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WSG to The Era, May 27, 1877 (Issue 2018), p. 6

MISS HODSON AND W.S. GILBERT.

To the Editor of The Era

Sir, – In your issue of the 13th inst. I offered to pay one hundred guineas to any charity Miss Hodson might select if she would produce an "apology" alleged by her to have been made by me in December last.

In your issue of the 20th appears a communication from Mr. George Lewis, Miss Hodson’s solicitor, stating that from his recollection of a letter which he received from me (but which he has unhappily mislaid), and of a conversation which took place between himself and Mr. Montagu Williams, he is certainly under the impression that I apologised to Miss Hodson.

I have supplied Mr. George Lewis with a copy of the missing letter, taken from my pressed copy book, and I have offered to submit the book itself to his inspection.  I need not trouble you with the letter in extenso; the portion that refers to the proposed reconciliation with Miss Hodson is as follows: –

"With respect to the guarantee that I shall not, for the future, impose terms which practically preclude Miss Hodson from following her profession, I have only to say that I have never imposed, or intended to impose, such terms – that if Miss Hodson will meet me at a rehearsal in a friendly spirit, I shall be only too glad to avail myself of her great talent – and that I am perfectly prepared to deal with Miss Hodson as though no disagreement of any kind had arisen between us."

It will be admitted that Mr. Lewis’s recollection of the purport of this letter is altogether at fault.  It remains to be seen whether his recollection of his conversation with Mr Montagu Williams is more accurate.

On Wednesday last I wrote to Mr Montague W illiams, calling his attention to Mr Lewis’s letter in last week’s Era, and asking him whether I had authorised him to offer any apology to Miss Hodson, on my behalf, last December.  His reply to this question is as follows: –

"I always understood that you denied making any statement to Mr Marshall, or anybody else, detrimental to Miss Hodson; therefore you could not have authorised me to apologise for an act which you deny ever having committed."

With this letter my share in this correspondence ceases.  15 August, 2011be found in another column of this impression.  It deals, at length, with each of Miss Hodson’s charges against me, and particularly with her principal grievance – that I have caused her exclusion from the present cast of The Palace of Truth.  I have only to add that I shall be happy to forward a copy of my reply, in a pamphlet form, to such of your readers as may care to possess it.

  Thanking you for your strict impartiality, I am, your faithful servant,
    W.S. GILBERT.
     
24, The Boltons, 25th May, 1877.


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