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Autograph letter [circa March or April 1913] to Morton Luce

  1. 00018848_0001
  2. 00018848_0002

Mary Webb. Autograph letter signed, [ca. March or April 1913], to Morton Luce. Four pages on one folded leaf. Webb says that she is sorry to hear that Luce has not been well, and that she has been busy with work at home. She thanks Luce for two sonnets that he has sent to her for her birthday, and praises his poetry: “. . . there is mastery of material that makes me so envious—beauty—genius.” Luce (1849–1943), an accomplished late-Victorian poet and Shakespeare scholar, was a family friend of the Webbs. Mary Webb had mentioned in an earlier letter to her then-future mother-in-law that she was comforted after her father’s death by Luce’s elegy Thysia, published in 1908. Thysia, like much of Webb’s poetry, shows a sensitive affinity for nature and the outdoors. In Thysia, Luce writes at length of sonnets given to a lover as a birthday gift. Luce befriended the newlyweds after they moved to Weston-super-Mare, where the three resided for a time. The friendships continued by correspondence for many years and in 1925 (twelve years after this letter) Webb petitioned Arthur St. John Adcock, editor of the Bookman, to write a “Bookman’s Gallery” (a featured review) on Luce’s sonnets.