29th Nov, 2023 10:00

Books & Works on Paper

  Lot 209

Forster (E.M.) Archive

Property of the family of Robert “Bob” Buckingham (1892-1975)

Forster, (E.M.) (1879-1970)

A collection of autograph correspondence from Forster to Bob Buckingham’s family, together with books from the library of E.M. Forster and Bob Buckingham including presentation and signed copies.

Forster had a long term relationship with Bob Buckingham for 40 years until his death. They had met at a party in 1930 when Buckingham was an unmarried police officer. When Buckingham married his wife May some years later Forster was best man and included Bob and his wife May in his circle. Forster was godfather to their son Robin who was given Morgan as a middle name, as was Robin’s son Clive. Forster bought Bob and May their house at 11 Salisbury Avenue in Coventry in 1949 and he ended up living with them for much of the time, at other times he would stay at his flat in Chiswick or at King’s College, Cambridge. Towards the end of Forster’s life he lived with the Buckinghams with May acting as a nursemaid, until his death on 7 June 1970 at the age of 91.

Autograph correspondence from Edward Morgan Forster:

i. To Bob Buckingham’s son and E.M. Forster’s godson Robin Morgan Buckingham (1933-1962): 5 autograph letters signed, addressed to “Dear Robin”, “Dear-est Rob” and “Darling Rob” and signed “Morgan”, various sizes, from 1-4 pages, dated between 24 March 1950 and July 1962, 3 on King’s College, Cambridge headed paper, one written from Aldeburgh: “here I am stopping with [Benjamin] Britten, and working with him from time to time on his opera” (24 March 1950); “Dearest Rob, Of course I will act as your referee and the fact that I am your godfather and can say that I have been in touch with you all your life makes me a very good choice […] Yes, it is a shock about your father’s rupture, but nothing to worry over […] will any how oblige him to rest, and may be a blessing in disguise […] I have just been taken to the theatre here – Donald Wolfit in The Master of Santiago – not a good play and he not suited to the part of an ascetic Spaniard. Love to all and I will let you know when I am next up, from Morgan” (1 Feb. 1957); “Of all the operas I’ve been to I got most out of Michael Tippett’s “King Priam” which is harsh and unconciliatory but has some terrific moments and is splendidly produced and performed. I sat with the composer – I like him very much. We are not likely to see a glimpse of Ben [Britten] as he doesn’t sound well at all […] tomorrow we all three to Ben’s War Requiem […] love (naturally) from your Morgan”

ii. To Bob Buckingham’s daughter-in-law Sylvia: 3 autograph letters signed, addressed to “Dear Sylvia” or “Dear-est Sylvia” and signed “Morgan”, all written from Cambridge, 2 on King’s College headed paper, various sizes, 2-3 pages, dated between 26 November 1955 and 1 May 1962, “Dear Sylvia […] Most of my news you know already, the successfulness of France and the possibility of Greece. We have any how paid our deposits. I am afraid I shall find it a bit tiring and the boat is so tiring, we are bound to be uncomfortable, still I shall be very glad to see those hills and seas again after an interval of over half a century […] The places I want to get to most are Delphi & Crete – also Santorini but that’s easily seen from the boat. Athens by now must be a huge modern city. I can remember the Acropolis standing up out of green fields. […] Cambridge has been pleasant this term with a good deal of gaiety of various sorts, including Billy Graham. Yesterday three undergraduates invited me to a superb dinner. I trust they are rich as well as hospitable for it must have cost them a pretty penny […] Well I must now conclude with much love to you both. Joe is all right. Francis Bennett fairly all right, and Morgan is quite all right”

iii. To Bob Buckingham’s grandson Clive Morgan Buckingham: 2 postcards and 5 letters, dated 18 March 1960 to 7 May 1964 (three letters without a year), addressed to “Dear Clive” and signed “Uncle Morgan”, “Dear Clive, The initial “M” in your name stands not for “Morgan” by for “Mumps” I hear! I am so sorry and hope you will be rid of them […] I am going to the theatre to see a play (“Othello”) and shall sleep at my club. Someday when you are older you must come and see me at my club. Love to you and everyone from Uncle Morgan” … “I wonder whether you read my hand writing easily. It is said to be rather difficult”.

Together with one the lower cut-half of an autograph letter signed “Morgan”, to an unknown family member, possibly Clive, written on the back of a fragment of a mimeographed corrected proof of Donald Windham’s novel Two People, which was first published in 1965.

Books from the library of E.M. Forster, Bob Buckingham and Robin Morgan Buckingham:


