3481

[WALLACE, Edgar]

Papers and Correspondence Concerning the Publication by J.W. Arrowsmith of Angel Esquire (1908) and The Melody of Death (1915)

V.p.: J.W. Arrowsmith, 1925-1959


A small quantity of contracts, correspondence and related materials, housed in a manila folder. Some inevitable edgewear and age-toning, but a well preserved collection.


A DETAILED PUBLISHER'S ARCHIVE CONCERNING THE PUBLICATION OF TWO NOVELS BY EDGAR WALLACE: ANGEL ESQUIRE (1908) AND THE MELODY OF DEATH (1915), INCLUDING ORIGINAL CONTRACTS SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR.

Edgar Wallace [1874-1932] was a soldier, journalist and early sports commentator before embarking on his prolific career as a writer of detective stories. Leaving editing to others and dictating the text on to wax cylinders, Wallace 'wrote' at high speed, often producing a new book in just a few days. His first work was The Four Just Men, self-published in 1905; one of his last was King Kong, one of several scripts he wrote for RKO, this one completed just weeks before his death in 1932.

J.W. Arrowsmith began life in the nineteenth century as a printer and publisher based in Bristol. (It was Arrowsmith who published the first edition of Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men In A Boat in 1889.) When the imprint restructured in the early twentieth century and the publishing arm of the business set up in London, existing contracts with authors had to be redrafted and reaffirmed. The earliest documents in this collection re-render copyright of the two books to Arrowsmith, and supersede documents first drawn up in 1908 and 1914 respectively, when the books were first published.

This collection of papers includes:

i) Two Memoranda of Agreement between Wallace and publisher J.W.Arrowsmith, 3 April 1925, under which Wallace re-renders copyright of the two books to J.W.Arrowsmith. BOTH DOCUMENTS SIGNED BY WALLACE;

ii) Two Memoranda of Agreement between J.W.Arrowsmith and Small Maynard & Co. of Boston, 3 September and 5 October 1926, assigning US publishing rights to the two books. With a carbon of a TL from J.W.Arrowsmith to the Recorder in Bankruptcy, 9 March 1927, giving notification of Small Maynard's recent bankruptcy;

iii) Two Memoranda of Agreement between J.W.Arrowsmith and the Dial Press, New York, undated but 1927, assigning US publishing rights to the two books. Initialled and with occasional holograph amendments;

iv) Memorandum of Agreement between J.W.Arrowsmith and Wallace, undated but 1928, giving clarification of the documents in (i), necessitated by a dispute having arisen between publisher and author over serialisation rights to The Melody of Death. Drawn up by solicitors Stanley Attenborough & Co. of London, acting for J.W.Arrowsmith, and with the relevant correspondence between the two parties;

v) Memoranda of Agreement and associated correspondence between J.W.Arrowsmith and others, ascribing foreign-language rights to the two books to publishers in Germany, Czechoslovakia and Poland (late 1920s), and Spanish and Argentinian rights for The Melody of Death (early 1940s);

vi) Memoranda of Agreement between J.W.Arrowsmith and The Readers' Library, 13 September and 2 October 1928, for cheap edition and French-language publishing rights to the two books, with associated correspondence;

vii) Short correspondence between the royalties departments at J.M.Dent and A.P.Watt, March 1959, confirming reversion of rights to the two books to the Edgar Wallace estate on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the author's death (10 February 1957).




Keywords: Edgar WALLACE J.W.ARROWSMITH"

£1,250.00


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