Letter from Norman Leys to Leonard Woolf (16/02/1925)

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[[MS 2750/255/55]]


16th Feb. 1925


Dear Woolf,


So far as I can tell there is only one mistake in your financial estimate. You must let me pay you your 10% on the copies (59) which I have either sold or given away = £4.8.6. And though it doesnt [sic] affect your figures, my estimates are increased by the cost of typing the MSS = £22.0.0.


I dont [sic] understand one point: Last week you wrote that if sales keep up well you would like me to go to London soon to discuss a second edition. This week, though sales are satisfactory, you are inclined to advise against "reprinting", meaning, I presume, a second edition. There would seem to be no hurry





about deciding for a month or so. But suppose that when 100 copies were left for sale that the demand was still at the rate of 20 to 30 copies a week? Dont [sic] bother to answer but as I was right in my original optimistic view, let me tell you why I expect a good demand during the next few months. 1. Both Lord Olivier and Lord Haldane intend to have a regular debate on E<ast>. African policy in the House of Lords next month, based on my book. Lord O<livier>. is coming here, probably, to be specially primed. I may also see Lord H<aldane>. 2. I feel quite sure that Oldham will ensure a substantial sale among his American friends. 3. Andrews knows I am very hard up and would never have demanded copies unless he had felt sure his use of







them[?] would have resulted in sales.


Then as to cheap editions. My view of the situation is that Ormsby Gore's speech makes reform in E<ast>. Africa impossible in this Parliament. The thing to do is persuade as many people as possible during the next four years. Anything like a struggle now would be useless and I am making no efforts to get people on my side to "do" anything - so many ask in indignation what they can "do" - except boom 'Kenya'. But there are people who buy 15/- books as well as people who buy 3/6 books still capable of persuasion. And I make no bones about wanting money if it can be got. I have had no proper holiday





for years and years, have no private means except what is earmarked for my daughter's education at St Hilda's, and have made previous little provision for my wife's future in the event of my death. So I vote - provided sales continue - for one last speculation - a second edition, postponing the cheap one until next year.


When you next write please tell me: 1. Whether you tried to advertise in the E<ast>. A<frican>. Standard and if so what happened. Its Is the paper boycotting 'Kenya altogether. 2. Whether we may still hope for reviews from 'Spectator', 'Sunday Times', 'Observer', 'Daily Telegraph', 'British Weekly' or will they ignore the book because they disapprove?


Yours | Norman Leys [signature]

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Source: MS 2750/255/55

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Letter from Norman Leys to Leonard Woolf (16/02/1925)



University of Reading, Special Collections

Archival Folder:

Norman Leys writes regarding a financial estimate that he believes to contain a mistake. Leys is confused with Woolf's advice not to print a second edition when sales are satisfactory. He also explains why he thinks there will still be a high demand for his books as there will be regular debates on East Africa in the House of Lords. Leys also feels sure that his friend will secure American sales. He briefly discusses the subject of reform in East Africa, the different amounts people will pay for his books and providing for his wife. He votes for a second edition and postpones the cheap edition for next year. He finishes the letter with a list of questions for Woolf to answer.