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Description: In two letters to the publisher John Lane, Harris writes concerning his story “The Miracle of the Stigmata” in two dramatically different tones. The first autograph letter signed is apologetic and gracious whereas the second typed, four-page letter is a scathing refutation of an unknown critic of Harris’ short story.

In the one-page handwritten  letter (8 Oct 1904), Harris graciously apologizes to Lane for what seems to be his rudeness at not acknowledging an invitation. He asks for Lane’s “judgment” of his short story, “The Miracle of The Stigmata” and two other stories and is eager to hear them.

The second typed letter (2nd November, 1904) is an erudite condemnation of the anonymous critic’s reading of “The Miracle of The Stigmata.” Harris wishes that “for courtesy’s sweet sake [Lane] would never have shown it to [him].” Placing himself in the category of authors such as “the Hugos, Balzacs, Flauberts” who “were insulted, slandered, vilified, contemptuously dismissed, as if they had been penchant school children” by the “great critic,” (Charles Augustine) Sainte-Beuve, Harris adds: “Men are indulgent to their inferiors, pitiless to their superiors; . . .” In four pages, he goes on to demonstrate the incompetence of Lane’s unknown critic friend, whom he does not consider a peer, or competent enough to judge his work: “He is not only low-minded–this critic, but apparently illiterate as well; he writes ‘they (my stories) class, in fact, with some of the work of H. G.Wells; . . .’” (H. G. Wells and Bernard Shaw were contributors to the Saturday Review that Harris edited). After telling Lane, that it was “an offence to put such a man in judgment over [him]”. . . he states, “. . . your clerical pedagogue-critic advises me not to publish ‘The Miracle of the Stigmata:’ in all sincerity, I advise him never to play critic again unless he loves the work he would appraise; for, without Love’s passionate sympathy, he will never reach to honesty, much less to that eventful appreciation of the new which is the happy appanage of creative genius alone.” 4 pages

The handwritten letter, from 4, Belsize Terrace, Swiss cottage, is on a blue stamped letter card with multiple postal cancellations, approx 5” x 6 ½” .  The four page letter is typed on 7 ½” x 10” sheets of ivory stationery. Item #A01743

Frank Harris (1856-1931) was an Irish-born American journalist and writer. During his journalistic career, he edited the Evening News, the Fortnightly Review, and the most prestigious of them all, the Saturday Review. George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde were his friends. He is best known for his controversial and unreliable autobiography, My Love and Loves, 3 vols (1923-27).

John Lane (1854-1925) was a British publisher who co-founded the well-reputed publishing house, The Bodley Head, with Charles Elkin Mathews.

Condition: The typed letter has ink stains on last page (not affecting text) and mailing fold lines, otherwise good condition. The manuscript letter is in very good condition

In addition to the above two letters there is a third typed letter signed (25 Oct 1912) from J.(?) W. Reeve to Lane about the publication of Harris’ collection of short stories, including  “The Miracle . . . ,” which Lane published in 1913. On behalf of Frank Harris he negotiates the terms of Harris’ short story collection “Unpath’d Waters.” He explicitly lists the terms for the advance, the royalty, and the rights of the author to the book. Letter includes a list of the stories and where they were previously published, list of Harris’ “Contemporary Portraits,” and other published works. 4 pages.

Plus included is  a biographical sketch of the author for a talk (Sigma Tau Delta 1940).