JEKYLL, Gertrude, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts



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JEKYLL, Gertrude (1843-1932). Artist and garden designer.
Illustrated Autograph Letter Signed to her life-long friend, the garden writer, William Robinson, 1½ pages 4to (small split in fold), Munstead Wood, 11 october 1924. A fine letter thanking Robinson for his book My Wood Fires, and sketching the Swiss log-holder or Hotte which she had installed, and lamenting the death of James Britten, etc. With a photograph of a wood hotte.
'... [The book] is so good as a thing to look at that I find myself straying from the sense of the letterpress to admire the print & paper and wood cuts and the whole ensemble. I do envy you your wood fires and all their accessories. Wood to burn is here an expensive luxury, and though dear to buy it costs as much, with labourers wages as they are, to grub & cut up the small amount I have to get rid of on the ground. To hold logs in my workshop and lobby I use these Swiss wood - hottes. Forty logs can be stacked in them & they take very little room. ...'
I am greatly mourning the loss of my dear old friend James Britten
[Keeper of the Botany Department at the British Museum]. We always had great talks about books and good English and oddities of language. Besides he was a man of infinite humour of the best kind and a good comrade all round. ...'
The letter concludes with a promise to send plants for Robinson's rose bed [at Gravetye Manor, East Grinstead, which in fame rivalled Gertrude Jekyll's own garden at Munstead].
'In 1875 Miss Jekyll met William Robinson at the offices of The Garden and from 1881 began contributing articles to his journal. Her obituarist attributed to Miss Jekyll and William Robinson 'not only the complete transformation of English horticultural method and design, but also that wide diffusion of knowledge and taste which has made us almost a nation of gardeners' . [Michael Tooley in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography].
[No: 21658]


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