ALS to Charles Collette [Monday] 6 August 1877. Single sheet, cream laid paper, no watermark, 176x111mm. Trace of fold. Fine. See also the earlier envelope addressed to Collette.
The Public Face of Wilkie Collins III 165-166.
|Will you kindly let me have a
line [del] to acknowledge the safe receipt of the
[90, Gloucester Place,
Portman Square. W.
Augt 6th 1877
Dear Mr Collette,
I hear by a letter from
Neville, received this morning,
that your engagement is
not completed yet --- although
he has put off his "opening"
to suit your convenience.
If you had told me,
when I had the pleasure of
seeing you here, that you
would not accept the part
without first reading the
piece, some time and
trouble might have been
saved. As it is, I
of course hasten to send
you the only copy of
the piece that I possess.
It is in rough proof, with
|corrections which were only
intended for the printers' eye.
But everything must give
way to the absolute necessity of
settling the "cast" at once.
I must beg you /will/ consider
the proofs herewith sent to you,
as in every respect representing
a private and confidential letter.
I shall also be obliged if you
will kindly let me have them
back at your earliest convenience.
The part which [del: it] is
offered to you is "Sergeant Cuff"
(the detective policeman of the novel).
Very truly yours
Charles Collette Esqr
|Charles Collette (29/7/1842-10/2/1924) was an actor and Wilkie was offering him the part of Cuff in the dramatic version of The Moonstone. He was a well-known performer from 1868 to 1907 as well as writing plays and taking his own companies on tour. Collette - perhaps wisely - did not take the part of Cuff, which was played to critical disdain by Thomas Swinbourne (d1895).|
The Moonstone ran at the Olympic Theatre, Wych St, London from 17 September to 17 November 1877 to poor
reviews. Henry Neville (1837-1879), who managed the Olympic from 1873-1879,
directed the play and took the part of Franklin Blake for the early