ENGLISH ESSAYIST, POET AND STATESMAN; WITH RICHARD STEELE PRODUCED THE NON-POLITICAL SPECTATOR. Document Signed, one page, quarto, Whitehall, January 29, 1717/18. Addison, signing on the verso of an account of Henry Worsley’s extraordinary expenses on behalf of the King, makes a two-line statement authorizing payment. The lower left corner has been torn off, affecting … [ Read More ]
Collectible Signatures of Famous English Authors and Writers
In the field of author signatures, autographs and signed letters, there is generally a direct relationship between the popularity of an author during his/her lifetime and the availability of their signed pieces today. Popular authors carried on correspondences. People went to their readings and obtained their autograph signatures, and everyone saved their autographs and signed letters because they knew they were important. Authors who were not popular during their lifetimes, and were not appreciated until decades later, are quite rare in autograph signatures and signed letters today, because people did not recognize their names in the decades after they died and did not save their signatures and signed letters. In American literature, autograph signatures and signed documents of Nathaniel Hawthorne are rare, while those of Edgar Allan Poe and Herman Melville are in the very to extremely rare category. Henry David Thoreau would be, as well, if it were not for the fact that autograph manuscript pages of his were tipped into a specially issued collection of his works. These are the only pieces in his handwriting that are ever encountered. Popular writers of the same period – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, Oliver Wendell Holmes – are all readily available today in autograph signatures and signed letters. Emily Dickinson, the reclusive poet, is extremely rare in any autograph examples. Walt Whitman is less rare and was quite popular during his lifetime, but he has been extensively collected by specialized collectors who have given or sold their collections to institutional libraries.
In the field of British literature, as with their American counterparts, most authors’ signatures, autographs and signed letters have been heavily collected by institutional libraries for decades, removing from the marketplace most of what they wrote. Charles Dickens, extraordinarily popular during his lifetime, and up to and including the present day, wrote many autograph signatures and signed letters, which have always been preserved and can be found by today's collectors. Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, wrote letters concerning spiritualism, which can be found by today's admirers. Virginia Woolf is in great popular demand, but even though her letters were always saved, they are not easy to find. William Butler Yeats’ poetry is very popular today, and his signed letters have become increasingly difficult to find. James Joyce, never popular during his lifetime, has been avidly collected by institutional libraries, and his letters are quite rare. Samuel Beckett has a broad base of popular interest today and, fortunately, he signed many letters that continue to turn up on the market. Ian Fleming would seem to be someone whose autograph signature and signed letters would be available for collectors, but that is not the case. Fleming's popularity did not really develop until just before he died, and it seems that people did not save his letters or signatures to any extent.
Please browse our selection of author signatures, autographs and signed memorabilia or you may search our entire inventory alphabetically, by name or by category.
ENGLISH POET Autograph Letter Signed, two pages, octavo, 43 via Bocca di Leone [Rome], Friday, undated. To “My dear Reverend Hanna.” With the original black-bordered mourning envelope addressed in her hand. “Will you allow us to introduce to you Mrs. Hamilton and her daughter, country-women of your own, who will commend themselves to you, … [ Read More ]
ROBERT BROWNING WROTE… “THE PORTRAIT IS…THE BEST IN EXISTENCE, PERHAPS” BROWNING, ELIZABETH BARRETT. A highly important photograph of her portrait painted in 1859 by Field Talfourd, now in the National Portrait Gallery in London, Signed by her on the mount below. Eleven inches by seven inches. Elizabeth Barrett Browning never owned the original of … [ Read More ]
ROBERT BROWNING. English poet. Autograph Letter Signed, three pages, octavo, London, February 14, 1882. To “My dear Leighton,” the British painter Sir Frederic Leighton. “I do more indeed than ‘care to have’ a copy of that address which I certainly had ‘interest enough in to listen to.’ I think, did the case relate to any … [ Read More ]
