Various - The Gurgoyle Stories: 1859 & 1860 - Gray's Inn, 1859-1860, Original Manuscript.


Availability: In Stock Out Of Stock
Code: 11196

£5,250.00 £0.00
Earn 0 Rewards Points

SOLD
ADD TO WISHLIST

London, Gray's Inn, 1859-1860. A fantastic manuscript, comprising 17 original, unpublished short stories and poems, with elements of fantasy and the supernatural. Appears to be the sole surviving artefact of the Gurgoyle Club, a group of Victorian barristers meeting at chambers in the Inns of Court. All seventeen contributions (twelve stories, three poems and two songs) apparently unpublished. 

All but a couple of the contributors were distinguished men (four feature in the Oxford DNB), with the Cambridge friends Ralston and Munby in particular noted for their literary achievements. The ten contributors are: Richard Butt; Victor Chevalley de Rivaz (1833-1895), writer of cookery books [two stories]; Charles Wycliffe Goodwin (1817-1878), Egyptologist; William Henfrey [two stories]; Sir James Charles Mathew (1830-1908), judge; Arthur Joseph Munby (1828-1910), civil servant, poet and diarist [poem and song]; Charles Spencer Perceval (1829-1889), F.S.A., Secretary to the Commissioners of Lunacy; William Ralston (1829-1889), writer and translator (reported to have become insane 'from too close a study of the mysterious Whitechapel murders') [story, poem and song]; John Lewis Roget (1828-1908), son of the compiler of the 'Thesaurus' [two stories]; Charles Mahon Tyndall (d.1881), barrister [two stories]. Most of the contributors were born in the late 1820s or early 1830s, and several were educated at Cambridge.

The collection is entertaining, and flashes of humour abound, but horror and fantasy predominate. For example, the poem 'Ye Pot of Porter' Ralston finds himself standing beside 

"the grave of one I loved: ...

The coffin bursts, & from its reeking dark 

Rolls out a hideous mass of writhing flesh - 

She haunts me with her eyes: their glaring orbs 

Flash in the cornice, dance around the walls 

And mock me through the trellice of the grate."


And in Goodwin's 'Chalybaeus' the narrator writes of a baby: 

"The poor thing screamed & struggled as I took it up, but I only hugged it the tighter and when I placed it in the arms of its mother it had ceased to scream; to my horror I found that it was a mere charred and roasted mass. In the heat of the moment I had not perceived that my arms had become redhot & the child had perished in my too ardent embrace."


And in 'The Devil' Mathews writes: 

"...the demon sprang towards me & burst into a roar of fiendish laughter. 

He stood before me for an instant with his knees slightly bent & a hand resting on each: while his eyes transfixed me. An awful change rapidly came over him; his garments shrunk off him like burned skin off an eel; a hideous green cuticle covered with scales glistened upon him; a lurid flame burst out of a saucepan on his head; wings grew from his arms down his sides and to my unspeakable anguish he commenced tumbling in all directions round me. 

I lost all consciousness. 

Presently a horrible noise filled the chamber; I heard a voice like thunder consigning me to damnation. I felt that if I did not make a final effort & call the police I should be lost."

4to volume (leaf dimensions 25 x 19.5 cm): 338 unnumbered pages. The entire volume is written out in the same neat hand (only Roget's first contribution carries any emendation). The title, two half-titles, and the title of each piece are written out in red, with initials illuminated in gold, blue and white. Each page is enclosed in a red border. Internally tight and clean, with text clear and complete, on lightly-aged paper. In a sturdy red morocco binding, with the boards blind-stamped with a fleur-de-lys decoration, dentelles and marbled endpapers. Title in gilt Old English letters on spine. Worn and rebacked. Illustrated bookplate of the contributor V. C. de Rivaz, and label of Dr Michael Brown of Gerrard's Cross. The first eight pieces are grouped under the half-title 'The Gurgoyle Stories read at the Supper at Coates' Chambers vi Grays Inn Square the xix of Jan. mdccclix', and the last nine under 'The Gurgoyle Stories read at the Supper at Coates' Chambers vi Gray's Inn Square the xiv of Jan. mdccclx'.

