Special Collections Department
Letters to Gordon Browne
Manuscript Collection Number: 390
Accessioned: Purchase, August 1992.
Extent: .3 linear ft. (83 items).
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: September 1999 by Anita A. Wellner.
Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
Table of Contents
Beginning in the 1880s Gordon Browne was one of Great Britain's most prolific illustrators, contributing regularly to many newspapers and magazines, as well as illustrating editions of books written by Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe, 1885), Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels, 1886), Washington Irving (Rip Van Winkle, 1887), and Robert Louis Stevenson (Island Nights Entertainment, 1893). He also illustrated eight volumes of works by William Shakespeare, an edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales (1894), and his own Gordon Browne's Series of Old Fairy Tales (1886-1887).
His illustrations appeared periodically in The Illustrated London News, The Quiver, The Sporting and Dramatic News, Cassell's Saturday Journal, Cassell's Family Magazine, The Boy's Own Paper, The Girl's Own Paper, The Pall Mall Magazine, The Sunday Strand, Little Folks, The Penny Magazine, and Puck. Some of his humorous drawings appeared as illustrations for his own comic books, which Browne wrote using the pseudonym "A. Nobody."
Although Gordon Browne never achieved the critical acclaim accorded his father -- in part because he never developed a longterm association with a noted author -- his work was recognized by his election to the Royal Institute in 1896. After living for years at Richmond, Surrey, Gordon Browne died on May 27, 1932.
Houfe, Simon. The Dictionary of 19th Century British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists. Woodbridge, England: Antique Collectors' Club, 1996. p. 77.
Peppin, Brigid and Lucy Micklethwait. Book Illustrators of the Twentieth Century. New York: Arco Publishing, Inc., 1984. pp. 59-61.
Scope and Content Note
Many of the letters were written by authors expressing gratitude for illustrations which Browne created for their books or stories. Occasionally authors wrote to suggest ideas for a future illustration or to request that Browne illustrate a particular book or story. For example, Julia Horatio Ewing wrote detailing ideas for her latest book, Alfred St. Johnston thanked him for his illustrations of "The Quest of Gold," and B. L. Farjeon requested that Browne illustrate a novel that was to be serialized in The Illustrated London News.
Other letters include requests from authors, collectors, or friends to purchase original drawings or paintings, or thank-you notes for Browne's generosity with his drawings or paintings. The collection includes a fan letter from a child and researcher Frederic George Kitton's inquiry regarding Gordon Browne's father, Hablot Knight Browne -- the noted illustrator known as "Phiz."
In his letter requesting an autograph, Thomas Hutchinson includes his poem "My Model Yacht," which he initialed and inscribed to Browne. In a letter asking Browne to illustrate an article she planned to write concerning Jerusalem, London newspaper reporter Mary Boyle O'Reilly described her experience in Jerusalem just prior to World War I. The Portsmouth & Hampshire Art Society wrote to notify Browne of his election as an honorary member of the society, and Vincent Starrett reflected on his visits to England and his friendship with Browne.
There are six letters which were not addressed to Browne. One is a note written by Browne to an unidentified person, accompanied an enclosure which is no longer present. Other letters include two personal letters from "Lara" to "Melia,"a letter from Edgar Sheppard inviting an unidentified individual to preach at Chapel Royal St. James, a letter from Jack Dodworth written (and illustrated) to H. J. Thompson, and a note from the Dean of Westminster to Redmayne & Company regarding a recent bill.
Of the letters addressed to Browne, many reflect the respect given to Browne and his illustrations by his contemporaries. They also indicate the demand for his work in the late eighteenth and early twentieth centuries, and Browne's generosity in sharing it.
