The text of the book consists of some 150 letters (out of a corpus of 2,500) written by the late nineteenth-century poet, critic, editor and journalist W.E. Henley, to various figures of the period, e.g. R.L. Stevenson, H. G. Wells, J.M. Barrie, William Archer, Rodin, Wilde, Kipling, Arthur Morrison, Alice Meynell, and Edmund Gosse. Letters are also included to other figures within Henley’s immediate circle, his wife Anna, his financial backer Fitzroy Bell, Charles Baxter the arbitrator in the quarrel between Henley and Stevenson, and his Edinburgh art collector friend Hamilton Bruce. Each letter is fully annotated. An introduction places Henley within the period and provides a biographical account of his life and literary work which is reflected in his letters. Of particular importance is the role of Henley as editor of London, the Magazine of Art, the Scots Observer and later the National Observer and the New Review.
Contents: The ninteenth century general editors’ preface; Introduction; Sources of letters, abbreviations and short titles; Chronology: William Ernest Henley 1849-1903; The Selected Letters 1870-1903: The early years: 1870-81; The world of art: 1881-88; The Scots Observer and the New Review: 1889-97; The final years: 1898-1903; Index.
The Nineteenth Century Series aims to develop and promote new approaches and fresh directions in scholarship and criticism on nineteenth-century literature and culture. The series encourages work which erodes the traditional boundary between Romantic and Victorian studies and welcomes interdisciplinary approaches to the literary, religious, scientific and visual cultures of the period. While British literature and culture are the core subject matter of monographs and collections in the series, the editors encourage proposals which explore the wider, international contexts of nineteenth-century literature – transatlantic, European and global. Print culture, including studies in the newspaper and periodical press, book history, life writing and gender studies are particular strengths of this established series as are high quality single author studies. The series also embraces research in the field of digital humanities. The editors invite proposals from both younger and established scholars in all areas of nineteenth-century literary studies.