Colvin and the Edinburgh Edition
In the Beinecke Library (GEN MSS 664 box 51, B 7273) there is an interesting undated document signed by ‘H.D. Nash’ headed ‘Stevenson’s Fables’ with a blue-pencil note at the top ‘Opinion I’ initialled CN (though the second letter is smudged and it might not be ‘N’).
Nash had been shown the Fables and asked if they should be published. His first reaction, he says, would be to publish,
were it not for the information given me as to the severely (though no doubt properly) critical spirit in which the selection of his works for republication in a permanent form is being made.
He then goes on to appraise some of the fables (referring to them by Roman numeral) and ends
On the whole, though it might be too much to say these fables would “detract from his reputation”, I should be disposed myself to exclude it from a collection which is to contain only Stevenson’s best work.
The Fables were first published in 1896 in an edition with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and they were included in vol 22 of the Edinburgh Edition published in 1897.
What is interesting about the letter are the comments about the intended ‘severely critical spirit’ of the selection of only Stevenson’s best work. It does seem at first sight to be correspondence concerning the Edinburgh Edition.
Does anyone know anything about H.D. Nash?