First edition, 1926 published by Heinemann, 185 pages with 20 tipped-in illustrated plates. With a letter from Arthur Rackham to the original owner. The letter, loosely inserted with its envelope, dated June 1926 and on Houghton House headed notepaper, is to a fan named Biddy Phelps.
The letter begins: Dear Biddy I was very pleased to get your letter & to hear that my books are your friends. I have to settle these matters with a publisher.It is he who knows all about the business & has to arrange which, of the books that I should like to illustrate, will be the best to do. A story that you will be old enough to like in a very few years' time: that is, to read yourself or see on the stage, and even now you would like it if some one read parts of it, & told you about the rest.
I expect my Tempest will be ready in time for Christmas. The book has an inscription to the front endpaper: E. , so it would appear that Biddy took Rackham's advice and waited a couple of years to read the play!
Evelyn Bridget Shirley (nee Phelps), 1913 2001, was evidently an ardent enthusiast of Rackham's work. During the 1930s she became Assistant Stage Manager at London's Old Vic theatre, and worked for the Red Cross during WW2. The book is quite firmly bound in the publisher's black cloth lettered and decorated in gilt, the cloth is lightly marked and rubbed and the extremities are a little bumped.The text block is age toned and slightly foxed with a small bookseller's label to the front pastedown and minor cracking at points. The colour plates are in good order. A charming and insightful letter from Rackham to a young fan, treasured and preserved within the book that the letter discusses. The item "Arthur Rackham handwritten signed letter (ALS) The Tempest 1926 1st Shakespeare" is in sale since Saturday, September 25, 2021. This item is in the category "Books, Comics & Magazines\Antiquarian & Collectable". The seller is "frost555uk" and is located in Liverpool. This item can be shipped to United Kingdom, United States, Ireland, Canada, Australia.