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