TWO UNCOLLECTED LETTERS FROM THOMAS HARDY to REGINALD SMITH, EDITOR OF THE CORNHILL

The letters, transcribed, read as follows:
 
Letter of 26:10:09:
My dear Mr Smith: I am glad the verses meet your views. Certainly keep the MS. I am flattered by your caring to. Sincerely yours, T.H.
 
Letter of 29:10:09
My dear Mr Smith: I have written in a few lines which I think a little more emphasize the Cornhill's efforts. I have also changed a word in the last stanza to make it clear that the reference there is not to the Cornhill. Yours sincerely, Thomas Hardy.
These uncollected letters refer to a poem
Hardy wrote to celebrate the fiftieth
anniversary of The Cornhill Magazine:
"The Cornhill's Jubilee: An
Iimpromptu to the Editor" (1909).
This poem was published in the
Cornhill's Jubilee number, January
10th, 1910 (also known as "The
Jubilee of a Magazine (To the Editor)"
collected in Satires of Circumstance,
1914 (CP, 411).
Hardy earlier wrote to Smith
saying that he had thought for 2 days but could not come up with anything suitable to say. Then suddenly, the "impromptu" verses of the "Jubilee" poem sprang
to his mind --"its suitability"
he modestly tells Smith,
''being a matter of doubt" (uncollected letter, October
24th, 1909).

Professor Michael Millgate is preparing Volume 8 of The Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy in which these two uncollected letters will appear. He has most kindly waived his copyright in this instance, in the publication of previously unpublished Hardy letters, on the grounds that these particular images have already appeared in the Smythe auction catalogue, 2002.

Transcribed and compiled by Rosemarie Morgan

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