FERGUS HUME Autograph Letter Signed.
Fergus Wright Hume. British (English) novelist. Author of 'The Mystery of a Hansom Cab', etc.
ALS. 1p. 4 Park Place, St James's Street, W. 30th January 1895. To "Dear Sir" (probably to the London solicitor, Edmund Kell Blyth).
"Nat[ional] Bank of N[ew] Z[ealand]. Your letter of 29th inst. reached me just as I was leaving for the country. On my return to town next week I could call at your office in reference to the above matter." [etc].
8vo. Approx 7 x 4.5 inches. Part of the integral blank leaf has been excised but without any loss to the text leaf, which is in fine condition.
Fergus Hume emigrated to New Zealand at the age of three and subsequently relocated to Melbourne Australia as a young man, where he published his first novel, 'The Mystery of a Hansom Cab'. This self-published detective novel became the highest selling novel of the Victorian era and was to inspire Arthur Conan Doyle to write 'A Study in Scarlet', the story that introduced the character, Sherlock Holmes. Fergus Hume did not profit from the books huge success, as he had sold the rights for only £50. He returned to England in 1888 and lived for a few years in London before moving to the Essex countryside. He was a hugely prolific writer and wrote over 100 novels (mostly of the sensational 'yellowback' variety) although none were as successful as his phenomenal first novel. Fergus Hume was an intensely private man (even reclusive) and little is known of his private life. It appears from this letter, that Fergus Hume retained some financial interests in New Zealand, or at least still had dealings with the Bank of New Zealand.
Provenance: From a 19th century album compiled by the Blyth family. Edmund Kell Blyth was a London solicitor and author of a biography of Dr. William Ellis. From other letters in the same album we surmise that Fergus Hume was here writing to Edmund Blyth in connection with legal advice on his dealings with the Bank.