Lot 64A: Rare Letter Signed by James Hilton, Mentioning His Most Famous Book, Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
October 26, 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Mentioning His Most Famous Book, “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” ********** HILTON, JAMES. (1900-1954). British author of such popular novels as Lost Horizon and Goodbye, Mr. Chips. TLS. (“James Hilton”). 2/3p. Small 4to. Los Angeles, February 1, 1936. Written on the stationery of Hollywood’s famous Chateau Marmont, to Almira B. Taylor, an autograph collector. ********** “Thank you for your charming letter about Goodbye, Mr. Chips. I am so glad to send you an autograph and a photograph [not included], and the list of English authors you already have, though small, convinces me that I shall be in good company. With all good wishes…” ********** Hilton published his first novel at age 20 and went on to pen numerous works including several best sellers. His Lost Horizon (1933) is credited with ushering in the paperback revolution after it became, in 1939, the first mass-market paperback title published by Pocket Books. Hilton’s depiction of the fictional Tibetan utopia of Shangri-La, popularized by the 1937 film adaptation of the same name, inspired the original name of Franklin Roosevelt’s presidential hideaway, later renamed Camp David. Hilton’s 1924 novella Goodbye, Mr. Chips, a sentimental story of a traditional English schoolteacher, was likewise a bestseller and became a popular 1939 film. In the mid-1930s, Hilton relocated from his native England to Hollywood where he enjoyed a successful career as a screenwriter. His screenplay for Mrs. Miniver won him the 1942 Academy Award, and from 1948 to 1953 he hosted CBS Radio’s The Hallmark Playhouse. ********** Our letter was written from the Chateau Marmont, the infamous Hollywood hotel and residence which was the scene of scandalous celebrity behavior including everyone from William Holden and Glenn Ford to Jim Morrison and John Belushi (who died there in 1982). ********** Folded with some light age toning and minor wear; in fine condition. Uncommon.