William Archer, Life, Work and Friendships

William Archer, Life, Work and Friendships

William Archer, Life, Work and Friendships

William Archer, Life, Work and Friendships

Excerpt

In glancing through the pages of this book, I have been struck by its incompleteness as a record of William Archer's friendships. The names of many men with whom, at one period or another, he was closely allied, and with whom he was in cordial relations to the end -- such men as George Moore and Graham Wallas in England, George Pierce Baker and William Lyon Phelps in America, Albert Feuillerat in France, Leon Kellner in Austria, Otto Jespersen in Denmark, Christen Collin in Norway -- appear, if they appear at all, only in a passing mention. The fates that govern the survival and the subject-matter of letters are mainly responsible for this defect; for, to have any interest at all for the general reader, a friendship must, as it were, be shown in action.

To all who have contributed letters written by William Archer, or have aided me with reminiscences of him, my grateful acknowledgements are due. Most of the letters reproduced are from the large GranvilleBarker, Murray, Robertson, and Shaw collections. But many other letters, even when not quoted, have furnished valuable data. I must not omit to thank Mrs. John Corbin for Archer's spirited account of his experiences at an American health-resort.

For recollections I have, in particular, to thank Mr. Edward Rimbault Dibdin, Mr. J. T. Grein, Mr. Alexander Philip, Sir Arthur Pinero, and Miss Elizabeth Robins. And I deeply regret that, while this book was in the making, Sir Hector Mackenzie, Archer's oldest friend and one of his dearest, has passed beyond the reach of thanks.

For their kindness in sanctioning the publication of letters to William Archer I am indebted to Mr. Winthrop Ames, Sir James Barrie, Viscountess Bryce . . .

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