• [LGBTQ] Noted Author Le Gallienne, Oscar Wilde Lover, Writes Of Thomas Paine's Activities In France

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    RICHARD LE GALLIENNE (January 20, 1866 – September 15, 1947) was an English author of many novels, a poet and literary critic. Born to a middle-class family in Liverpool, England, he started his career in an accountant’s office. In 1883, his father took him to hear a lecture by Oscar Wilde. He soon abandoned his job to become a professional writer. In the summer of 1888, he met Wilde and the two had a brief affair. The two would continue their intimate correspondence after the affair ended.  His first wife, Mildred Lee, and their second daughter, Maria, died in 1894 during childbirth.  He carried with him at all times, including while being married to his second wife, an urn containing Mildred’s ashes.  Le Gallienne later became a resident of the United States. 

    2 pp, 5 x 8, ALS, Menton, France, April 4, 1935, to Francklyn Paris about his writing plans.

    “...Please excuse my delay in acknowledging your letter. I have been laid up...but am now right again; and have sent on your message to Sisley Huddleston [journalist who was imprisoned by the French for treason].

    “I read with great interest your suggested list of subjects – or I presume it was yours...I have decided to write on Thomas Paine’s activities in France. I thought first of Poe, but could find so little material, though I consulted my friend Prof. Legonis – and Mr. Leon Lemonnili, who is the best-posted French writer on Poe...All agree that there is no evidence of Poe’s ever being in Paris...Meanwhile I am going to write on Paine, who, it seems to me, has never had justice done to him...”

    Thomas Paine lived in France during the 1790s becoming deeply involved in the French Revolution.  He wrote a defense of the Revolution against its critics. His attacks on Anglo-Irish conservative writer Edmund Burke led to a trial and conviction in absentia in England in 1792 for the crime of seditious libel.

    Wonderful letter. Excellent condition. Provenance Christies.

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