The works are as follows:

[1] 'The Elephant and the Crocodile.' 17 pp. Signed 'Richard Butt'.

[2] 'A Long Vacation under Difficulties.' 23 pp. Signed 'C. M. Tyndall.' 

[3] 'The Lost Gurg.' 12 pp, with manuscript amendments and deletions. Signed 'John L Roget' (son of the Thesaurus compiler Paul Mark Roget).

[4] 'The King and the Gurgoyle.' 24 pp. Signed 'Willm. <Henfrey?>'. [5, poem] 'De Misanthropo fit Gurgulio.' 8 pp. Attributed to 'Ralston' in pencil.

[6] 'The Beetles' Revenge.' 11 pp. Signed 'V. C. de Rivaz'.

[7] 'The Devil[: a true tale].' 19 pp. Attributed in pencil to 'J C Mathew'.

[8] 'Chalybaeus or The Iron Man.' 48 pp. Signed 'Chas. W. Goodwin'.

[9] 'The End of Plantagenet Smith or Tis M.D.D. years since.' 32 pp. Signed 'C M Tyndall.'

10] 'The Portrait.' 17 pp. Signed 'John L Roget.'

[11] 'Ye Battel of ye Southdowns.' 28 pp. Signed 'Chas: Sp: Perceval'.

[12] 'The Hostage.' 17 pp. Signed 'V. C. de Rivaz'.

[13, poem] 'Ye Pot of Porter.' 6 pp. Attributed to 'Ralston' in pencil.

[14, poem] 'Ye Gurgoyles.' 8 pp. Signed 'Arthur J. Munby.'

[15, poem] 'The Dream.' 4 pp. Signed 'Willm. <Henfrey?>'. [16, song] 'The Mother in Law.' 3 pp. Signed 'A J Munby.'

[17, song] 'Beer.' 3 pp. Attributed to 'Ralston' in pencil.

Munby describes a meeting of the Gurgoyle Club in his diaries (quoted by Derek Hudson in Munby: Man of Two Worlds, p.47):

"Saturday, 14 January. Came home till 7.30 and then went to the Gurgoyle supper at Coates's rooms, 6, Gray's Inn Square ... we ranged ourselves round the comfortable room and the stories began... I produced some verses in the Locksley Hall metre on the George & the Gurgoyle glories, which were most favourably received; though it was a humiliating discovery to be told that I had 'surpassed myself' in writing them. After this, supper appeared, at 9.30: which being despatched and cleared away, we settled down again in a ring round the fire, the bowls of punch & 'Cardinal' were placed steaming on the table, the glasses were filled & the pipes re lighted, and each man as best he might took up his parable in song unfavourable specimen of Templars' orgies in the Victorian age." [11196, Hyraxia Books].


Have a question?







You may also like

Philip K. Dick - Typed Letter Signed [TLS] to Claudia Bush - No Publisher, 1974.

£4,750.00
China Mieville - Iron Council - Macmillan, 2004, First Edition.

China Mieville - Iron Council - Macmillan, 2004, First Edition.

£30.00
Lord Dunsany - The Electric King [in] Nash's Pall Mall Magazine - National Magazine Company, 1931, First Edition.

Lord Dunsany - The Electric King [in] Nash's Pall Mall Magazine - National Magazine Company, 1931, First Edition.

£40.00
Frederic Townsend - Ghostly Colloquies - D. Appleton, 1856, First Edition.

Frederic Townsend - Ghostly Colloquies - D. Appleton, 1856, First Edition.

£200.00
Olaf Stapledon - Odd John - Methuen, 1935, First Edition.

Olaf Stapledon - Odd John - Methuen, 1935, First Edition.

£200.00
Julian Guggsworth Interest - A Broadside Advertising an Illustrated Lecture - Guggsworth Press, n.d. [c1838?], .

Julian Guggsworth Interest - A Broadside Advertising an Illustrated Lecture - Guggsworth Press, n.d. [c1838?].

