Publisher Information: 1850.
Lyell, Charles (1797-1875). Autograph letter signed to Mr. Lloyd [i.e., F. Lloyds(?)]. 2pp. on one sheet. N.p., n.d. [1850 or after]. 180 x 111 mm. Margins of letter trimmed with small piece cut from upper corner (not affecting text), light soiling, but very good.
In the 1850s Lyell, who had become famous for his groundbreaking Principles of Geology (1830-32), gave several lectures on geology at the Royal Institution. In the letter we are offering, Lyell writes about his need for a scene-painter to illustrate one of his lectures:
"Mr. Gordon of the Princesses Theatre was recommended to me by Mr. Kean when I wanted a drawing done on a large scale in scene-painting style for a lecture which I gave at the Royal Institution. He executed the task very well & expeditiously.
"I called at the Princesses Theatre this morning & found that Mr. Gordon is gone to Birmingham for a month—whereas I require some one’s assistance without delay. It is not a laborious undertaking & I write to know whether you have any time at your disposal & whether if so you could do me the favour of calling here tomorrow or Monday . . ."
Lyell here refers to the Shakespearean actor Charles Kean (1811-68), who had taken over the management of the Princess’s Theatre in 1850. W. Gordon and F. Lloyds are both listed as scene-painters in Kean’s 1857 edition of The Tempest; it is likely that Lyell was writing to the latter, but erroneously remembered his name as “Lloyd.” Lyell, Life, Letters and Journals of Sir Charles Lyell, Bart., vol. 2 (1881), p. 152.Book Id: 43398