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Auction archive: Lot number 57

BOSWELL (JAMES)

Estimate
£4,000 - £6,000
ca. US$5,258 - US$7,887
Price realised:
n. a.
Auction archive: Lot number 57

BOSWELL (JAMES)

Estimate
£4,000 - £6,000
ca. US$5,258 - US$7,887
Price realised:
n. a.
Beschreibung:

BOSWELL (JAMES)Autograph letter signed ("James Boswell") to Alexander Burnett ("Dear Sir"), British Chargé d'Affaires in Berlin, thanking him in familiar terms for escorting him in Germany ("...Would you not laugh if I should formally return you thanks for the many civilities which you was kind enough to show me at Berlin?..."), going on to thank him for introducing him to Mr [Philip] Stanhope ("...extremely obliging... presented me at court... dined with him twice. His table is good and his conversation agreeable. Dresden is a charming Place. I wish the King would make me his Minister there..."), bemoaning the destruction of the city by the Prussians ("...I think the Gothic Hero might have spared such an Addition to his Glory..."), and complaining of having to change his plans ("...were a Poem to be written in the manner of the Aneade describing my Journey from Berlin to Geneva this very circumstance would take up at least thirty lines... there is nothing I hate so much as to retourner sur mes pas. We have no phrase for this so good as the French one..."), ending by asking him what he made of the Spanish gun which has been offered to him at a suspiciously cheap price ("...the fellow asked only 20 Thalers for it... don't purchase till you write to me..."), 3 pages on a bifolium, integral address panel with remains of red wax seal, with docket, light dust-staining, creased at folds, 4to (264 x 190mm.), Leipzig, 14 October 1764Footnotes'I WISH THE KING WOULD MAKE ME HIS MINISTER THERE': BOSWELL TAKES IN THE GERMAN COURTS ON HIS GRAND TOUR. Beginning in April 1763 in the Netherlands, Boswell's continental tour took in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Corsica, every stage meticulously recorded in his daily journal (see ed. Marlies K. Danziger, James Boswell The Journal of his German & Swiss Travels, 1764, 2008). He looked upon his continental tour with great satisfaction and, although much of his diary from this period is lost, the portion describing his tour through Germany remains intact and in later years he considered it a suitable candidate for publication – 'I shall perhaps abridge it in a more elegant style' (ed. Geoffrey Scott Private Papers of James Boswell from Malahide Castle, 1928). However, it may well have been that the huge success of the published Tour of Corsica deterred him from that course, as 'any further publication of his travels must necessarily have the character of an anti-climax' (Scott, p.3). Our letter, therefore, was written in the midst of an ambitious itinerary which took in a plethora of the lesser German courts. Having just spent four days in Leipzig from 3rd to 7th October and Dresden from the 9th to the 12th Boswell was now back in Leipzig, furious at having to "retourner sur mes pas" after failing to find a seat in the large passenger coach, and thus having to resort to a slower, private coach, a delay he clearly found frustrating and necessitated him giving up a visit to Weimar. His companion and facilitator in Germany, and the recipient of our letter, was fellow Scot Alexander Burnett (1735-1802) of Kemnay, Aberdeenshire, who had studied at the university of Leiden and came to Berlin as secretary to Sir Andrew Mitchell, his Majesty's Minister to the Court, accompanying him and Frederick II on several fierce campaigns of the Seven Years' War and acting as Chargé d'Affaires from August 1764 to June 1766 whilst Mitchell took a cure for the benefit of his health. Boswell describes Burnett as 'a very good sollid clever young fellow', 'much better than myself' and 'excellent company. His storys flew thick... merry we were...' (Journal, 15 July 1764, 28 August 1764, 6 September 1764). Indeed, some of Burnett's amusing anecdotes were published in Boswelliana and Boswell notes that he 'has found me several words for my Scots Dictionary' (16 September 1764). They clashed only on the issue of the Union - 'After much warm disputation, I said 'Sir, the love of our country is a sentiment. If you have it no

