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Lot 72: Australia, England & Nelson.- Price (James Brent) & Matthew Porter Price. Correspondence and diaries relating to Australia, Nelson and George Meredith, letters folds, diaries various bindings, 8vo, 1866-76 (qty).
15 November 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: Australia, England & Nelson.- (1) Price (James Brent, draper, of Horsham, West Sussex, emigrated to Australia in 1864, son of David Brent Price, printer and publisher in Portsmouth, and nephew of Matthew Porter Price, b. 1826, fl. 1826-77) 9 fascicles labelled "Australia 1-9", manuscripts, titles and c. 560pp., loose in original calf-backed boards, rubbed, paper label on upper cover, covers detached, lacks spine, 1866-76 (2) 29 Autograph Letters signed to Matthew Porter Price, and a small quantity of incomplete letters etc., c. 265pp., 8vo, Horsham, Melbourne, Launceston (Tasmania), Sydney, Bathurst (New South Wales), Mayborough (Queensland) etc., 1866-76, correspondence of a middle-aged man who emigrates after a failed marriage, and who found life in Australia as difficult as it was in England, highlights, including: the visit of "W.G. Grace & the English cricket tourists... Mr. Grace got very drunk", much on getting and keeping drapers jobs in Melbourne, Launceston, Sydney, Bathurst and Mayborough, living alone in rented lodgings, awaiting letters from his "Uncle Matt" and getting further news of his family in England, and reporting on the economy of Victorian Australia, his hopes of a shop of his own which never comes to pass etc., folds § Price (Matthew Porter, reader for various London publishers, later a teacher at a private school, son of Samuel Price, pawnbroker of Portsmouth, fl. 1834-76) 3 diaries, autograph manuscripts, together c. 625pp., some loose, slightly browned, 2 vol. original morocco, and 1 vol. original roan-backed boards, both rubbed, 8vo, 1834-76 (qty). ⁂ Bidding Nelson farewell. Second mentioned an interesting series of diaries, opening with two retrospective stories of meeting Nelson as he left England for the last time, on 14 September 1805. "Lord Nelson left Spithead. My father spoke with him in Green-row [Portsmouth] on his way to his boat at the Bathing machine. Father pointed him out to me, & made me take my hat off to him", and then, a further elaboration, "Lord Nelson stopped my father, and gave a message to the George hotel [where he stayed before going aboard HMS Victory], that he had left it slily by way of Penny st. He was much pleased and moved by the few prayerful words father spoke to him, and promised to introduce me into the Royal Navy, when old enough, if father would would write to him." In later life Matthew Porter Price moved to London and was appointed 'Reader' at Wm. Clowes, publisher. In 1838 he moved to to Chas. Knight "to read Penny Cyclop", and the following year notes that a relative, Sidney Price, has been as an apprentice binder to James Kitcat. in 1842 he was involved in the production of Knight's Shakespeare. In 1864 he records the distressing behaviour of the wife and lodger of his nephew James Brent Price, "threatens his life with a life preserver", his own marriage and his wife's subsequent death. Later that same year he records the departure of James Brent Price for Australia at Gravesend. In 1875 he makes references to his own attempt at writing. There are further details of dinners, excursions to the City to collect dividends, various holidays, including Gravesend, Richmond, Sheerness, Guildford, Horsham, London theatres, picture galleries and the Oval. George Meredith (novelist, 1828-1909) and James Brent Price. In 1830, as recorded in Stewart Marsh Ellis's book, George Meredith, 1919, James Brent Price at the age of four was introduced to George Meredith as a potential playmate as they both lived in the same street in Portsmouth, "we did not get on much together as he assumed a sort of superiority. He and I often met..., but we did not fraternise much. He used to just say, 'How de do,' and nod. I did the same." .
Notes: Category: Literature, Manuscripts and History