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Larger-than-life Anglo-French writer of poetry, fiction, essays, history, biography and huge numbers of letters.
Much of his enormous literary output is now neglected but his name lives on through his poetry, especially his light verse, of which Cautionary Tales for Children is easily the most popular.
Cautionary Tales, written in 1907, is a satirical parody of Victorian moral fables and features the gleefully gruesome dispatch of their protagonists.
Included in the 11 verses are "Jim: Who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion", "Henry King: Who chewed bits of string, and was early cut off in Dreadful agonies" and "Matilda: Who told Lies, and was Burned to Death."The verses were highly influential, especially on Roald Dahl.
This is a fine typed letter on an 8" x10" sheet of headed mourning* notepaper (Kings Land, Shipley, Horsham, Sept.19th, 1918) to a fan who has asked whether he would sign a book ("Yes, by all means. Get any one of my books you like and send it to me and I will autograph it and send it back. I have none of my own here to spare, only the file copies.")
There's his usual small, neat signature in black ink at the conclusion.
One horizontal and one vertical correspondence fold. A colour Wills' cigarette card of Belloc has been loosely mounted with photo corners to the lower right corner. In good condition.
* The black edged mourning paper was undoubtedly in memory of his son Louis, who was killed in 1918 while serving in the Royal Flying Corps in Northern France.