HOLIDAY BREAK!

Sorry, but I’ll not be blogging for about two weeks, just taking my holyday break. I’ll be back at the end of August

Best wishes for a nice summer!

Mafalda

[http://4.bp.blogspot.com]

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“Aubrey de Vere the poet has been to see me: in a front view, he is simply my father”

A fragment published in a catalogue of RLS’s manuscripts being sold in New York in 1921

[As usual, for correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 5, 1690.]

To his parents [Catalogue of Brick Row Bookshop, NY 1921, 51]

Skerryvore, Bournemouth [1 September 1886]

[…] I have been a little out of sorts, but I am charmed to say I am getting on with Jenkin […]. I am so glad you found the notices.

RLS was working at his memoir of his old friend Professor Fleeming Jenkin, deceased the year before.

H.C. Fleeming Jenkin (1833-1885), a famous electrical engineer working on submarine telegraph cables, and RLS’s professor of Engineering at Edinburgh University in 1868 [https://upload.wikimedia.org]

Did Fanny send you the Athenaeum? It was good indeed, and by the best authority, Theodore Watts. […]

The Athenaeum was a literary magazine published in London from 1828 to 1921.

Theodore Watts-Dunton (1832-1914) was an English critic and poet, and a friend of Algernon Charles Swinburne, whom he rescued from alcoholism. He contributed regularly to the Athenaeum from 1875 until 1898, being for more than twenty years its principal critic of poetry [http://1.bp.blogspot.com]

Aubrey de Vere the poet has been to see me: in a front view, he is simply my father […]. I was quite moved to see him. […]

Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814-1902) was an Irish poet and critic. Phot. J.M. Cameron, 1864 [http://images.npg.org.uk]

Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814-1902) Phot. J.M. Cameron, 1915 [https://en.wikipedia.org]

Thomas Stevenson (1818-1887) [http://pharology.eu]

 

 

 

Salva

Salva

Salva

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– Ah, monsieur, vous êtes bien jeune! –

In his recent days in Paris, RLS’s chivalrous feelings had been shocked by the scene in the Demi-Monde of Dumas fils, where Suzanne d’Ange is trapped by Olivier de Jalin. William Archer, the Scottish critic and writer, had asked RLS what exactly took place; then he included the anecdote in his article in The Critic of 5 Nov 1887.

[For correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 5, 1687.]

To William Archer [Colvin 1911, 3, pp. 51-52]

[Skerryvore, Bournemouth, late August – early September 1886]

My dear Archer,

It happened thus. I came forth from that performance in a breathing heat of indignation. (Mind, at this distance of time and with my increased knowledge, I admit there is a problem in the piece; but I saw none then, except a problem in brutality; and I still consider the problem in that case not established.)

A. Dumas, Le Demi-monde, 1855.

  

On my way down the Français stairs,

E.-J. Dantan, First Night at the Comedie Francaise, 1885. Since 1799, the Comédie-Française has been housed in the salle Richelieu at 2, rue de Richelieu. This theatre was enlarged and modified in the 1800s, then rebuilt in 1900 after a severe fire [https://image.pbs.org]

I trod on an old gentleman’s toes, whereupon with that suavity that so well becomes me, I turned about to apologise, and on the instant, repenting me of that intention, stopped the apology midway, and added something in French to this effect: No, you are one of the lâches who have been applauding that piece. I retract my apology. Said the old Frenchman, laying his hand on my arm, and with a smile that was truly heavenly in ternperance, irony, good-nature, and knowledge of the world, ‘Ah, monsieur, vous êtes bien jeune!’ – Yours very truly,

Robert Louis Stevenson

 

 

 

 

Salva

Salva

Salva

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“I am so well that I am afraid to speak of it, being a coward as to boasting”

[As usual, for correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 5, 1684.]

To Alison Cunningham [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 348-349]

[Skerryvore, Bournemouth, Late August 1886]

My dear Cummy,

I am home from a long holiday, vastly better in health. My wife not home yet, as she is being cured in some rather boisterous fashion by some Swedish doctors. I hope it may do her good, as the process seems not to be agreeable in itself.

Your cupboard has come, and it is most beautiful: it is certainly worth a lot of money, and is just what we have been looking for in all the shops for quite a while: so your present falls very pat. It is to go in our bedroom I think; but perhaps my wife will think it too much of a good thing to be put so much out of the way, so I shall not put it in its place till her return.

RLS’s pieces of furniture, Vailima, Samoa [https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com]

I am so well that I am afraid to speak of it, being a coward as to boasting. I take walks in the wood daily, and have got back to my work after a long break.

