[Small Archive] Three Letters from Joseph Norton Ireland, Offering to Sell His Collection to Fellow Theater Historian, Douglas Taylor.
Bridgeport [CT]: 1897-1898. 4 pp. 5 x 8 inches. Very good, indents and remnants of paperclips along top edges, minor soling to folds on versos, contents clean. Item #44775
Three letters from theater historian and biographer, Joseph Norton Ireland to collector and biographer, Douglas Taylor .
1. Letter, dated December 8th, 1897. 1 pp. Ireland tells Taylor of the decline in his physical and mental faculties, before he summarizes his collection, which includes the Treasurer's books of the Old Park Theater, portraits & photographs of performers, and bound sets of playbills. Finally, he offers a nearly complete set of John Boydell's Shakespeare engravings for the amount of $40.
2. Letter, dated December 16th, 1897. 2 pp.Taylor clearly wanted the Boydell engravings, as Ireland's second letter was sent with an enclosed return check to Taylor, who had overpaid for the set. "I return your check for $40, as I think you misunderstand my writing 'I would see all for that amount', I then referred to the Shakespeare engravings, which were at the close of my letter, the small ones and the large ones and I meant to say I would sell them all (large & small) for that amount. I think the whole collection is worth rather more than that."
3. Letter, dated March 4th, 1898. 1 pp. Contains a short list of Ireland's collection of autograph letters, all bound, which he suspects "will be of little use" to Taylor.
Ioseph Norton Ireland (1817-1898) wrote "Records of the New York Stage from 1750-1860 (1866); "Mrs. Duff" (1882); and "A memoir of the professional life of Thomas Abthorpe Cooper" (1888).
Douglas Taylor (1830-1913) was president of the Dunlap Society, whose own biographical works included "Autobiography of Clara Fisher Maeder" (1897) and "Autobiographical sketch of Mrs. John Drew" (1899).