1868 Manuscript Letter Regarding St. James Magazine Publication by Victorian-Era Writer Charlotte Riddell

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On offer is a handwritten and signed letter by an important Victorian-era female writer, addressed to a fellow writer who submitted a piece to St. James magazine. The author of the letter is Charlotte Riddell (nee Cowan) (1832-1906), who also went by the pseudonyms Mrs. Joseph H. Riddell; F.G. Trafford; R.V. Sparling; Rainey Hawthorne. 

Riddell was an Irish-born British author dubbed the "Novelist of the City" in Victorian England. She wrote about finance and business, but is best-known in the modern-era for her Victorian ghost stories. Learn more about Riddell in BIO NOTES at the end of the listing. 

This letter is dated April 14th 1868 in London. Riddell writes to an unidentified "Madam", returning a manuscript submitted for publication. In April of 1868 Riddell had become part owner and editor at St. James Magazine. In the letter she writes:

"I am sorry to have to seem ungrateful for your kind note but the staff of the St. James is complete and I am obliged to return your M.S. without even looking at it. I may add mine is the exception to the London rule...I have a number of regular contributors...".

BIO NOTES: Charlotte Riddell [born Charlotte Eliza Lawson Cowan] (aka Mrs J.H. Riddell) was a prolific English novelist and story writer during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Riddell published forty novels, plus tales (in journals, annuals, and her own collections), two travel books, and essays in periodicals. She was best-known in her own day for her domestic novels, sensation novels, and local and mystery novels. She has become more prominent in recent times for her highly-regarded ghost stories. She is unusual both in her depictions of the male-only business and financial aspects of London life, and in choosing lyrical country settings from the immediate area of London, both to the north-east and the south-west. Amongst her novels were: The Haunted House at Latchford (aka Fairy Water) (1872); The Earl's Promise (1873); The Uninhabited House (1875); The Haunted River (1877); The Disappearance of Jeremiah Redworth (1878); Maxwell Drewitt (1879) and The Nun's Curse (1888).

The letter measures 9 x 7 inches flat, folded to 7 x 4-1/2 inches. Autograph letter signed. Three pages, [addressee panel cut out]. One word with smudging, otherwise, good condition.

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