An Unpublished Letter of Lord Byron

Book and pictures courtesy of Stephen and Paulette Modiano. Description courtesy of Paul Jackson.

An Unpublished Letter of Lord Byron
 by Arthur E. Anundsen, 1913

This book measures 8" x 6" and has 24 unnumbered pages plus a title page. The title page and first page running head and initial are hand illumined. The book was printed in one color on Roycroft watermarked paper. This book is not listed in McKenna and printing numbers are unknown but thought to be quite small. This book prior to its' purchase by Stephen Modiano and publication here, was unknown to and previously unseen by all the major Roycroft collectors.

The Unpublished Letter was originally published in the June 1901 Philistine and was later published in Volume #9 of the Selected Writings series and reprinted in the Philistine.  In the June 1901 Philistine Hubbard leaves the impression that this was actually written by Lord Byron. In the Selected Writings and the Philistine reprint Hubbard states; "In answer to many questions as to where the original was found, I will say it was discovered under a Cabbage Leaf in the Roycroft Garden, which is in East Aurora, by Ali Baba."
 
This letter was actually written by Arthur E. Anundsen, a lawyer from Decorah, Iowa. This letter was written regarding a private incident in his life and was a work of art and a farewell to a young lady after a  "grand passion". Anundsen gave a copy of it to his friend Major James B. Pond who also incidentally booked speaking engagements for Elbert Hubbard. Pond is actually the one who humorously named it An Unpublished Letter From Lord Byron and showed it to Elbert Hubbard. According to David Balch, Hubbard pocketed the letter and to Pond's astonishment published it in the June 1901 Philistine.
Above information is excerpted from pages #234 and 235 of Elbert Hubbard Genius of Roycroft by David Arnold Balch, published by Frederick A. Stokes Company in 1940.

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