Monthly Archives: January 2015

I saw that gentleman between the eyes, and fear him less after each visit

RLS had made friends with the American writer Charles Warren Stoddard (1843-1909), in the manner and amid the scenes faithfully described in The Wrecker, in the chapter called ‘Faces on the City Front.’ It appears from Stoddard’s letter that he … Continue reading

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I won the toss, sir, and Hades went off once more discomfited

A poetical counterpart to this letter will be found in the piece beginning ‘Not yet, my soul, these friendly fields desert,’ which was composed at the same time and later printed in Underwoods, 1887. The quoting of St Paul is … Continue reading

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I always feel as if I must write a work of genius some time or other

[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 3, 698.] To Sidney Colvin [Colvin 1911, 1, pp. 335-336] P.O. S.F. Cal. [East Oakland, mid-April 1880.] … Continue reading

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Yours, from Charon’s strand

James Walter Ferrier (1850-1883) was one of RLS’s friends from his days at Edinburgh University; he died of alcoholism as a young man. Somerset is possibly a reference to RLS’s cousin, Bob, who figured as the original of some characters … Continue reading

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You doctors have a serious responsibility

Dr William Bamford (1820-1881) was an English physician, educated in Canada, who had worked in East Oakland since 1867. [As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, … Continue reading

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I was near the other side of Jordan

By mid-March 1880 RLS had moved to East Oakland, CA, at first at the Tubbs Hotel, on (East) 12th Street, between 4th and 5th Avenues. It was apparently there that he had a relapse and a first hemorrhage. Fanny moved … Continue reading

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Can I make some one happier this day before I lie down to sleep?

The Amateur Emigrant, an account of RLS’s journey to California, was then in draft. The novel A Vendetta in the West was eventually abandoned and apparently destroyed. The Pavilion on the Links had just then been accepted for the Cornhill … Continue reading

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