Bacon—Whately, Richard. Bacon’s Essays: with annotations. London, 1864, sixth edition, inscribed: “E.M. Forster jr. to his friend R.J. Buckingham, Christmas 1946”
Keats—Houghton, Lord. The life and letters of John Keats, 1867, new edition, “E.M. Forster, 1943, With love to Bob”, book label of R.J. Buckingham
Darwin—University of Cambridge.
Order of the proceedings at the Darwin Celebration held at Cambridge June 22 – June 24, 1909, with a sketch of Darwin’s life. 1909, half-title, photographic frontispiece of Darwin, map and 10 plates, book label of R.J. Buckingham
Nesbit, E. The Wouldbegoods [n.d.,], sixth impression, “To E.M. Forster who wrote Room with a View, - with gratitude from E. Nesbit who wrote this book. Oct. 24. 1910”
Nesbit, E. The Magic City. 1910, “To M.E. [sic] Forster, from E. Nesbit. 1910”
Collier, John. His Monkey Wife, 1930, “very humbly, from John Collier” Edmund
Tolstoy, Leo. War and Peace, 1930, 3 volumes, inscribed “E.M. Forster to R.J. Buckingham”; together with a loosely inserted BBC pamphlet ‘Tolstoy’s War And Peace: introduction to the series of broadcasts’, (1947), which includes a contribution by E.M. Forster, wrappers
Hemingway, Ernest. Death in the Afternoon. London, 1932, first UK edition, with E.M. Forster’s book label, cloth
Renier, G.J. Oscar Wilde, 1933, book label of R.J. Buckingham
Collier, John. Tom’s A-Cold, 1933, “To E.M. Forster, from his admirer, John Collier”
Plomer, William. Cecil Rhodes, 1933, “for Morgan from William, 21 Jan. ‘33”
Tomlinson, H.M. Mars His Idiot, 1935, “To E.M. Forster, Because of chapter Eleven, H.M. Tomlinson, 1935”
Macaulay, Rose. Life Among the English, 1932, “E.M. Forster from R.M.”, dust-jacket
Spender, Stephen. Poems, 1933, book label of R.J. Buckingham
Findlay, Richard. Honour, 1936, number 36 of 70 numbered copies signed by the author, additionally inscribed “for E.M. Forster from Carlow, the printer of this book”
Lewis, C. Day. Overtures to Death, 1938, “E.M. Forster from C.D.L.”, THE DEDICATION COPY, with an autograph letter signed by the author loosely inserted “Dear Forster, here’s the book, with my best respects & best wishes, yours, C.D.L.”, dust-jacket
Trevelyan, R.C. Aftermath, 1941, “E. Morgan Forster from R.C Trevelyan, 3 May 1942”, original wrappers, dust-jacket
Magno, Paschoal Carlos. Sun over the Palms, 1943, “To E.M. Forster – one of the greatest living writers in the world, Paschoal Carlos Magno, London, 7th/10/43”
Yates, Peter. The Expanding Mirror and other poems, 1945, with autograph letter signed by the author loosely inserted “Dear Mr Forster, Will you please accept this book from a young poet who has always admired your own work immensely?”, dust-jacket
Plomer, William. The Dorking Thigh & other satires, 1945, “for Bob & May with love from William, May 1945”, with an autograph letter signed loosely inserted “Dear Bob, I think you & May will perhaps like to have a litte book – or shall I say a thigh as a little thank offering for a ham”
Forster, E.M. Collected Short Stories of E.M. Forster, [1947], signed by the author and with the crossed initials of Forster and Buckingham EMF/RMB, book label of R.M. Buckingham
Sitwell, Obsert. Demos the Emperor, 1949, “For Morgan with best wishes from Osbert, April 6, 1949”, original wrappers
Haynes, E.S.P. Life Law & Letters, 1936, cloth “To E.M. Forster from E.S.P. Haynes 13th Feb., 1939”
Newton, Eric. In My View, 1950, “to E.M. Forster from Eric Newton, December 1950”
Lodge, Oliver W.F. The Betrayer and other poems including the Labyrinth. Gloucester, 1950, with a typed letter signed from the author to Forster “I am venturing to offer you a small book of mine just published If it bores you please forget all about it. We so often enjoy your work. For myself especially your short stories: THE ROAD TO COLONUS, for instance; THE ETERNAL MOMENT; THE POINT OF IT; and others: and that delightful book ABINGER HARVEST”, booklabel of R.J. Buckingham
Lehmann, John. The Age of the Dragon. Poems 1930-1951, 1951, “To Morgan – in the hope that he may find one or two as well as “The Summer Story” to please his fastidious taste – in gratitude and affection from John, November, 1951”, dust-jacket
Spender, Stephen. Three versions from the German, Christmas, 1955, “To Morgan, with love and good wishes for 1956, from Stephen and Natasha”, book label of R.J. Buckingham, original wrappers
Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Complete unexpurgated edition. The Hague, 1956, book lable of R.J. Buckingham
Plomer, William. At Home, 1958, signature of R.J. Buckingham, with a postcard sized signed photograph of William Plomer “Fifty years ago” dated 1957 loosely inserted, dust-jacket
Forster, E.M.—Rau, Santha Rama. A Passage to India, a play … from the novel by E.M. Forster, New York, 1961, signed by E.M. Forster and with the crossed initials of Forster and Robin Morgan Buckingham EMF/RMB, dust-jacket
Stern, Richard G. In Any Case, 1963, “For E.M. Forster in the hope that he will forgive his dinner partner. R.G.Stern, Cambridge, July 7, ‘63”, dust-jacket
Windham, Donald. Emblems of Conduct, 1963, “13 Oct. ’70, for Bob & May Buckingham with love from Don”, dust-jacket
Holst, Imogen. The Great Composers: Bach, 1965, signed by the author
Holst, Imogen. The Great Composers: Britten, 1966, signed by the author and Benjamin Britten, dust-jacket
Corman, Cid. For granted, 1967, one of 500 copies, “Cid Corman for E.M. Forster”, original wrappers
Montague, John. A Chosen Light, 1967, “for Bob Buckingham in memory of a pleasant afternoon at his house, John Montague”, dust-jacket

Together with approximately 160 other books and pamphlets

Provenance: by family descent to the present owner

Sold for £11,250

Includes Buyer's Premium


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