“…NOT EVEN THEN IF THE BOOK TRADE IS DEPRECIATED AS IT IS AT PRESENT”
MARRYAT, FREDERICK. (1792-1848). British naval officer and novelist; developed the first general system of signaling for merchant vessels “A Code of Signals for the Merchant Service”, published in 1817; and friend of Charles Dickens. Scarce Autograph Letter Signed, “F. Marryat,” 2 pages, octavo. “3 Spanish Place [Marylebone, London]”, “Tuesday” no date, but docketed 1841 on verso. To “My dear Jordan”. Mounting remnants to center fold and tiny paper loss to blank second integral page, else very fine condition. The heroically storied sea captain, now novelist, writes regarding his money woes, and adds commentary on the depressed book trade:
“From the carelessness of the servants your letter did not have its contents examined till this morning, having been buried among the cards in the dish / I have not just now the money which will be necessary owing to the expense of furnishing my house & which has taken all my cash this year & I presume of course the money must be forthcoming – I do not therefore ask to look into the affair any further as I could not until next year (& not even then if the Book trade is depreciated as it is at present) raise the sum necessary. I regret it as I feel convinced that we could get on well together and with many thanks on your kind offer am very truly yours, F. Marryat.”
His letters are rather uncommon, and if you don’t know the man, you should research him. He had a most fascinating life that included a noted naval career, a long list of novels and writings, a friendship with Charles Dickens, and several adventures in scientific discovery.