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Letter : from James Joyce, Grand Hôtel Britannique, Spa (Belgique) to J. Holroyd-Reece,

1934 Aug. 4.

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In Collection: The James Joyce - Paul Léon Papers, 1930-1940.
Description: Dear Mr Reece, I received your letter of the 12th July just before I left Paris. I am sure that you meant to be of service to me as far as you could in the matter of my daughter's lettrines and I thought that everything was satisfactorily concluded when I got Mr Louis Gillet to write the preface and paid for it and its translation into English and was prepared to agree to pay Messrs Burns and Oats [sic] the £225 to bring out the Chaucer book on commission, provided it was included in their next catalogue. You said this would be done but nothing at all happened. Then warned by my thirty years experience of English publishers and their ways, I accepted a Dutch firm's offer to bring out the book without any payment from me and it appears that Messrs Burns and Oats [sic] to whom you entrusted the lettrines are unable to restore them to you. I have a very high opinion of these lettrines and an opinion which so eminent an art critic as Mr Gillet endorses, but apart from that they are also a family document of great value to me and I regard their eventual loss in the same light as I should regard the loss of one of my own MSS which had cost me months of labour. Could you send me a copy of the letter sent by Messrs Burns and Oats [sic], or their art advisor, to you in reply to your request for the restitution of the lettrines? As for Mr Léon, he has always had my interests at heart but I cannot imagine that, though he is more practical than I in his outlook, he had any intention of offending you when he wrote as you say. I hope the wording of this letter is correct. I never write letters of business and it seems that this is one, and that the shorter and clearer I make it the better. But indeed I looked forward to the publication of the Chaucer book with my daughter's illustrations before Christmas and now, it appears, that is impossible even if the lettrines are found now. I do not know whose fault it is but it is somebody's fault surely. Sincerely yours, J.J.
Main Creator: Joyce, James, 1882-1941.
Created: August 4 1934
Language: English
Extent: 3 letters.
Available on microfiche; National Library of Ireland, Department of Manuscripts Reading Room.
Call Number: JJPL 06/01/01-12 (1) (Manuscripts Reading Room)
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