Auction archive: Lot number 57
Auction:
Datum:
23 Mar 2022
Auction house:
Bonhams London
London, Knightsbridge
Beschreibung:

BOSWELL (JAMES)Autograph letter signed ("James Boswell") to Alexander Burnett ("Dear Sir"), British Chargé d'Affaires in Berlin, thanking him in familiar terms for escorting him in Germany ("...Would you not laugh if I should formally return you thanks for the many civilities which you was kind enough to show me at Berlin?..."), going on to thank him for introducing him to Mr [Philip] Stanhope ("...extremely obliging... presented me at court... dined with him twice. His table is good and his conversation agreeable. Dresden is a charming Place. I wish the King would make me his Minister there..."), bemoaning the destruction of the city by the Prussians ("...I think the Gothic Hero might have spared such an Addition to his Glory..."), and complaining of having to change his plans ("...were a Poem to be written in the manner of the Aneade describing my Journey from Berlin to Geneva this very circumstance would take up at least thirty lines... there is nothing I hate so much as to retourner sur mes pas. We have no phrase for this so good as the French one..."), ending by asking him what he made of the Spanish gun which has been offered to him at a suspiciously cheap price ("...the fellow asked only 20 Thalers for it... don't purchase till you write to me..."), 3 pages on a bifolium, integral address panel with remains of red wax seal, with docket, light dust-staining, creased at folds, 4to (264 x 190mm.), Leipzig, 14 October 1764Footnotes'I WISH THE KING WOULD MAKE ME HIS MINISTER THERE': BOSWELL TAKES IN THE GERMAN COURTS ON HIS GRAND TOUR. Beginning in April 1763 in the Netherlands, Boswell's continental tour took in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Corsica, every stage meticulously recorded in his daily journal (see ed. Marlies K. Danziger, James Boswell The Journal of his German & Swiss Travels, 1764, 2008). He looked upon his continental tour with great satisfaction and, although much of his diary from this period is lost, the portion describing his tour through Germany remains intact and in later years he considered it a suitable candidate for publication – 'I shall perhaps abridge it in a more elegant style' (ed. Geoffrey Scott Private Papers of James Boswell from Malahide Castle, 1928). However, it may well have been that the huge success of the published Tour of Corsica deterred him from that course, as 'any further publication of his travels must necessarily have the character of an anti-climax' (Scott, p.3). Our letter, therefore, was written in the midst of an ambitious itinerary which took in a plethora of the lesser German courts. Having just spent four days in Leipzig from 3rd to 7th October and Dresden from the 9th to the 12th Boswell was now back in Leipzig, furious at having to "retourner sur mes pas" after failing to find a seat in the large passenger coach, and thus having to resort to a slower, private coach, a delay he clearly found frustrating and necessitated him giving up a visit to Weimar. His companion and facilitator in Germany, and the recipient of our letter, was fellow Scot Alexander Burnett (1735-1802) of Kemnay, Aberdeenshire, who had studied at the university of Leiden and came to Berlin as secretary to Sir Andrew Mitchell, his Majesty's Minister to the Court, accompanying him and Frederick II on several fierce campaigns of the Seven Years' War and acting as Chargé d'Affaires from August 1764 to June 1766 whilst Mitchell took a cure for the benefit of his health. Boswell describes Burnett as 'a very good sollid clever young fellow', 'much better than myself' and 'excellent company. His storys flew thick... merry we were...' (Journal, 15 July 1764, 28 August 1764, 6 September 1764). Indeed, some of Burnett's amusing anecdotes were published in Boswelliana and Boswell notes that he 'has found me several words for my Scots Dictionary' (16 September 1764). They clashed only on the issue of the Union - 'After much warm disputation, I said 'Sir, the love of our country is a sentiment. If you have it no

Auction archive: Lot number 57
Auction:
Datum:
23 Mar 2022
Auction house:
Bonhams London
London, Knightsbridge
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