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  Document of the Week  
 
CHARLES R. JACKSON
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THE LOST WEEKEND AUTHOR CHARLES JACKSON WRITES TO FELLOW MEMBERS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, THANKS THEM FOR PRAISING HIS BOOK – THESE MEAN MORE TO ME THAN I CAN EASILY SAYI DON’T KNOW WHEN, EVER IN MY LIFE, I HAVE BEEN WITH A HAPPIER BUNCH OF PEOPLE THAN YOU HARTFORD AA’S – IT IS ACCOMPANIED BY AN AUTOGRAPHED BOOK

 

CHARLES R. JACKSON (1903-1968). Jackson was an American author best known for The Lost Weekend, his 1944 novel about a writer’s alcoholic binge. The work was based on his own experiences, as Jackson suffered with addiction throughout his adult life. 

 

ALS. 2pgs. December 24, 1944. Six Chimney Farm (Orford, New Hampshire). An autograph letter signed Charlie written the year that The Lost Weekend was published.  In a surprisingly cheerful and upbeat letter, Jackson addresses a couple that he met through the Hartford chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). He thanks them for their praise of The Lost Weekend and desires to stay in touch with the entire Hartford chapter: Dear Mary & Phil – It is late Christmas eve, very late; the children are long since in bed, the tree has been trimmed & the packages set out beneath it (I’m almost ashamed of the display of spending which they represent), my numerous visiting family are disposed in their beds presumably sleeping, my wife has taken her current mystery-story off to bed & any minute now will fall asleep with the light on, the house is quiet for the first time today & I myself am ready for bed, but I did want to write before I retired for the night and thank you for your heart-warming letter, a letter I’m very proud of.  I am glad to have your letter for another reason: it gives me your address at last, and I did so want to send you a Christmas card but didn’t know where you lived.  I have just re-read your letter & see, to my shame, that the name is ‘Roger’. Where I got ‘Phil’ from, I’ll never know. ‘Scuse it, please, Roger.  It won’t happen again.  Thank you for the many lovely things you said about me and my books.  These mean more to me than I can easily say, for I am a sentimental cuss and am touched to the quick at (or by) a kind word, which god knows one gets few enough of in this world. I was very taken with the Stephansons and do not want to lose touch with you. I don’t know when, ever in my life, I have been with a happier bunch of people than you Hartford AA’s. The world is before you; and best of all, you know it – which is as it should be.  As for you Stephensons, you’re exactly the kind of people I like & want to see more of.  Rhoda & I will not be down in January (there was some misunderstanding there, on your part) but how about you & Roger (or any of you others, too) making a weekend of it here, with us?  We have 18 rooms & would be terribly happy to have you at any time.  Please ‘say when’ (and that phrase no longer means, for any of us, what it used to mean, does it?) Seriously, we want to hear soon that you are coming.  And the Russels too, if they can, or Miss Schively, or the distinguished looking gent who sat on your left – he looked like a fine guy; I should like to know him better. I leave it up to you, who & when & for how long. My new book is almost finished and I can’t resist saying, author-like, that it is beautiful beyond description.  I am very proud of it.  Many thanks again for your letter, so full of so many genuine compliments. I shall try to live up to them, and may one day deserve them.  Please remember me most fondly to all whom we dined with, and always my best wishes & all my thanks to you and merely for being the kind of people you are. Affectionately, Charlie Ms. Hepburn, you’ll be relieved to know (it was nice of you to feel ‘concerned’ because she hadn’t read the book) wrote me only this week that she thought it ‘extraordinary, terrifying, and brilliant.’  My love & best wishes to all Hartford AA’s.  Please tell them I said so, at your next meeting. En route to NY on Tuesday, I am coming through Hartford on that train which arrives in NY at 7:55 PM. Any percentage in your & R coming down to the station to say hello? Would make me very happy.  The reference to “Ms. Hepburn” is probably actress Katharine Hepburn, who was considered for a part in the motion picture adaptation of The Lost Weekend the following year.  The terrific letter is accompanied by the book The Lost Weekend inscribed on the first endpage: “Nov 28th ’44 For Mary Stephenson On the occasion of meeting a group of fine friendly people – not least of whom it Many thanks for your interest Charlie Jackson.  The book is a second large printing with fine interior pages.  The original dust jacket has chipping and loss to the front and the top of the spine; it is protected by a mylar sheet.  The letter is in very good condition with some tape remnants.