# 41660

IRVING, Henry (1838-1905) [STOKER, Bram, 1847-1912]

Henry Irving, actor and theatre manager : signed note, written in the hand of his secretary, Bram Stoker. 21 May, 1894.

$350.00 AUD

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Manuscript in ink, 1 page, octavo (200 x 120 mm); note written entirely in the highly distinctive hand of Bram Stoker on behalf of his employer, Henry Irving, headed Lyceum, 21 May 1894, and signed at the foot ‘H. Irving‘; Irving expresses his thanks to an unidentified recipient, whom he addresses simply as ‘Dear Sir’, for sending him a book which he is ‘glad to possess on account of those personal associations with Edinburgh to which you allude. With all good thanks, Faithfully yours [H. Irving]’; endorsed in pencil in the upper margin ‘Recd. 22/5/94’, the recipient also adding the word ‘Theatre’ in pencil after Stoker’s ‘Lyceum’; verso docketed by the recipient in ink ’21st May 1894. Henry Irving, ack[nowledgin]g book’, adding below it in pencil the title of the book, ‘Old Edinburgh. Illustrated’; original vertical and horizontal folds, remnants of old hinges at each corner from where the document was once mounted in an album, otherwise very well preserved.

During the latter part of the nineteenth century, renowned English actor Henry Irving was also the proprietor of London’s Lyceum Theatre. Bram Stoker was Irving’s private secretary and business manager of the Lyceum for almost three decades, and it has been speculated that Irving was the inspiration for Stoker’s Gothic horror novel Dracula, published in 1897.

Provenance: Autograph album compiled by Jane Emma Murphy (Balcombe) (1854–1924), “The Briars,” Mornington, Victoria (Australia); à Beckett family, Melbourne (by descent).