Letter from Leonard Woolf to Alfred A. Knopf (18/05/1932)

  • Image of typescript letter from Leonard Woolf to Alfred A. Knopf (18/05/1932) page 1 of 1



[[MS 2750/152/23]]


Alfred A Knopf 
730 Fifth Avenue 
New York


18 May, 1932


Dear Sirs,


Hampson: O Providence


I have been out of England and on my return find your letter of 21 April.  This letter appears to have been written under a complete misapprehension and misrecollection of the facts.  I discussed the matter with Mrs Knopf when she was here and there was never any question but that the next book [illegible text crossed out] afte[r] [illegible text crossed out] Saturday Night would be O Providence.  Mrs Knopf was doubtful with regard to it when she first read it, as she thought there was one part in it which dragged and I arranged with her that I should ask Mr Hampson to see whether he could not alter this.  He agreed to do so.  The only difficulty was that we had not actually accepted O Providence and had merely an option on it; consequently it was impossible for us definitely to give you an option upon it.  It was therefor[e] agreed that we should give you an option upon O Providence provided that you we exercised our option upon that work.  If you refer to your agreement with us, y[ou] will see that this is clearly stated in clause (a) and that the only option given to you is upon O Providence.  If you will also refer to Mr Postgate's letter to me of 28 January 1931, paragraph 2, you will see that the above account of how th[e] original agreement was reached is confirmed by your agent.  As soon as we had taken up our option on O Providence, we informed you in accordance with our agreement and offered you the option.  This you refused.  As your agreement with us only gave you an option on O Providence and on no other book and you have refused to exercis[e] that option, it is obvious that you have no rights with regard to any book of Mr Hampson's other than or subsequent to O Providence,


Yours faithfully

Rights Statement:

Reproduced with permission from Penguin Random House UK Archive and Library owner of the Hogarth Press archive collection, held by the University of Reading Special Collections.

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Source: MS 2750/152/23

Letter from Leonard Woolf to Alfred A. Knopf (18/05/1932)


University of Reading, Special Collections

Archival Folder:

Woolf further clarifies O Providence American rights—Knopf has no rights in books past O Providence.

Typescript letter signed by Woolf