Owen Wister 1920 Autograph Letter Signed


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American novelist, short story writer, and biographer. Probably best known for the popular novel The Virginian (1902) dedicated to his close friend Theodore Roosevelt, the subject of his biography Roosevelt – The Story of A Friendship (1930). Other books include: Red Men and White (1896), Lin McLean (1897), Philosophy Four (1903), Lady Baltimore (1906), Members of the Family (1911), The Pentecost of Calamity (1915), and a biography of Ulysses S. Grant, U.S. Grant (1900).

Autograph letter signed “Owen Wister”, 2 pages,  5×8 (folded), contemporaneous and quite controversial political content from Wister.  Written from Philadelphia to an unknown correspondent, Wister pens, in full:

My Dear Sir: — To your kind & long letter I must send you a late and short reply. My brevity is no indication of the pleasure your having written gives me. It is letters such as yours that make the best reward an author ever receives. When yours came, I was away and did not return for several months. I am now, because of prolonged absence so busy that I can write but few letters with my own hand. — Yes, Ireland is the trouble. ‘Ireland never blows over’ wrote John Morely in his Life of Gladstone. Here, it is the Irish, backed by the Church of Rome, which cause our unseemly conduct. They make the speeches & the noise generally. Our newspapers seem somehow under Romish influence. It all hinders & retards good feeling & I see no chance of any change in this, because whatever Great Britain concedes to Ireland will eternally be merely a pretext for more grievance. But on the whole we shall get on somehow, & I doubt the likelihood of any deep Trouble between us on this score. Too many English know how very many Americans hold the opinions of which I tried to expose. With many thanks — I am Yours Sincerely — (Signed) Owen Wister

After the outbreak of World War I, Wister devoted much time to strengthening the bond between England and America. His opinions on European tensions are contained in a trilogy: The Pentecost of Calamity (1915), A Straight Deal, or The Ancient Grudge (1920), and Neighbors Henceforth (1929). His political leanings, however, were decidedly conservative and he was a vocal opponent of the lenient U.S. immigration policy in the early 20th century. It is most certainly the large population of Irish immigrants along the eastern seaboard which he asserts as being the “problem”.

Minor archival repair to head of both pages, on the whole, in very nice condition.