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Additional Manuscripts a McKerrow, Amy (1876–1945), wife of R. B. McKerrow
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Letter from Kenneth Sisam to Amy McKerrow

The Clarendon Press, Oxford.—Discusses various arrangements connected with the Review of English Studies (following the death of her husband).

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Transcript

The Clarendon Press, Oxford
28th March, 1940.

Dear Mrs. McKerrow,

Thank you for your letter of 26th March. I am afraid I cannot answer about the offprints because the arrangements for that number were made by Miss Dowling, but I am asking her if it is possible to get any more. Both your correspondents deserve them, and I am returning the letters.

We shall continue to send you the Review of English Studies, but should not think of asking you to pay the subscription in view of your husband’s connection with the journal.

You may like to know that, after a good deal of consultation, we have decided to recommend to the Delegates that Professor Sutherland, who has still many years ahead of him but is not immediately required for war work, should be the new Editor, retaining Miss Dowling to look after the practical work which she has been accustomed to do.

A letter from your solicitors required us to make some financial proposals which perhaps they have referred to you. There is no hurry for a reply, because Dr. Chapman is still poorly, and my own household has been so disorganised by illness that I am taking my son away for about ten days’ holiday on the 2nd so as to be able to close the house. It has indeed been a harsh winter.

Yours sincerely,
Kenneth Sisam

Mrs. A. McKerrow.

ENCL. {1}

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Typed, except the signature. At the head is the reference ‘4690/K.S.’

{1} It is not clear what was enclosed.

Letter from Kenneth Sisam to Amy McKerrow

The Clarendon Press, Oxford.—The Press would still like to publish R. B. McKerrow’s ‘Elements of Bibliography’ if the MS is in a suitable state, but could not, after the war, go on with the proposal to produce a new edition of Printers’ and Publishers’ Devices.

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Transcript

The Clarendon Press, Oxford
12th June, 1940.

Dear Mrs. McKerrow,

I am writing a separate letter about the short Bibliography. I find that we had the MS. for a short time, but returned it on 24th July 1939. {1}

When we last saw your husband he said it was in lecture form, and it would need a certain amount of revision to give it book form, not only in details of wording—in some points it would want rounding or pulling together. We agreed that Miss Walker should read through the MS. to see if your husband had in fact carried out this revision, and should report on it. We should like to go on with the work if it is ready for publication in book form, or can easily be made ready.

I explained that this would have to be a cheap book, to distinguish it from the larger book; and that we thought the royalty proposed would probably give a better result than a higher royalty on a dearer book.

Yours sincerely,
Kenneth Sisam

P.S. Perhaps I should add that I am sure the Delegates, after this war, could not go on with the proposal, which had never been more than tentative, to produce a new edition of Printers’ and Publishers’ Devices. Possibly Mr. Ferguson could persuade the Bibliographical Society to take it up when their commitments are clear, for they, with their body of subscribers, are in the best position to circulate it.

KS

Mrs. A. McKerrow,
Picket Piece, Wendover, Bucks.

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Typed, except signature and initials. At the head is the reference ‘4673/K.S.’, and by the postscript is ‘3985’.

{1} See Add. Ms. a. 355/6/2a–b.

Letter from F. C. Francis to Amy McKerrow

81 Marsh Lane, London, N.W.7.—He and his family hope to see Colin while he is at St Albans, and he has asked a friend to visit Malcolm. The Press still expect to print R. B. McKerrow’s small book (‘Elements of Bibliography’), but not before the end of the war. Would like to check a point in the corrected copy of Printers’ and Publishers’ Devices. His family had a pleasant Christmas.

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Transcript

81 Marsh Lane | London NW7.
2 January 1942.

Dear Mrs McKerrow,

A happy new year to all three of you!

Kitty has told you how delighted we all were that Colin got safely through the Anatomy. We shall look forward to seeing him while he is at St. Albans and to having him back in the family occasionally. Will you pass this message on to him? I saw my friend Pafford a day or two ago. I find he is some little way away from Malcolm, but I did ask him again to do what he could to see him and he has promised to do so.

My main purpose in writing this letter is to tell you that I have been in touch with R. W. Chapman about that little book of Dr. McKerrow’s. It appears that they are not hoping to print before the end of the War, but that the whole transaction is on a regular basis and that they are expecting to publish the book. It remains, I think, if you would still like me to see to the final details, to go through the MS. making the alterations in the general form, which Dr. McKerrow apparently agreed on. I should like sometime to see the original MS. to see any corrections that have already been made. I may say that it would give me great pleasure to be associated in such a task.

I should like sometime to see the corrected copy of the “Devices”—or perhaps Colin could look for me to see if any device had been added for Hugo Goes of York? That is the present reason for wanting to see it. Dr. Scholderer has discovered such a device and he wishes to know if his discovery has been anticipated.

We have had a very pleasant Christmas—indeed it is still going on for the children! Parties galore! They have all enjoyed this christmas† more than any before, I think. I expect it is because they are now all able to take part in games and in the general excitement. We were all out in Christmas afternoon and evening with Dr. Bell’s family and to the family’s great excitement stayed the night! I do hope you had a pleasant time. You would enjoy having your house to yourselves and having Colin with you. Was Malcolm able to get home?

We shall look forward to seeing you again soon and we shall expect a visit from Colin as soon as he can manage it after reaching Hill End.

With our love

Yours ever
Frank.

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† Sic.