Talbot Woods, Bournemouth, 1909 [www.oldukphotos.com]

[www.oldukphotos.com]

[www.oldukphotos.com]

Talbot Woods, Bournemouth [https://upload.wikimedia.org]

Talbot Woods, Bournemouth [https://upload.wikimedia.org]

 

The story I wrote you about was one you read to me in Cassell’s Family Paper long ago when it came out.

Cassell’s Illustrated Family Paper []https://www.abebooks.co.uk]

It was astonishing how clearly I remembered it all, pictures, characters, and incidents, though the last were a little mixed and I had not the least the hang of the story. It was very pleasant to read it again, and remember old days, and the weekly excursion to Mrs. Hoggs after that precious journal.

John Hoggs was a stationer, 2 Pitts Street, Ednburgh.

 

Dear me, lang syne now! God bless you, dear Cummy. Your afft. boy,

R.L. Stevenson

 

Salva

Salva

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“Vous avez à la main une petite bêtise assez mal ecrite, assez bien traduite”

Written on the fly-leaf of the French translation of Treasure Island, which RLS bought in Paris. RLS and Fanny stayed a week or 10 days in Paris with Will and Berthe Low.

[For correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 5, 1677.]

To Berthe Low [Low, A Chronicle of Friendship, 1908, pp. 333-4]

 

Paris, 12 Rue Vernier, 18 Août 1886

Chère Madame Low,

Nous allons faire quelques petites fautes de Français, n’est ce pas ? – C’est convenu ? – Alors, me voilà content: me voilà à même de vous dire tout tranquillement que ce que vous avez à la main est une petite bêtise assez mal ecrite, assez bien traduite;

W.H. Low, Montigny sur Loing, 1876. The American painter had married in 1878 Berthe Julienne, who translated Treasure Island and Jekyll & Hyde French [https://image.invaluable.com]

First French translation of Treasure Island, 1885 [https://pictures.abebooks.com]

 

et que je vous prie de l’accepter en souvenir du boulevard Montparnasse,

The place of the ‘atélier des étudiants de Carol-Duran’, 81 Boulevard Montparnasse, Paris, ehere in 1874 RLS visited his cousin Bob and Will Low.

[www.cparama.com]

de Montigny sur Loing

Jacob Maris, View of Montigny-sur-Loing, 1870 [https://images.fineartamerica.com]

Montigny-sur-Loing, Seine et Marne, France [http://mw2.google.com]

 

et de la rue Vernier.

 

12 rue Vernier, Paris, the place where the Lows lived.

  

Mille amities à vous et à Will.

Robert Louis Stevenson

 

Salva

Salva

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“Today I lunch with Richmond, and meet Burne-Jones; tonight Browning dines with us”

Having given up going to Scotland for a summer change, RLS had started on the ‘outing’ which took the shape of a ten days’ visit to Sidney Colvin’s house at the British Museum, followed by another made in the company of Henley to Paris.

[As usual, for correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 5, 1676.]

To his Mother [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 346-347]

British Museum [August 10th, 1886]

My dear Mother,

We are having a capital holiday, and I am much better, and enjoying myself to the nines.

Colvin lived on the left side of the British Museum [https://upload.wikimedia.org]

Richmond is painting my portrait.

RLS by William Blake Richmond, 1887 [http://images.npg.org.uk]

William Blake Richmond (1842-1921), portrait painter [http://images.npg.org.uk]

William Blake Richmond, by John Singer Sargent, [https://dg19s6hp6ufoh.cloudfront.net]

 

Today I lunch with him, and meet Burne-Jones;

Sir Edward Coley Burn-Jones (1833-1898), in 1885 [http://images.npg.org.uk]

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones and William Morris with their families, 1874 [http://images.npg.org.uk]

 

tonight Browning dines with us.

Robert Browning (1812-1889), 1885 [http://images.npg.org.uk]

That sounds rather lofty work, does it not? His path was paved with celebrities. To-morrow we leave for Paris, and next week, I suppose, or the week after, come home. Address here, as we may not reach Paris. I am really very well. Ever your affectionate son,

R.L.S.

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CONFERENCE BREAK!

The Centre for Literature and Writing (CLAW) at Edinburgh Napier University is hosting the international Robert Louis Stevenson conference, 5-8 July 2017. Under the title ‘Robert Louis Stevenson: New Perspectives’, the conference will be exploring the possibilities of fresh approaches which challenge traditional approaches to Stevenson’s works. The aim of the conference is to broaden the scope of Stevenson studies beyond the well-trodden literary terrain, to consider Stevenson’s lesser known works and to invite new applications of thought and theory to every aspect of this most multifarious of writers’ work.

The full conference programme can be accessed here.

A complete list of abstracts of the papers presented can be downloaded here.

Sorry, but I’m taking a conference break. Read me back soon!

Mafalda

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