JAMES, George Payne Rainsford, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts



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JAMES, George Payne Rainsford (1799-1860). Novelist and historical writer.
Autograph Letter Signed to an unnamed correspondent ('My dear Sir'), 2 pages 4to, The Cottage, Great Marlow, 31 May 1837. Warning his correspondent that he may need to call upon him for a loan due to the delay of a payment from his pubisher Bentley.
'By not hearing from you today I conclude that Mr Bentley has not been with you on Tuesday. This is to show me I suppose that the old system of Colburn and Bentley is still to go on. It has put me to the greatest inconvenience and I have delayed drawing upon you till the last moment. ...'
Richard Bentley came from a publishing family and in 1829 had entered into a complicated partnership with Henry Colburn, who owed him money. Catering to the then public taste for 'silver fork novels', their greatest success was arguably their Standard Novels series, but by 1832 their partnership was officially dissolved and Bentley continued to enjoy success alone initially. He appointed Charles Dickens the editor of 'Bentley's Miscellany' in 1836.

In the 1840s James became actively involved in organizing reform of the copyright laws, originating from the experience of seeing many of his novels published in cheap, unauthorized editions. During this period he also experienced serious financial difficulties and despite his popularity as an author, his problems escalated when he was sued by the engraver of his Collected Works. He was forced to pay a sum of several thousand pounds, which virtually ruined him and forced him to emigrate to the United States.
[No: 26384]


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