Poems (with) an Autograph Letter Card with a Note Signed from the Author to Helen Hay Whitney
Phillips, Stephen

London, England: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1898. 108 pages + (3) pages inserted at back of press notices of Poems by Stephen Phillips. Inscribed by the author to Helen Hay and with a light blue letter-card laid-in, postal cancellation of July 28 (18)98. The card is addressed to Miss Helen Hay 5 Carlton House Terrace London SW, the author mentioning he was sending one of his poems and a photograph '"...Please read it for love of me...and for God's sake, don't go right out of my life. I could say so much more, but I will not now. But just a line from you would be so much to me God bless you yours Steph Phillips." The front endpaper with the bookplate of Helen Hay Whitney, designed and signed in the plate by Edmund Dulac (19)08 and also by the engraver, A.N. Macdonald 1910; the volume approx. 5" x 8" size; bound in the original green ribbed cloth, with gilt wreath design and rules on front cover, spine with gilt titles; some light edge, tips wear and rubbing to the binding; pages darkened a bit, not fragile; in very good condition. The addressee, Helen Hay Whitney (1876 - 1944) American sportswoman and philanthropist, daughter of John Hay, secretary of state to Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt and ambassador to Great Britain. "...A woman who was born into immense wealth and prestige and married into even more, Whitney used her money and position to further the sport of horse racing and to support charitable causes. Her financial success with Greentree Stable placed her among the elite in horse racing and earned her stable the added distinction of female leadership." (Debbie Mauldin Cottrell in the ANB). Additionally, at the time of this correspondence, the young Helen Hay had ambitions of being a poet and with the enthusiastic support of her father, also a poet - had some of her works published. Stephen Phillips (1864 - 1915) British poet and playwright, was married, "…even though Phillips's drinking excesses and philandering finally forced a separation....," at around this time. Phillips achieved much fame and some fortune with his dramatic and poetic writings and "...For ten years Phillips was accorded film-star status, which disappeared as quickly as it came…(he) was alive to that theatrical taste which embraced the spectacular, the romantic, and the melodramatic, cloaked in easy-going pseudo-Elizabethan verse. That Phillips failed to capitalize on his successes is indicative of his indolent nature, his lack of true talent, and his predilection for strong drink..." (J. P. Wearing in the ODNB). Helen Hay had evidently received much attention from Mr. Phillips and may have been in staying in England due to the ambassadorial work of her father, John Hay. Very Good Hardcover (Item ID: 24402)


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