Series I. Letters to Gordon Browne, 1875-1937 All letters are addressed to Gordon Browne unless otherwise noted. F1 Letters, 1875-1887 1875 Sep 3 ALS 2p Ewing, Juliana Horatio 1877 Jul 24 ALS 1p Buckley, William 1883 Oct 26 ALS 1p Austen, D. F. Nov 23 ALS 3p Unidentified 1884 Nov 1 ALS 4p Unidentified 1885 Feb 26 ALS 8p Ewing, Juliana Horatio May 18 ALS 1p [Gattis?], Alfred Scott Nov 9 ALS 1p Farjeon, B. L. Nov 24 ALS 3p Stables, William Gordon Dec 24 ALS 2p St. Johnston, Alfred 1886 Dec 16 ALS 1p C. Kegan Paul 1887 Feb 10 ALS 2p Farjeon, B. L. Apr 20 ALS 2p Farjeon, B. L. F2 Letters, 1889-1896 1889 Apr 1 ALS 4p Burnand, F. C. (Francis Cowley), Sir, 1836-1917 May 14 ALS 3p MacKenzie, John 1890 Dec 30 ALS 2p [Canty, Horace H. ?] 1893 May 25 ANS 1p Browne, Gordon Note: Written to an unidentified individual. Jun 20 ALS 2p Wornum, L. Porter  Dec 19 ALS 2p Stitt, J. Carlton 1895 Jan 1 ALS 2p Bale, Edwin Jul 10 ALS 3p Colvin, Sidney Aug 5 ALS 3p Avery, Harold Nov 23 ALS 3p Hutchinson, Thomas Dec 7 ALS 3p Halse, George 1896 Feb 10 ALS 2p Canton, William Mar 3 ALS 3p Kitton Frederic George, 1856-1904 Nov 25 ALS 2p [Stitt, J. Carelton?] F3 Letters, 1897-1901 1897 Jul 9 ALS 1p Burnand, F. C. (Francis Cowley), Sir, 1836-1917 1898 Aug 17 ALS 2p Williams, Ursula A. Aug 26 ALS 3p Warner, Lily Nov 20 ALS 3p Darton, F. J. Harvey (Frederick Joseph Harvey), 1878-1936 1899 Mar 8 ALS 2p Rambant, A. Beatrice Mar 10 ALS 3p Stevens, W. (printer of The Leisure Hour) Jun 1 ALS 4p [Cope, A. S. ?] 1900 Feb 3 ALS 2p MacKintosh, J. Glora Note: Includes one page of ink sketches by unidentified artist. Oct 17 ALS 1p Harraden, Herbert 1901 Apr13 ALS 6p Hammonde, Daphne F4 Letters, 1903-1909 1903 Jul 18 ALS 3p Bell, Warren 1904 Feb 13 ALS 8p Clifford, Lucy (Clifford, W. K., Mrs., d. 1929)  Dec 27 ALS 2p Soord, Alfred to Miss Cridland 1908 Oct 24 ALS 2p Hope, M. I. 1909 Feb 14 ALS 1p Ormrod, James Dixon Note: Includes a clipping of a poem by Ormrod based on illustrations by Browne. Feb 22 ALS 4p Garratt, Frank A. (photographer) May 6 ALS 2p Dodworth, Jack to H. J. Thompson Note: Letter written to H. J. Thomposon, with one illustration included. Dec 18 ALS 2p Garratt, Frank A. 190? ALS 2p Kernahan, Coulson, 1858-1943 F5 Letters, 1912-1917 1912 May 8 ANS 1p [Bundy, Edgar ?] 1913 Jun 17 ALS 2p Deed, Neville G. Nov 8 ALS 1p Downing, George H 1915 Jan 18 ALS 2p Blaikley, Ernest Apr 29 ALS 2p Dadd, Frank, 1851-1929 Oct 25 ALS 4p Foster, John, 1867- 1916 Jan 18 TLS 1p O'Reilly, Mary Boyle, 1873-1939 1917 Mar 7 ALS 1p White, Geoffrey H. Aug 9 ALS 1p Channon, Ethel Mary, 1875- F6 Letters, 1921-1924 1921 Dec 13 TLS 1p Thomson, Basil, 1861-1939 1922 Feb 12 AL 2p [McEvoy, Joseph C.] Note: Letter is incomplete. Jun 21 ALS 2p McEvoy, Joseph C. Dec 5 ALS 2p Unidentified 1923 Jun 18 ALS 3p Gullick, M. E. 1924 Mar 4 ALS 4p Unidentified May 26 TL 1p La Revue Moderne Jun 3 ALS 2p Sellick, G. Godfray Jun 7 ALS 2p Hartley, Alford Nov 20 ALS 2p Starrett, Vincent, 1886-1974 F7 Letters, 1925-1937 1925 Feb 17 ALS 2p Starrett, Vincent, 1886-1974 Mar 27 ALS 4p Starrett, Vincent, 1886-1974 May 5 ALS 2p Starrett, Vincent, 1886-1974 1928 Nov 28 ALS 2p Starrett, Vincent, 1886-1974 1937 Dec 29 ALS 2p Dodgson, Campbell, 1867-1948 F8 Undated letters [n.y.] Jul 13 ALS 2p Atholl, Katharine Marjory Stewart-Murray, Duchess of, 1874-1960 [n.y.] Mar 1 ALS 1p Kitsen, James, Sir [n.y.] Jan 29 ALS 4p Halse [n.y.] Aug 24 ALS 3p Smith, Charles T. [n.y.] Sunday ALS 3p Haas [n.y.] Tuesday ALS 1p Eden, William [n.y.] Thursday ALS 1p Unidentified [n.d.] ALS 3p Wells, Kathleen Deering [n.d.] ANS 1p Lee, James [n.d.] ALS 1p Mackay, John Gunn, 1849- [n.d.] ALS 2p Sheppard, Edgar, 1845-1921 Note: It is unclear to whom this letter is addressed. It is an invitation to preach at the Chapel Royal St. James. [n.d.] ANS 1p Dean of Westminster Note: Written to Redmayne & Company, enclosing a payment for a bill. [n.d.] ALS 2p Lara Note: Addressed to "Melia." [n.d.] ALS 2p Lara Note: Addressed to "Melia."
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