Collecting Journals: Volume X, 1887-1892
This volume of Lillian’s collecting journals reveals her connections to the literary sphere and contains several interesting letters that she copied into the journal. As it covers books written during Lillian’s late twenties and early thirties, the volume often includes comments such as this one on Thomas Nelson Page’s In Ole Virginia: “Knew Mr Page well. His stories are still very popular. The beautiful inscribed edition to go with the collection.” Later on Lillian writes that her niece Lavinia is a good friend of the author Amélie Rives Troubetzkoy.
Some of the books Lillian most treasures in this set are those accompanied by letters from the author, two of which stand out. One is a dedication copy of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court that has a letter from Twain’s daughter Susey Clemens to a Mr. Chapin pasted in the front. Another is an amusing letter from Edgar Fawcett to Oscar Wilde accompanying Fawcett’s A New York Family. Fawcett’s letter makes clear his great respect for Wilde: “Even when I am inclined to disagree you [sic] I find myself at least temporarily dazzled into not doing so by the brilliancy of your diamond wit. […] Your pages are like chambers hung with shining tissues, and in each is a delicate little brazier whence float fumes of so aromatic a pungency that they drug criticism into sleepy delight.”
Lillian was also especially pleased to find a copy of Louise Chanler Moulton’s In the Garden of Dreams to accompany her copy of Arthur Sherburne Hardy’s Passe Rose. On the first page of Moulton’s book is inscribed, “To Arthur Sherburne Hardy, the poet of ‘Passe Rose,’ these rhymes by Louise Chandler Moulton. December, 1889—” Lillian writes, “Please Keep these 2 books side by side on their shelf. It was wonderful for the Collector’s Book shop to find this tribute to ‘Passe Rose.’ Such touches make one’s library a meeting place of friends.”