Autograph Letter Signed ("W M T") to Mrs Cole [undoubtedly Marian Cole, wife of Henry Cole (civil servant, industrial designer, museum director). The Coles were great friends and neighbours of the Thackerays],
Autograph Letter Signed (“W M T”) to Mrs Cole, 2 pages 8vo, n. p., n. d.
Having neglected to invite Mrs Cole to an event, Thackeray writes in an impassioned manner that, of course, she, her husband, and family are always “welcome to any entertainment of mine”. Offended at not receiving an invitation, it appears that Mrs Cole has threatened to withhold her presence from the event. Thackeray writes (likely, with a degree of humour): “If you don’t go to the lectures I shall be very much hurt ... If you’re not welcome to anything, what gratitude in man is there left? Do you suppose I’m a brute, and not thankful to such a dear kind friend to my children?” For, he declares, intimates (or “friend[s] who can't afford it”) are to be welcomed “in to Thackeray’s tent” to “share his hospitality (of Barmecide victuals)”, “but not strangers” (an important distinction!) He concludes, “I’m pleased to give friends pleasure believe that, ... I am yours & your husbands ... it never entered into my head that you and yours shouldn’t join the party."
The Coles were great friends of the Thackerays. Henry Cole (also known as 'King' Cole) was the Director of what would later come to be called the Victoria and Albert Museum (1852-1873) and is credited with creating the concept of the Christmas card. The V&A hold records that indicate the depth of Henry Cole's affection for Thackeray and his great sadness following the author's death on Christmas Eve 1863.
Stock Code: 217654