“….THE WORLD IS ALREADY PARTIAL TO DETECTIVE FICTION AND HAS BEEN FOR SOME TIME. HAMLET COULD CERTAINLY QUALIFY AS A DETECTIVE DRAMA….” English mystery writer; creator of Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. Typewritten Letter Signed, Agatha Mallowan, one page, octavo, Churston Ferrers, near Brixham, South Devon, June 12, 1972. To Dear Mrs. Frink. “As … [ Read More ]
ENGLISH NOVELIST; WROTE “THE WOMAN IN WHITE”. Autograph Quotation Signed, one page, octavo, London, February 17, 1883. From The Woman in White, Collins writes: “Women can resist a man’s love, a man’s fame, a man’s personal appearance, and a man’s money; but they cannot resist a man’s tongue when he knows how to talk … [ Read More ]
English actor, playwright and composer. Autograph Musical Quotation Signed, one page, on a 3 by 8 inch sheet, undated. Noel Coward writes seven measures of his song, “I’ll Follow My Secret Heart,” with words to the refrain, “I’ll follow my secret heart my whole life through.” Inscribed to Lionel Aucoin. Noel Coward’s song, “I’ll Follow … [ Read More ]
“…THE BIGGEST SMASH HIT IN NEW YORK.” English actor, playwright, and composer best known for highly polished comedies of manners. Typewritten Letter Signed, May 21, 1958, octavo, on stationary with the address 404 East 55th Street, New York. To “My dear Bink” (Hugh Beaumont). “Thanks ever so for your letter. “Yes, I am very keen … [ Read More ]
THE VERY RARE AUTOGRAPH OF THE AUTHOR OF “TOM JONES” HENRY FIELDING. English novelist and playwright. Document Signed, H Fielding, one page, oblong octavo, June 27, 1750. Fielding attests that “William Moncke late of Northend in the parish of Fulham and county of Middlesex Esq. maketh oath that his son John Moncke and his daughters … [ Read More ]
English writer. Collection of 8 Mimeograph Manuscripts for the motion picture, The Third Man, based on the novel by Graham Greene, comprising the Treatment, the Screenplay, the Second Draft Script, the Synopsis and Dialogue Screenplay, Dialogue Cutting Continuity Script, Release Script Reels 1 – 12, Narrator Portuguese Script, and Spanish Script. The 1949 London Film … [ Read More ]
SAMUEL RICHARDSON. English novelist; author of Clarissa Harlowe. Partly printed Document Signed, one page, legal folio, January 2, 1743. Samuel Richardson signs a statement headed, “Tonnage, 1694 &c.”, saying that he has received six pounds from the Treasury, funds paid out to him as the assignee of George Churchill and Hugh Chudleigh and by virtue … [ Read More ]
“…ONE STATEMENT OF YOURS…IS VENOMOUS, BECAUSE IT IS ONE OF THOSE ACCUSATIONS, OF THE HAVE-YOU-STOPPED- BEATING-YOUR-WIFE VARIETY, AGAINST WHICH THERE IS NO CONCEIVABLE DEFENCE….” DOROTHY LEIGH SAYERS. English mystery novelist; creator of the memorable sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey. Typewritten Letter Signed, Dorothy Leigh Sayers, three pages, quarto, Witham, Essex, July 25, 1947. To Dr. James … [ Read More ]
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW. British playwright, author, and critic. Typewritten Manuscript Signed twice, By Bernard Shaw, below the title, and with his initials at the conclusion, nine pages, large quarto, January 27, 1923. On green paper, entitled The Unprotected Child and The Law. With extensive revisions and corrections in George Bernard Shaw’s hand (shown in italic). … [ Read More ]
English poet. Autograph Quotation Signed, three lines from his poem The Fountain, boldly penned on an oblong octavo sheet dated “Easter Sunday, 1843” from Rydal Mount. “Often glad no more/ We wear a face of joy because/ We have been glad of yore.” William Wordsworth wrote The Fountain, A Conversation in 1799 and published it … [ Read More ]
English poet. Autograph Letter Signed, one page, quarto, Rydal Mount, September 21, 1846. To The Rev. Dr. Parkinson, introducing Mr. Pemberton Bartlett “a Student of St. Bees and recommend him to any attention which it may fall within your province to be able to give him the benefit of. He is a friend of Mr. … [ Read More ]
Irish poet and dramatist. Autograph Letter Signed, WBYeats, three pages, octavo, 3 Upper Ely Place, Dublin, September 4, no year . To [W. E.] Henley, the influential editor of the National Observer. “I sent you a book of sonnets by Rhys with drawings by my brother who is about 19 years old & means to … [ Read More ]
Irish poet and dramatist. Typewritten Letter Signed, WB Yeats, one-half page, quarto, Riversdale, Rathfarnham, Dublin, May 21, 1933. On his imprinted stationery, to [Derek] Verschoyle, editor of the Spectator. “I send you that review and it is the last I shall ever write. I havent that gift, my writings have to germinate out of each … [ Read More ]