new title leaf. Also in early 1873, Harper published a second edition of the novel in one volume, in the standard two-column format of their "Library of Select Novels" -- bound either in paper wrappers or in cloth. (B&R specifies the publication date neither for this "assumed second printing" of the first edition, nor for the one-volume second edition, so we do not know which of these two preceded the other.) Condition is just about fine (just a trace of rubbing and speckling). The American MIDDLEMARCH -- either of these Harper editions -- is curiously scarce, especially in condition this close to fine. Baker & Ross A10.4.b.
Autograph Letter Signed

Autograph Letter Signed, to “Dear Mrs [Richard] Darcy”, with accompanying photograph

Kipling, Rudyard Both sides of a card, which bears the heading "The Elms | Rottingdean, | nr Brighton." Dated Dec 12, 1898. In its original envelope, which provides the recipent's address "The Cottage, Clifton," with both Rottingdean and Brighton postmarks. With accompanying sepia photographic portrait of Kipling standing on a sailing vessel (mounted on gilt-edged card). This is a very intriguing, if not tantalizing, letter from Rudyard Kipling to a Mrs Darcy. It reads: That is indeed a beautiful photograph. Of course _we_ know what it means; but to the average spectator it looks very much as if your sailing-master had "shanghaied" one of the inhabitants of Adrigole and the unhappy native was slowly reviving on the decks of the _Margharita_. And the worst of it is, I can't explain to anyone that they are your husband's clothes I'm wearing! I feel I never thanked you properly for the good times you gave me on the yacht that wonderful day . [+ final long sentence hard to decipher] . With best regards to your husband, Very sincerely yours [signed] Rudyard Kipling. Accompanying the letter is a photo of Kipling standing on a sailing vessel, presumably the Margharita; Mrs Darcy must have sent it to Kipling, and with this letter he was returning it to her. We have not been able to learn who Mr & Mrs Richard Darcy were, in connection with Kipling. But we DO know (a) that Adrigole is a harbor village on the southwest corner of Ireland; (b) that the Darcys' hometown of Clifton is right by Bristol, on the southwest shore of England -- not all that far from Adrigole; and (c) that Kipling spent some time in Autumn 1898, including time in Adrigole's Bantry Bay, observing naval manoeuvres on board the Pelorus (the guest of Captain Bayly). At that time, Kipling must have spent a day on board the (Darcys'?) yacht, and subsequently (after each was back in England) she sent him a letter enclosing this photograph of Kipling. It is tempting to jump to the conclusion that this was some sort of illicit rendezvous -- and in fact, whatever dealer previously wrote a description for this letter (several decades ago) did just that. However, the jocular tone of Kipling's letter, combined with the formality of both the greeting and the signature, leads us to suggest that they simply had "good times on the yacht that wonderful day" -- perhaps (for all we know) with numerous other people. The puzzle that Kipling is wearing her husband's clothes is most easily solved by the idea that his clothes got soaked, as often happens on a sailboat. The letter/card is in very good condition (one corner has a few creases, with a couple of short pieces of tape, one of which encroaches on RK's signature; both the envelope and the photo are fine.