Mayfair (London): Dec 31, [1855?].
12mo (approx. 7-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches), cream notepaper embossed "Garrick Club inside a belt with buckle", written in brown ink. Fine.
Charles Reade (1814-1884) was born in London. He was an English author whose novels expose, with passionate indignation, the social injustices of his times. His greatest work, however, The Cloister and the Hearth (1861), a brilliant historical romance, relates the adventures of the father of Erasmus.
As a young man Reade was an active partner in a Soho violin business and was himself a fair performer on that instrument. In 1843 he was called to the bar but never practiced law. In 1851 Reade became vice president of Magdalen College, Oxford, but treated the position as a sinecure. A loyal friend of Reade's, Laura Seymour, an actress, became his housekeeper from 1856 until her death in 1879. Reade's 14 novels reveal his humanitarianism and concern with social issues.
Mr. Kean is Charles J. kean (1811-1858) noted English thespian who had acted in Reade's adaptation of the "Courier of Lyons" during the previous year. Taylor is Tom Taylor (1817-1880) editor of "Punch", playwright and sometimes dramatic collaborator with Reade.
From the letter: "By all means try your hand at the difficult passage and then we will sit in judgement on you instead of being sat upon. Of course I will read "the First Presenter" on Thrusday if you wish it. But if you would ont his particular occasion be good enough to represent the Authors I for one should feel obliged as the reading would interrupt work of imporantce in which I am hard pressed for time.
I am glad the piece as amended begins to look satisfactory.
It owes much toyour care and vigilance. In return you must permit me to tell you that Taylor has done you a great service in pleading stoutly for his beggar-scene..". [Dictionary of National Biography].