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Henry B. L. Webb Autograph Letter signed August 18, 1928.

  1. 00020907_0001
  2. 00020907_0002

Henry B. L. Webb. Autograph letter signed, August 18, 1928, to an unidentified addressee, two pages on one leaf, to a literary agent negotiating terms for film rights to Mary Webb’s novels. Henry Webb declares that £2,000 is a reasonable price for a seven-year lease of one of the novels. Henry had written a letter to Mary’s siblings in the same month, in which he states “the management of her [Mary’s] literary estate has become my chief interest in life recently and it would be a satisfaction to me to feel that I had quite a free hand in dealing with it.”  In the same letter quoted by Coles (The Flower of Light, 1978, p. 324), Henry disingenuously assures Mary’s brothers and sisters that “there is obviously nothing of a goldmine in Gladys’ copyrights.” (Their sister, Mary Gladys Meredith, had been known as “Gladys” before her marriage to Webb in 1912.) Two thousand pounds was more than double Mary Webb’s £936 estate at her October 1927 death, and represented a tremendous amount of money (especially for a teacher) in 1928!