David Smith edited _The Correspondence of H.G. Wells_ in 4 volumes in 1998, though at that time he knew of material to fill at least another volume, plus he was aware that the Rebecca West archive was being opened and that there was a reputed 800 letter from Wells to West contained therein (the archive is now open and there are indeed about 800 such letters). He published the first 4 volumes, therefore, with the intention of compiling a 5th. He has also been compiling a bibliography of all of Wells's published material for over 20 years and hopes to publish this. He thus presented both items (volume 5 and the bibliography) to the publisher of the 4-volumes, Pickering & Chatto of London. However, they have refused to consider a 5th volume, and are only lukewarm about the bibliography. This attitude has devastated Prof. Smith who has worked for years on these projects and makes no profit out of them (just expenses to cover trips to archives, stationary, etc.). He has thus launched a campaign, urging all those who think these items should be published to write to the publisher. The H.G. Wells Society AGM urged those present to do so, I have published an appeal in this year's copy of _The Wellsian_ and _The H.G. Wells Newsletter_ will do the same in the coming months. I urge you to do the same.
The publisher's web address is:pickering & chatto.
There is room on this web site for
your feedback. If you feel, as I and many others do, that Wells's correspondence
is important to posterity and that a full bibliography of his work (from
books down to every letter and article to the press he wrote) is vital
to researchers and those generally interested in Wells, please contact
the publisher. Letters and bibliographies are not easy to get published
and it would be nice to have these volumes published uniformly with
the first 4 volumes of correspondence. So pressure on Pickering and
Chatto is important. Please do your bit. Also, urge your local libraries
to buy the forst 4 volumes, as the more these sell the more chance there
will be of the other volumes being published. (The bibliographical details
of the 4 volumes can also be found on the Pickering and Chatto web site).
Yours sincerely John S. Partington
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