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Colonial History (105 items)

Large Archive / Collection of Sir Harry Luke's personal letters, photographs and Ephemera from his 39 years of service for the Bristish Colonial Office

10. [Commonwealth & Colonial History] – Luke, Sir Harry [Lukach, Harry] – ‘the most unwasted life of any man I have known’ – (Sir Ronald Storrs on Sir Harry Luke)

Very Large Archive / Collection of British Colonial Official & Lieutenant-Governor of Malta, Sir Harry Luke. The Archive is Sir Harry Luke’s very personal and one might say, confidential collection of original autographed letters, correspondence and books he surrounded himself with at the end of his life. The Archive includes important and meaningful personal and official letters as well as working-copies of books which Luke wrote himself at every location he was posted to during his career. In order to understand the vastness of the Archive you need to visit our website and see the nineteen (19) chapters of Material we synchronised chronologically with Sir Harry Luke’s life [Search for “Library & Collections” and find 19 chapters at the bottom of that page]. The Archive contains an unbelievable and impressive array of several highly interesting letters and correspondence regarding key historical events as disparate as the Mudros/Gallipoli-Campaign under Rosslyn Wemyss, the Jaffa Riots, the Western Wall Riots of Jerusalem in 1929 as well as information on diplomatic activity prior to the Suez Crisis, descriptions of locations like Guadalcanal prior to the War in the Pacific, detailed information on personell at Gardner Island / Phoenix Islands during the vanishing of Amelia Earhart, to only name a few bizarre coincidences. The books contain manuscript annotations and preparatory notes for later editions as well as many letters written to Luke regarding the many postings he served at during his long career in the Colonial Service. The Archive includes several hundred pages of correspondence between Luke and other officials within the Colonial Office, often in multi-page letters. Also included is proof of Luke’s connections to the Ecclesiastical World of the Vatican and Lambeth Palace, his diplomatic abilities are praised in letters from friends and officials alike. Luke received cordial letters from Queens (Queen Salote) as well as polarizing letters from Politicians. Included are manuscript notepads as well as confidential reports from other diplomats on locations where Luke was soon to be taking office, e.g. British Western Pacific Islands. The Archive is unique in its form because it represents not only the correspondence between Luke as an official but also allows us a view into the life of a Career Diplomat of the last days of the Colonial British Empire who develops a deep connection with everyone he served with and under. Luke did not only keep correspondence with famous friends like Ronald Storrs but also emotional letters from those who served under him and respectfully stay in touch beyond the termination of Luke’s service. Many letters to family colleagues in the Colonial Office, Politicians, Priests with political functions, are preserved with Luke’s original typescript-answer or initial letter. The official and often explosive and historically meaningful content with striking relevance for reinterpreting Mediterranean, Middle Eastern Conflicts etc. makes this archive a must for research and posterity. This is not just any diplomat’s archive. The majority of these letters are unpublished but are waiting to be discovered (see for example the long letter by Sir Kenneth Roberts-Wray on the Palestine Commission. Also included his Luke’s very valuable, handwritten manuscript-notebook of colonial postings-recipe-collections together with his working copy of the very special cookery book “The Tenth Muse”. The recipe-book, written in the 1930s, includes several pages with historical recipes of Food prepared in Cyprus, with special recipes of “Kyrenia Salad”, “Apricot Brandy (Cyprus)”, “Kyrenia Tomato Paste”, Kyrenia Salad”, or in Malta: “Deviled Chicken Livers (from wife of some Colonel [Dodo Stone] in Malta) or a recipe for Paté “From Soeur Marie Pierre, a nun from the Vendée in Rotuma [Rotuma Island – a dependency of Fiji]. The majority of the collection is now catalogued and visible on our website. A collection of c. 89 letters and 43 items of Ephemera has not been catalogued yet.

England / Palestine / Israel / Malta / Cyprus, Fiji / Sierra Leone etc., 1898 – 1968. Octavo / Quarto / Folio. c.15000 pages (books) / Collection of hundreds of Letters (see images) / Photographs and ephemera etc. Original Hardcover / Softover – Bindings (also private interim-bindings), often with the rare dustjackets in protective collector’s Mylar, some without dustjackets. Very good condition with only minor signs of external wear. Please check our website under “Libraries & Collections” and see detailed listings of books and letters, all categorized.

EUR 275.000,-- 

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