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[Two Acrimonious Typed Letters, Signed ("Cecil" and "Monty")] by  and James Montgomery Flagg  Cecil - 1943 - from William Reese Company - Literature ABAA-ILAB (SKU: WRCLIT69634)

[Two Acrimonious Typed Letters, Signed ("Cecil" and "Monty")]

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[Two Acrimonious Typed Letters, Signed ("Cecil" and "Monty")]

by Humphreys, Cecil, and James Montgomery Flagg

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About This Item

New York & [n.p.], 1943. Two pages, octavo, and one page, quarto. Humphreys letter on two panels of a folded small quarto sheet of Hotel Salisbury letterhead; Flagg's on recto only of one sheet of quarto plain typing paper. Both show folds from having been mailed, but very good. An exchange evidencing the probable end of a long friendship between film star Cecil Humphreys (1883 - 1947, THE ELUSIVE PIMPERNEL, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, THE RAZOR'S EDGE) and the prominent American illustrator (1877 - 1960), a friendship which may have dated back to Flagg's association with Hollywood film projects in the years immediately following the Great War. Humphreys takes Flagg to task in response to an earlier letter that is not present, writing in part: "On meeting a young friend of mine at the hospital you chose to stigmatize him as a 'pansy'! I assured you he was nothing of the sort. I have known the boy for some time - he was a great friend of my lad's in England - and anybody who knows my boy knows that he is not in the habit of associating with 'pansies' or their ilk! You hardly contribute to the saving of our unique friendship ... When I make a friend I happen to be loyal to him - and I certainly will not allow you or anybody else to refer to ... as 'a young squirt or a pansy'!!! I value your friendship as you know more than anything but it doesn't make me blind to several attributes that I deplore in you! ... One - let me assure you I will not stand for - and that is the use of the word 'f[**]k' - before ladies in my room and in my presence! You may describe this as 'British' - 'old-fashioned' - what you will - the fact remains. The first part of your letter is so blatently [sic] stupid that it calls for no comment! Yours, Cecil." Flagg responds with vigor, writing in part: "It's rather a pity you needed to drag in an irrelevancy - like my unfortunate lingual lapse - that vulgar four letter word so popular with your titled women! ...Which leaves you with the calm satisfaction of an English gentleman who confines his bawdy brilliancies in the presence of women to 'pissed' and 'pooped' and 'bitch'!" Flagg continues aggressively for another 125 or so words, taking both the recipient and, to a certain extent, British custom, to task. He concludes: "So hail and farewell to a friendship that was charming while it lasted! I relinquish you to your REALLY 'blatantly stupid' friends! Monty." Flagg, never known to practice restraint in his letters to friends and antagonists, is in particularly rare form in this heated exchange.


William Reese Company - Literature ABAA-ILAB US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
[Two Acrimonious Typed Letters, Signed ("Cecil" and "Monty")]
Humphreys, Cecil, and James Montgomery Flagg
Book condition
Place of Publication
New York & [n.p.]
Date Published

Terms of Sale

William Reese Company - Literature ABAA-ILAB

All material is shipped subject to approval, but notification of return must be made within ten days and returns made in a prompt and conscientious fashion. As our inventory is housed in two locations, queries about availability should be made by e-mail rather than telephone. We do not drop-ship to third parties.

About the Seller

William Reese Company - Literature ABAA-ILAB

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since 2006
New Haven, Connecticut
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About William Reese Company - Literature ABAA-ILAB

Since 1975, William Reese Company has served a large international clientele of collectors and private and public institutions in the acquisition of rare books and manuscripts and in collection development.

With a catalogued inventory of over thirty thousand items, and a general inventory of over sixty-five thousand items, we are among the leading specialists in the fields of Americana and world travel, and maintain a large and eclectic inventory of literary first editions and antiquarian books of the 18th through 20th centuries.

We issue frequent, and substantial, catalogues in our fields of specialization.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

The page on the right side of a book, with the term Verso used to describe the page on the left side.
Another of the terms referring to page or book size, octavo refers to a standard printer's sheet folded four times, producing... [More]
Very generally, "leaves" refers to the pages of a book, as in the common phrase, "loose-leaf pages." A leaf is a single sheet... [More]
The term quarto is used to describe a page or book size. A printed sheet is made with four pages of text on each side, and the... [More]

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