£125.00
M.H. Dziewicki - Entombed in Flesh - William Blackwood & Sons, 1897, First Edition.

M.H. Dziewicki - Entombed in Flesh - William Blackwood & Sons, 1897, First Edition.

£250.00
Thomas M. Disch - Camp Concentration - Doubleday, 1969, First Edition.

Thomas M. Disch - Camp Concentration - Doubleday, 1969, First Edition.

£175.00
Various [inc] Lord Dunsany - The Tripod: A Magazine of Art, Literature and Music: Issues 1,2 and 3. - W. Heffer & Sons, 1912, First Edition.

Various [inc] Lord Dunsany - The Tripod: A Magazine of Art, Literature and Music: Issues 1,2 and 3. - W. Heffer & Sons, 1912, First Edition.

£335.00
Alfred Lord Tennyson - The Works of Alfred Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate - Macmillan, 1902, Later Edition.

Alfred Lord Tennyson - The Works of Alfred Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate - Macmillan, 1902, Later Edition.

£120.00
Walter Herries Pollock - Nine Men's Morrice: Stories Collected and Re-Collected - Longmans & Co., 1889, Signed First Edition.

Walter Herries Pollock - Nine Men's Morrice: Stories Collected and Re-Collected - Longmans & Co., 1889, Signed First Edition.

£1,000.00
Jack Vance - The Demon Princes Series [comprising] Star King; The Killing Machine; The Palace of Love; The Face; and The Book of Dreams. - Underwood-Miller, 1981, Signed Limited Edition.

Jack Vance - The Demon Princes Series [comprising] Star King; The Killing Machine; The Palace of Love; The Face; and The Book of Dreams. - Underwood-Miller, 1981, Signed Limited Editions.

£800.00
Benjamin Ward Richardson - The Son of a Star; A Romance of the Second Century - Longmans, Green & Co., 1888, First Edition.

Benjamin Ward Richardson - The Son of a Star; A Romance of the Second Century - Longmans, Green & Co., 1888, First Edition.

£275.00
John Willmott, Earl of Rochester - Rochester's Sodom - Verlag von H. Welter, 1904, First Edition.

John Willmott, Earl of Rochester - Rochester's Sodom - Verlag von H. Welter, 1904, First Edition.

£600.00
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia - Harper & Row, 1974, Signed First Edition.

Ursula K. Le Guin - The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia - Harper & Row, 1974, Signed First Edition.

£1,250.00
Stephen King - Bag of Bones - Hodder & Stoughton, 1998, Signed Limited Edition.

Stephen King - Bag of Bones - Hodder & Stoughton, 1998, Signed Limited Edition.

£800.00
J. Provand Webster - The Oracle of Baal: A Narrative of Some Curious Events in the Life of Professor Horatio Carmichael, M.A. - Hutchinson, 1896, First Edition.

J. Provand Webster - The Oracle of Baal: A Narrative of Some Curious Events in the Life of Professor Horatio Carmichael, M.A. - Hutchinson, 1896, First Edition.

£100.00
Stephen Donaldson - The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant [comprising] Lord Foul's Bane, The Illearth War & The Power that Preserves - Molendinar Press, 1980, First Edition.

Stephen Donaldson - The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant [comprising] Lord Foul's Bane, The Illearth War & The Power that Preserves - Molendinar Press, 1980, First Editions.

£725.00
G.E. [Geraldine Emma] Hodgson - Vignettes - T. Fisher Unwin, 1894, First Edition.

G.E. [Geraldine Emma] Hodgson - Vignettes - T. Fisher Unwin, 1894, First Edition.

£200.00
Allen Upward - The Discovery of the Dead - A.C. Fifield, 1910, First Edition.

Allen Upward - The Discovery of the Dead - A.C. Fifield, 1910, First Edition.

£675.00

This website is Copyright © 2019. Email: shop@hyraxia.com, Phone: 07557 652 609

Powered by ShopWired, UK Ecommerce Platform