GREGORY, Lady. Hugh Lane’s Life and Achievement, with Some Account of the Dublin Galleries [PRESENTATION COPY WITH ALS FROM COOLE PARK TO LADY MARGOT ASQUITH]


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Illustrated. Portrait on frontispiece. London: John Murray, 1921. First edition. Octavo. pp. xv, 290, 6 (publisher’s list). Worn grey cloth. Presentation copy with ALS from Lady Gregory to Mrs. [Margot Asquith] in envelope laid on front pastedown. A well read copy. A good copy with a very interesting letter.
A very good Autograph Letter Signed from Lady Gregory to Lady Margot Asquith. Two pages octavo, from her home at Coole Park, dated March 29 [probably 1921], to Mrs. [Margot] Asquith, second wife of the former Prime Minister, Herbert H. Asquith, enclosing a copy of her biography of her nephew Hugh Lane.
“You were kind to Hugh in that Gallery matter, & you have been kind since his death in your sympathy about the pictures (If Mr. Asquith had stayed a little longer in Downing St we shd have them now). You who have been so successful in your own brilliant vivid autobiography will understand the difficulty there is in getting on paper the portrait one wants to give as clearly as one sees it - and will make allowances for any failures in this”.
Hugh Lane, a fine art dealer and nephew of Augusta Gregory (née Persse), died when the Lusitania was torpedoed in 1915. His will left his celebrated collection of French Impressionist art to the London National Gallery, but an unwitnessed codicil transferred the bequest to the Dublin gallery. The British authorities stood on their legal rights, and for many years refused to return the paintings to Dublin, in spite of a persistent campaign by Lady Gregory and her influential friends.
H.H. Asquith was Britain’s Liberal Prime Minister 1908-1916, replaced eventually by Lloyd George after criticism of his war leadership. He married Margaret (Margot) Tennant in 1894, after the death of his first wife. She published her autobiography in 1920, the year before Lady Gregory’s Lane
biography was issued. An interesting letter, showing how Lady Gregory cultivated her acquaintance with leading members of British government circles. With a very good bold signature.


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