Typed Letter Signed, on Mrs. Clark Ashton Smith's Letterhead, Dated Five Days Before the Author's Death and Detailing His Medical Condition. 117 - 9th Street, Pacific Grove, California. Dated Aug 9?/61. Addressed to "My very Dear Harry, Sophia" [Harry Rosenberry, Manager of the Auburn branch of the Bank of California]. One sheet single-spaced, typed on both sides, approx. 650 words. Unsigned. "Clark Ashton has been ill, in bed of a stroke, which left him paralysed on the left side, arm, leg and lower jaw, since Monday night... He is clear in his mind which makes it hard for him... He eats in tiny bird meals, night or day, but tires quickly." The letter discusses his doctor and medical issues, how he is supposed to go to the county hospital but has insisted on staying at home; discusses a check for deposit, and how she is sure that the stroke came from "massive hysteria brought on by nerve exhaustion.. his land, and the filling of his spring, the knowledge we can not meet taxes on his Father's property any longer.. and meet budget here, --and, age, of course!" She goes on to discuss her own health and what her children are doing, and says that "Ashton sends his greetings.. his affectionate love, you know, since you were so decent to us... He's written a commissioned story for Fantastic, to be featured, cover ill'n.. wrote it July 12-27th.. with deadline of Aug 1... a reprint, The Root of Ampoi in this month's Fantastic, now on stands.. with back cover, an ill." She goes on to discuss poems he has written, how she is planning on taking dictation from him, how she wishes they could visit Auburn, and signs off "God keep our Ashton... God knows him for his own just as I do, for mine!" Item #310982
¶ Clark Ashton Smith [1895-1961) was a major poet and author of weird and fantastic fiction. He had a stroke on Monday, August 7th, 1961,and died a week later, on August 14th. This is a remarkable letter detailing his medical condition just days before his death.
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