MELVILLE, Herman (1819-1891). Autograph letter signed ("H Melville") to [Edmund C.] Stedman, [New York], 20 February 1888.

One page, bifolium 175 x 114mm. (mounting remnants on verso and archival tape affixing both sheets together). [With:] original autograph transmittal envelope, marked “Personal”, 90 x 153mm (unevenly toned, mounting remnants on verso). Blue cloth chemise and slipcase.

Melville encourages a friendship with his neighbor, poet Edmund Stedman. Melville first notes the return of "the books you so kindly sent me. I have been interested in all of them." Writing of Stedman's own work, "in many of its views [your book] has proved either corroborative or suggestive to me." (Horth surmises that that "book" was rather likely the chapter on Walt Whitman in Stedman's Poets of America.) Admitting that he lacked many of the "external demands upon my evenings as you probably have," Melville advised Stedman that he would be the "one most likely to be at home in the evening. Pray, remember this, and give me the pleasure of dropping in again here when you feel like it.” Published in Horth, 509. Provenance: Edmund C. Stedman (his sale) Anderson Galleries 19-20 January 1911, lot 1966 or 1968[?] – O'Shaughnessy, 14 April 1915, lot 58 – H. Bradley Martin (his sale, Sotheby's, New York, 30-31 January 1990, lot 2172).

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