1869-1874 OCTAVIA HILL - THREE HANDWRITTEN SIGNED LETTERS - FEMALE SOCIAL ACTIVIST for the POOR
OCTAVIA HILL - THREE HANDWRITTEN LETTERS consisting of TWO AUTOGRAPH LETTERS BY OCTAVIA HILL and ONE related AUTOGRAPH LETTER TO OCTAVIA HILL.
(1) A letter by OCTAVIA HILL addressed to "My dear Sir", dated August 13, 1869. Handwritten on two pages of a single fold sheet, 4x7 inches (11x17.5 cm). The letter is regarding a paper Octavia Hill wrote, or will write, and wants to present at a Social Service meeting taking place in Bristol. From the letter: "May I trouble you by asking whether there is a fixed date by which papers for the Social Service must be in...[I might] write another short account of our experience especially in its bearings on the organization of help which is the subject occupying my mind much...I am to be present at the Social Service meeting at Bristol..."
(2) A letter by OCTAVIA HILL addressed to the English Cleric and Social Reformer BROOKE LAMBERT, dated January 6, 1874. Handwritten on three pages of a single fold sheet, 4x7 inches (11x17.5 cm). The letter concerns the following: a lecture and article she wrote, articles that Brooke Lambert wrote, maybe something they wrote together, the difficult task of organizing people to help in their social causes, etc. The letter seems a bit critical of Brooke Lambert for his manner of putting people off but saying that everyone has different gifts and that he has "no cause to be dissatisfied" with his, and a mention that Mr. GROVE had very kind words to say about his lecture.
(3) A letter by S. GROVE to OCTAVIA HILL. The letter is undated, likely circa 1873. Handwritten on two pages of a single fold sheet, 4x7 inches (11x17.5 cm). Talks about how much he liked an article she (Octavia Hill) wrote but that it will have to be printed later than February, probably in the Spring. Grove writes: "Maybe March, or April, when Spring will have warmed people's blood and sent them forth with renewed vigor to grasp such stern views thrust upon them." I guess Octavia Hill had rather "stern views" when they concerned how little society was doing to help the poor. Good for her.
The letters are all in VERY GOOD condition, bright, clean, fully clear and legible.
All three letters are laid-in a first edition copy of OCTAVIA HILL - A BIOGRAPHY, by E. Moberly Bell. Published by Constable & Co., London, 1942. First edition with the statement "First Published 1942" on the copyright page, with no indication of additional printings. Hardcovers, green cloth covered boards, 5.5x8.5 inches (14x21.5 cm), 297 pages, illustrated with 8 b&w plates. The book is in GOOD condition, the covers are bumped at the corners, the spine is sunned, faded, and fraying at the top; still a solid, tight, bright, clean and unmarked copy.
These three letters give a sense of the urgency Octavia Hill felt in getting society to help and house the poor.
About OCTAVIA HILL (from Wikipedia):
******Octavia Hill, b.1838 d.1912, was an English social reformer, whose main concern was the welfare of the inhabitants of cities, especially London, in the second half of the nineteenth century. She was born into a family of radical thinkers and reformers with a commitment to alleviating poverty. With no formal schooling, she worked from the age of 14 for the welfare of working people.
Hill was a moving force behind the development of social housing and the availability of open spaces for poor people. She was one of the three founders of the National Trust, set up to preserve places of historic interest or natural beauty for the enjoyment of the British public; a founder of the Charity Organization Society (now the charity Family Action) which organized charitable grants and pioneered a home-visiting service that formed the basis for modern social work; and a member of the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws in 1905.
The Octavia Hill Society was set up in 1992 "to promote awareness of the ideas and ideals of Octavia Hill, her family, fellow workers and their relevance in today's society."******