Fifteen years correspondence from Fields to his wife and young son
Twenty-five ALSs, all signed “Claude,” most one page long (with a couple a little longer), written on Fields’ personal letterhead, sent from the United States as well as England and France, and various hotel letterhead. Thirteen of the letters are dated and range from the summer of 1910 up to the spring of 1926. All letters are to his wife Harriet (Hattie) Hughes. Almost all the letters are relatively brief, with Fields sending various amounts of money to support his son, W. C. Fields, Jr. In most letters Fields makes it a point to send his love to his son. In a 1911 letter, Fields sends $35.00, but writes, “I am sorry he no longer sends his love to me.” Another letter, from 1919, sees Fields in a tighter financial bind, but continues to send money, even increasing his usual amount, “Altho [sic] I can ill afford it I am going to attempt to send you an extra five dollars. Please do not comment on this action or tell me how you miss getting the extra five when I am compelled to go back to the old amount.”In 1904, W. C. Fields, Jr. was born, and a severe rift developed in the marriage. Hattie refused to raise their son on the road, while Fields wanted his family in tow. Fields lost the argument and the couple soon separated. They nevertheless remained married until Fields’ death in 1946. In fine condition, with intersecting mailing folds, and some scattered wrinkling and creasing. Fields Jr. was raised entirely by Hattie, but at least to his credit Fields Sr. was not a deadbeat, he never failed for the rest of his life to send a comfortable stipend to Hattie and child support money for W.C. Jr. PSA/DNA Auction LOA and R&R COA.