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Colonial History – Rare

[Luke, Eight - page - Manuscript letter (MLS) to Sir Harry and manuscript evaluation of personnell at Government House (Fiji)

[Luke, Harry Sir / Lukach, Harry] Arthur Richards, 1st Baron Milverton.

Eight – page – Manuscript letter (MLS) to Sir Harry together with a 27-page manuscript-evaluation of local personnell at Government House (Fiji) as well as local politicians and possible agitators in Fiji and the British Western Pacific Territories from Arthur Richards, 1st Baron Milverton, in his capacity as Governor of Fiji and High Commissioner of the British Western Pacific Territories. This letter and the manuscript evaluations were sent by Richards on July 10th, 1938, on Stationery from Government House (Fiji) in order to inform Luke of the special situation of the posting before Sir Harry would take over the post (from 1938 – 1942). Very intriguing insights into colonial portraiture of possible troublemakers in the colonial service, excellent service men, clerks, and also recommendations for promotions etc. Arthur Richards evaluation of Sir Alport Barker, owner of ‘The Fiji Times & Herald’ is exemplary for the opinionated report to Sir Harry and one of the remarkable reports on ‘European Members of the Legislative Council on Fiji and the British Western Pacific Territories: ‘Aplort Barker – Has been an elected member for about twelve years, ex-mayor of Suva, owns the Fiji Times = Herald – Member of Executive Council / Has a small-minded, narrow outlook partly the result of physical disability. Lame from early days owing to infantile paralysis. Very anxious to get a knighthood. He has an intimate knowledge of local affairs and is often useful. He could be more useful if he were not so petty and spiteful.Very sensitive of slights, real on imaginary. / Apolosi [that was Apolosi Nawai] – Arthur Richards describes him as follows: ‘Apolosi – A man of the people. Fijian agitator & leader. The John the Baptist of a possible future. An ignorant misguided man with a great natural flair for speaking. Can sway words + is to some extent feared by the Chiefs because of his influence. The papers on him are worth reading. He is at present banished to Rotuma but the term expires at the end of 1939, when despite filaria + increasing age (he is well over 50) he will be a man to be watched. / Arthur Richards goes on to report on the ‘Council of Chiefs (Fiji)’’ where matters of interest to the Fijian people are discussed, resolutions are passed and answers are given’ – He informs Sir Harry that ‘The Council has been postponed until Oct. 18th [1938] to enable you to preside. The position of Governor carries immense prestige with the Fijians’. Richards also informs Luke that ‘no ladies, except the Governor’s wife should be present at the opeimus’. In total Arthur Richards talks about c. 32 people in his evaluations and he also gives Sir Harry Luke some information on the Coconut Estates on Fiji, Mines, Suva Yacht Club etc. He goes on to talk about Sir Harry Luke’s arrival and swearing in as governor and taking the oath ‘the whole being relayed over the wireless’ / ‘I assure you that the whole of Fiji + much of the Western Pacific will be listening in, so make a good speech.’ / Magnificent, confidential report between two important representatives of the British Empire during a very sensitive period of world history.

Suva (Fiji), Government House, 1938. Octavo / Quarto From the private collection / library of colonial governor, diplomat and historian, Sir Harry Luke.

EUR 3.800,-- 

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[Luke, Manuscript Letter from Sir Harry Luke to his sister Lily during his posting in Sierra Leone

[Luke, Sir Harry / Lukach, Harry / Edward, Prince of Wales / Edward VIII].

Manuscript Letter from Sir Harry Luke to his sister Lily during his posting in Sierra Leone. Sir Harry describes at length the visit of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) in 1925. Luke describes how he was sitting next to the Prince at lunch and later he had a ‘chance of telling him two stories which seemed to amuse him’. In his four-page-letter, Sir Harry continues: ‘I also talked to him at the Garden Party [the photograph of Sir Harry Luke next to the Prince of Wales at the Garden Party is a famous image of the Prince’s visit to Sierra Leone]. He is very pleasant, but frightfully nervous & fidgety + leads an impossible life. After the very streanous profanities…..he insisted on playing Squash, despite the great heat, before the Dinner party, then after the ball went motoring to the beach with some of the more attractive of the Ladies, then went to some of their houses & danced & drank cold beer until 5 in the morning. When he went to bed for 2 hours. Apparently he seldom sleeps for more than that. At Dinner, when he was sitting between 2 very dark & matrarchical women (one of the Lady S.) he looked across at me with a smile & a wink. After he left I went for a day’s cruise in ‘HMS Endeavour’, the Survey Ship now working here, for a bit of rest…[..].

[Freetown] Sierra Leone, 1925. Octavo. 4 page letter (on two sheets). From the private collection / library of colonial governor, diplomat and historian, Sir Harry Luke.

EUR 1.480,-- 

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Manuscript Letter Signed (MLS) from Sir Harry Luke's Great Uncle Vilmos.

[Luke, Sir Harry / Lukach, Harry] Vilmos, William de.

Manuscript Letter Signed (MLS) from Sir Harry Luke’s Great Uncle William de Vilmos. The letter was addressed to Luke just after he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Malta in the year 1931. Remarkably, the letter touches on William de Vilmos being happy that in this year 1931 his nephew Harry Luke, has now escaped Palestine “this impossible place, where the bloody disputes will be neverending…”. The letter reads: ‘Budapest, 20. Jaenner 1931 – Mein geliebter Harry. Du hast mir mit Deinem lieben Brief vom 9. dieses eine grosse Stueck Freude bereitet & ich danke Dir dafuer herzlichst. Deine Neujahrswuensche erwidere ich aufs Herzlichste fuer Dich, wie fuer die liebe Joyce, Peter & Michael. Sehr freut es mich, dass der Aufenthalt in Malta, sowohl was Klima als Behausung, Garten etc. betrifft, jeden Einzelnen von Euch sehr conveniert & Euch viel Vergnuegen bereitet. In der schwierigen Weltlage in der wir jetzt leben, gibt es jetzt ueberall Schwierigkeiten die unausweichbar sind, aber jedenfalls bin ich froh und gluecklich, dass Du von Palaestina, diesem unmoeglichen Fleck Erde, wo die blutigen Zwistigkeiten kaum jemals aufhoeren werden, gluecklich und & lebendig weggekommen bist. Solche Szenen, wie Du durchzuleben gezwungen warst, in fortwaehrender Lebensgefahr Dich befindend, wirst Du in Malta nicht ausgesetzt sein. Ich wuensche Deiner Thaetigkeit den allerbesten Erfolg. Deine liebe Mutter habe ich waehrend den Weihnachtsfeiertagen, die ich in Wien verbrachte, mehrmals gesehen, war mit ihrem Aussehen & ihrem Gemuetsstand recht zufrieden. Mir geht es gottlob gesundheitlich sehr gut. Ich kann selbst ueber mein Alter nicht klagen, denn ich habe gottlob trotz meiner 92 Jahre ueber Altersbeschwerden keinerlei Klagen zu erheben. Leb wohl mein lieber guter Harry, ich gruesse & kuesse Dich & die theuere Joyce in aller Liebe – Dein Onkel Vilmos”.

Budapest, 20. Jaenner 1931. Octavo. 1 sheet with a three-page letter. From the private collection / library of colonial governor, diplomat and historian, Sir Harry Luke.

EUR 1.800,-- 

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