Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers Rare Books & Collectors' Sale December 9th & 10th, 2020 fm 884 Victorian Hostess & Horticulturist An Important Collection Relating to Lady Dorothy Nevill 160 IMPERFECTIONS NOT STATED Lady Dorothy (“Dorothy”) Fanny Nevill (1826-1913) was one of the fi ve children of Horatio Walpole, 3 rd Earl of Orford. At the age of twenty scandal struck when she was discovered, “innocently but most imprudently,”unchaperoned in a Norfolk greenhouse with George Smythe, a notorious womanizer. Rumours spread, fi rst of a pregnancy and then of a miscarriage, but in 1847 her wealthy forty-year-old cousin Reginald Nevill rescued her - by marriage. They had six children, four of whom survived infancy. Lady Dorothy travelled extensively and cultivated a wide circle of friends - literary, artistic, political. She became a leading society hostess, her salons attracting many celebrities. Active in the Conservative party (she was a founder member of the Primrose League), she aroused Tory horror by her friendship with the Liberal Unionist leader, Joseph Chamberlain. In 1851 the Nevills acquired Dangstein, a large property near Peters fi eld in Sussex. Lady Dorothy turned the garden into a horticultural centre, with exotic plants kept in seventeen greenhouses. She became an authority on orchids and corresponded with William and Joseph Hooker at Kew and with Charles Darwin. Her husband died in 1878, leaving all his money to their children to curtail her spending, she moved to Stillyans near Heath fi eld. Towards the end of her life she wrote several volumes of memoirs, and after her death her son edited her life and letters. Her biography, Exotic Groves ,written by her kinsman Guy Nevill, was published in 1984. The Collection includes the following: Photograph album A magni fi cent Volume, beautifully bound, containing photographs of Lady Dorothy’s celebrated friends, in elaborate fi ligree frames, often with their letters or autographs on the back, and illuminated pages in manuscript. 31 x 28 cm. Bound in green morocco, the upper board overlaid with a wooden board with radiating green-yellow leaf pattern and with silver mounts bearing the Nevill crest, and clasp. 48 ff . Loaned in 2000 to the National Portrait Gallery, London, for the exhibition “Escape to Eden: Five Centuries of Women and Gardens.” The frontispiece consists of an inscription (“Dolly On a Sunbeam and in a drop of water”) painted on the skeleton of a leaf, surrounded by an illuminated pattern of coats of arms in the form of a star. The portrait photographs include: · Horatio Walpole, Earl of Orford (Lady Dorothy’s brother), with illuminated coats of arms as border · The [second] Duke of Wellington, decorated with a blue fl ag; autograph letter on back · Lord Salisbury, Conservative leader and Prime Minister · Lord Ellenborough, Conservative politician (with letter) · Samuel Wilberforce (Bishop of Oxford and opponent of Darwin) · Disraeli (with autograph) · Members of the Nevill family · Field Marshal Viscount Wolseley (with letter) · Edward, Duke of Clarence (grandchild of Queen Victoria and heir to the Prince of Wales) · Joseph Chamberlain, Liberal Unionist leader (with letter) There are also illuminated pages containing speeches by the statesman Robert Lowe (with letter); a history of the Nevill family in the British Museum; and a speech by Disraeli; besides photos of various houses such as Dumford, the home of Richard Cobden. “Poems and Leaves” Manuscript Volume in brown straight grained morocco with gold tooled borders and edges and marbled endpapers, bound by Birdsall & Son, Northampton. 22 x 15.5 cm. 45 ff , the rest blank. Entitled “Poems and Leaves written out by Dorothy Nevill.” Poems, epitaphs, thoughts, all in beautiful calligraphy, many exquisitely illuminated, two written on leaf skeletons; some in German, Italian and Latin. “The Service for the Burial of the Dead” Manuscript Volume bound in black morocco with gold tooled borders and crosses. 25 x 19 cm. 18 ff , the rest blank. Printed book label: “Stolen, from Dangstein.” A transcript of the service for the Burial of the Dead, from the Book of Common Prayer, in beautiful calligraphy and exquisitely illuminated. Newspaper obituaries of Lady Dorothy Straight grained black morocco, 37 x 29 cm. Gold tooled internal edges. Romeike & Curtis, Ludgate Circus, EC. Silk endpapers. 71 pp. Letters of condolence on the death of Lady Dorothy, 1913. 77 pp. Letters or telegrams from many celebrities, including Queen Alexandra, Field Marshal Lord Roberts, Hubert Tree, Ellen Terry, the Royal Family, Edmund Gosse, and Charlotte Knollys on behalf of the King and Queen. Books by, about, or belonging to Lady Dorothy · The Reminiscences of Lady Dorothy Nevill . L 1906. Signed by her. Also signed “To Horace Nevill from his a ff ectionate mother Dorothy D Nevill October 1906.” 336 pp., frontispiece. Grey cloth. · Leaves from the note-books of Lady Dorothy Nevill , edited by Ralph Nevill. L 1907. Signed by her. 359 pp., frontispiece. Brown cloth. · Under Five Reigns by Lady Dorothy Nevill, edited by her son. London, 1910. 16 b/w illus. 356 pp. Signed by author. With letter to her dated 5 Oct 1910. Red cloth. · Another copy. 2 nd edn 1910. Signed by her. 356 pp. · My Own Times by Lady Dorothy Nevill, edited by her son. London 1912. 339 pp. 7 col & b/w illus. Signed by her. Blue cloth. · The life and letters of Lady Dorothy Nevill , by Ralph Nevill. L 1919. 8 b/w ill. 307 pp. Blue cloth. · Small volume bound in green half calf containing biographies of (a) Lady Palmerston, by A. Hayward (June 1872), 21 pp; sent to Lady Dorothy Nevill by the author; (b)Louisa, Lady Rothschild by Rt Hon GWE Russell 1910, 8 pp; (c)Virginia Somers, 1910, 7 pp. Letter tipped in from Adeline M. Bedford. · Sir Henry Barkly, Notes on the Testa de Nevill returns for County of Gloucester . Reprinted from the Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, vol XIV. Not published. 1890. Presentation Copy from the author to Mrs Chaworth Masters. 172 pp. € 2500 - 3200