Letter from Leonard Woolf to Norman Leys (April 1926)

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[[MS 2750/255/106]]




Dear Leys,


I have now looked at the White Paper and I do beseech you to do nothing rash. As far as I can see, it is extremely improbable that Delamere has any case ata all against you from your book. He would have to bring it in an English court, and the first question would be: why did you not bring an action against the man who published the libel seven years ago?


In my opinion you would be mad to bring a libel action yourself. That is the way the Delameres and Daily Expresses always ruin people. They cannot bring a successful libel action against you but and so they write stuff to make you bring an unsuccessful action against them. More people have been ruined in that way than by any other "libel action" dodge. Nobody is going to listen to what the Daily Express says of you, nobody whose opinion is of any worth.


I wish you would let me see the statement which you are issuing to the Press, especially as I am really rather concerned as publisher as well as friend. I should really like to discuss the whole thing with you, when it is possible.


If I had to consult a lawyer, I should consult the firm of Withers.


Yours | Leonard Woolf [signature]

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Reproduced with permission from Penguin Random House UK Archive and Library owner of the Hogarth Press archive collection, held by the University of Reading Special Collections. With thanks to the Society of Authors This item has not been made available with a CC BY-NC-ND licence. Please see the terms of use page for further information

Source: MS 2750/255/106

Letter from Leonard Woolf to Norman Leys (April 1926)



University of Reading, Special Collections

Archival Folder:

Leonard Woolf writes to ask Norman Leys not to pursue a libel case and asks to see the statement he wishes to issue to the press. He also offers to consult a law firm for Leys.