I am afraid I am not so rigid on chastity

Arthur Trevor Haddon (1864-1841), English portrait painter, won a scholarship at the Slade School in 1883. As a young art student he had written to RLS after reading his essay on Walt Whitman (see previous post).

[As usual, for correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 3, 964.]

To A. Trevor Haddon [Colvin 1912, p. 162]

17 Heriot Row, Edinburgh [June, 1882].

My dear Sir,

I see nothing “cheekie” in anything you have done. Your letters have naturally given me much pleasure, for it seems to me you are a pretty good young fellow, as young fellows go; and if I add that you remind me of myself, you need not accuse me of retrospective vanity.

RLS aged 18, in 1868 (same age of his present correspondent)

RLS aged 18, in 1868 (same age of his present correspondent).

You now know an address which will always find me; you might let me have your address in London; I do not promise anything — for I am always overworked in London — but I shall, if I can arrange it, try to see you.

I am afraid I am not so rigid on chastity: you are probably right in your view; but this seems to me a dilemma with two horns, the real curse of a man’s life in our state of society — and a woman’s too, although, for many reasons, it appears somewhat differently with the enslaved sex.


‘Vice’ in Queen Victoria’s England [http://cdn.dipity.com/]

Sir John Lavery, A Conquest: a heart for a rose, 1882 [http://2.bp.blogspot.com/]


George Elgar Hicks, Woman’s Mission: Companion to Manhood, 1863 [https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/]

By your “fate” I believe I meant your marriage, or that love at least which may befall any one of us at the shortest notice and overthrow the most settled habits and opinions. I call that your fate, because then, if not before, you can no longer hang back, but must stride out into life and act. — Believe me, yours sincerely,

Robert Louis Stevenson

A.T. Haddon (1864-1941), The sweetest flower [http://prints.encore-editions.com/]

A.T. Haddon, The sheep Market [http://www.christies.com/]

A.T. Haddon, An interior with two women, 1880s [http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/]

A.T. Haddon, Portrait of G.D. Hornblower, 1885 [http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/]

A.T. Haddon, The bathing place, Landsberg am Lech [http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/]


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