Important acquisitions

A letter to the Marquis de Ruvigny

Author Frederick Rolfe
Title A letter to the Marquis de Ruvigny
Imprint [Edinburgh : Tragara Press]
Date of Publication 1959
Language English
Notes One of only two copies printed by Alan Anderson at the Tragara Press (the other copy is now in the Library of Congress), this single sheet, folded to make a 4-page booklet, reproduces the text of a letter sent in 1908 by Frederick Rolfe (aka Baron Corvo) (1860-1913) to Melville Amadeus de La Caillemotte de Massue de Ruvignes, 9th Marquis of Ruvigny and 15th of Raineval (1868-1921). This copy also includes a letter of Alan Anderson from 1992 to its former owner, the book collector and Rolfe scholar, Robert Scoble, explaining how the item came to be printed. In 1959, Anderson's friend, the writer and bookseller George Sims (1923-1999) was visiting him in Edinburgh. Sims had been a supporter of the Tragara Press from its start in 1954 and was interested in seeing the press in action. He and Anderson, selected this letter, a facsimile of which was reproduced in the Folio Society's printing of A.J.A. Symons's biography of Rolfe 'The Quest for Corvo'. Anderson printed off these two copies on rose-coloured Ingres paper for Sims and he would go on to print several Corvo/Rolfe items over the next 50 years. Rolfe's letter was occasioned by an enquiry from the Marquess of Ruvigny, a passionate genealogist, about his title 'Baron Corvo', which he had used as a pseudonym. Ruvigny was preparing his work 'The Nobilities of Europe'and was enquiring about the title's credentials. Rolfes two letters in reply were somewhat defensive, explaining that 'Baron Corvo' was a "tekhniknym", a trade name. According to Rolfe this term "is I hope as good an English word as 'pseudonym'.Certainly it fits my case more neatly ... As for 'Frederick Baron Corvo' ... it is the name under which Mr Rolfe has published certain works of Art & letters. And there I think that the matter had better rest: the people responsible for the idea being dead & I myself having ceased from using it." Rolfe's explanation was duly repeated, with spelling errors, in Ruvigny's work.
Shelfmark Trag.C.1
Reference Sources Bookseller's notes
Acquired on 04/07/14
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