P. C. WREN MEMORABILIA. Percival Christopher Wren.


Comprising two signed letters, a framed inscribed photograph, and a sterling silver christening mug. Together four items: 1. A four page autograph letter, dated 1.9.34, on the printed octavo letterhead of The Golfview Hotel, Nairn, Scotland, horizontally creased from folding. The letter is addressed to 'My dear Madge' [Mrs. A. H. Parkes], and reads in part: 'I am so glad that "Beggars' Horses" whiled away a few hours for you. Yes - it was a nice murder. (I knew how to do it beautifully). I have written two since that - "Sinbad the Soldier" & "Spanish Maine", & am writing an Indian one "Explosions". I'll send you early copies'. Much of the letter is to do with health - of both Mrs. Parkes and Wren, including a description of the author's ongoing heart problems: 'I go quite unconscious & turn blue & make a lot of trouble when the attacks come'. The letter is signed affectionately 'Bestest love, (Isabel hasn't really got it \ul quite\ulnone all), Christopher'. 2. A typescript letter, signed and with brief handwritten annotations, on the author's narrow cr. 4to letterhead, dated 15th June 1935, lightly creased from folding into four. This letter is also to Mrs. Parkes, thanking her for sending a portrait of her son Francis Patrick, who was Wren's god-child. It contains mainly domestic news: mention of a recent cruise; the sale of the Wrens' cottage at Beaconsfield, and the probable purchase of a new home at Farnham Common; plus a brief reference to Wren's latest book, Bubble Reputation. The letter is signed 'devotedly, P. C. Wren* (*or Christopher, of course)', and a postscript explains 'You will excuse the typewriting, won't you. My right hand is out of action again'. 3. A signed photograph of Wren, mounted and framed, inscribed on the reverse 'To Francis Patrick from his God-Pa'. (A rectangular section has been cut from the back of the frame, so that the inscription is visible). 4. A sterling silver christening mug, hallmarked [Adie Bros. Ltd., Birmingham, 1930], with the engraved inscription 'Francis Patrick Parkes with every good wish from his godparents Isabel and P. C. Wren. March 26th 1932'. In form, the mug is 11cm. high, and 9 cm. wide at the lip; a plain baluster shape onto a circular spreading foot, with a leaf decorated scroll handle. *All items are from the collection of [Francis] Patrick Parkes. The long-standing friendship between the Parkes family and the Wrens began when the two couples met on a cruise, probably in 1927, around the time of Wren's second marriage. Isabel, who is also mentioned in both letters, was P. C. Wren's second wife, and had previously been married to Cyril Graham Smith, a civil engineer with the Indian Education Service at Poona. Wren sent presentation copies of many of his books over the years, initially to Mr. & Mrs. Parkes, afterwards to their son, all signed and/or with affectionate inscriptions from the author. P. C. Wren was quite reserved about his personal life, and few photographs of him are extant. The one he sent framed to his god-son differs very slightly from that featured in those of his books which contained an author's portrait. Like the 'official' publicity photograph, the framed portrait shows him in regimental dress, with the shoulder crown denoting the rank of Major, but with the addition of a monocle over his left eye. The uniform could be that of the Poona Volunteer Rifles, which Wren joined while he was working for the Indian Education Service, although he did not rise higher in the ranks than Captain. (It is generally accepted that after he became a successful author Wren exaggerated his military experiences, particularly his unsubstantiated claim to have served in the French Foreign Legion). Together, 4 items:. Item #102238

Price: $5,000.00