Holborn, I(an) B. S(toughton). An archive of nine letters 1906 – 1917 to Prof. Alan W.C. Menzies, including, Prof. Holborn’s unique four-page calling card, and a first edition of his poetry, which includes “Lusitaniae Naufragium” and “Children of Fancy.”
Professor Ian B. Stoughton Holborn was the laird of a small island in the North Sea, named alternately, “Foula,” and “Ultima Thule.” He owned and ruled about 200 residents of Ultima Thule. His skill as a champion swimmer saved his life when he swam away from the Lusitania. He very nearly lost his life years later, when visiting Princeton, he went swimming in the Delaware and Raritan Canal and was almost drowned when the locks began to change. He was a professor of classical literature and lectured worldwide, being on staff at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. At the time his card was printed, Prof. Holborn claimed he was the only person to cross Lang Jokul in Iceland.
Sold with Professor Holborn’s illustrated double-business card, complete with photograph and his résumé; and, his poetry, Children of Fancy Poems by Ian Bernard Stoughton Holborn, New York: Arnold Shaw, Edinburgh: Andrew Elliot, MCMXV . Bound in cloth with a stamped Celtic design on the front cover. Printed on heavy rag-content paper. First edition. Front cover, lower corner worn.
Holborn, I(an) B. Stoughton, ALS, 6 pages, 5/7/, from the return address of 19 Holly Park Rd., Hanwell, as the envelope is of philatelic interest, having been forwarded to Prof Menzies at St. Mungo’s College, and postmarked three times May 8, 1906 (Ealing) and May 9, 1906 (Glasgow twice). A request for Menzies’s help to sail “ a decked boat built for rough cruising,” “cutter rigged” to northern Scotland, going up the west coast “ultimately to Shetland.” There are four additional autograph pages detailing the boat’s fittings. Also enclosed was a cover letter from Holborn’s wife, M. C. S. Holborn, written from the home of Dr. George Dickson at 9 India Street, Edinburgh, where she was staying. Dr. Dickson became Prof. Menzies’s father-in-law when he married Dr. Dickson’s daughter, Mary Isabella Dickson.
Holborn, I(an) B. Stoughton ALS, 5 pages, 5/13/, regarding Menzies’s opinion and advice on the yacht after having seen and inspected it for Holborn. Holborn writes of the necessity of hiring an experienced sailor, as neither Menzies nor Holborn had the requisite experience necessary to be crew on a sailing vessel. He writes of the advantage of continuous summer day so far north during a summer cruise and the possibility of his wife going with them but only “port-to-port.” Holborn writes of needing a “storm sail.”
Holborn, Ian B. Stoughton, ALS, 4 pages, 3/9/14. Holborn writes in haste of his lecture tour woes, a cancellation in Minneapolis and acceptance in Cleveland.
Holborn, Ian B. Stoughton, ALS, 8 pages, 3/2/14. A long important autograph letter to his old friend from Edinburgh about his on-going American lecture tour and of possibly coming to Oberlin, where Menzies was on the faculty. He writes of his success in Chicago, lecturing at the Art Institute, and the amusing interest of the U.S. Navy Department in him as a lecturer after hearing his lecture on “Salamis & Marathon,” which led to an invitation to lecture at the War College on “the Persian Wars.” Yale also was interested in Holborn as a poet. He also writes about the testimonials he has received.
Holborn, Ian B. Stoughton, TLS, on his personalized stationery of The University Lecturers’ Association, 1 page, 6/24/17, this letter comes after the author’s harrowing escape on May 7, 1915 from the torpedoed Lusitania : “News from home is harrowing. My boy is back again in the same dangerous condition and everything is very black.”
Holborn, Ian B. Stoughton, ALS, 1 page, 6/30/17, on his personalized stationery of The University Lecturers’ Association, advising Menzies “Do not get eaten by sharks before I can see you.” A world-class swimmer, who swam in the Irish Sea when in residence on Foula, Holborn nearly drowned in the Delaware & Raritan Canal in Princeton, on a subsequent visit to the Menzies family, as he was caught in the suddenly changing of the water level between locks.
Holborn, Ian B. Stoughton, TLS, 1 page, 7/19/17, on his personalized stationery of The University Lecturers’ Association, a humorous letter about his up-coming visit.
Holborn, Ian B. Stoughton, ALS in pencil, 1 sheet, 2 pages, 8/2/17. Signed, “Foula.” He writes of injuring his hand bathing (swimming) and explains his use of pencil. This letter was probably written on Foula.
Holborn, Ian B. Stoughton, ALS, 1 page, 9/11/17. “En route from Canada” about his visit to Princeton.