An Edward Lear Letter to Mrs Thomson Hankey

Edward Lear: Autograph letter addressed to Mrs. Thomson Hankey, Brambridge Place, Winchester, dated 9 Sept. 1867, on blue paper, 2 pp. 4to, the first page nearly filled (c. 150 x 200mm) with a large drawing of Lear ensconced in a melon-bed – “if you have any doubt about having room for me – it has occurred to me that there must be Melon-beds in the garden, & I could sleep perfectly well in one of these- provided that I might use a Melon as a pillow I should prefer one without toads to sleep in ” signed Edward Lear, and with the small drawing of a pig beside.

Woolley & Wallis.

Mr. and Mrs. Thomson Hankey.

Hankey (1805-93) was a politician, political economist, and Whig MP between 1859 and 1878. Edward Lear made many acquaintances during his life as an itinerant and, often financially needy, artist. He seems to have built up a close friendship, however, with Mrs. Hankey.

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