The garden, which is above, is lovely, and will be cool in summer

From Marseilles, RLS and Fanny returned as far as Hyeres, a winter resort 11 miles east of Toulon and 3 miles inland from the sea. They stayed there through the greater part of February 1883, at the Hôtel des Îles d’Or, and finding the place to their liking, they cast about once more for a resting-place, and were this time successful. They moved to Chalet la Solitude, 4 Rue Victor Basch, on 22 March 1883. The house was on the road above the old town and beneath the ruins of the castle: a cramped but habitable cottage built in the Swiss manner, with a pleasant strip of garden. Here they lived for the next sixteen month’s (March 1883 to July 1884). To the first part of this period he often afterwards referred as the happiest time of his life.

[Dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 4, 1067.]

To his Mother [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 125-126]

Hôtel des Îles d’Or, Hyères, Var, March 2 [1883]

My dear Mother,

It must be at least a fortnight since we have had a scratch of a pen from you; and if it had not been for Cummy’s letter, I should have feared you were worse again: as it is, I hope we shall hear from you to-day or to-morrow at latest.

[www.campingclairdelune.fr/]

Hyères [www.le-cartographe.net/]

Hyères, 19th century [www.campingclairdelune.fr/]

Hyères-les-Palmiers railway station [www.notrefamille.com/]

Hyères, Avenue de la Gare [http://media.communes.com/]

Hyères market [http://media.communes.com/]

Hyères Post Office [http://media.communes.com/]

Hyères, Avenue des Villas [http://media.communes.com/]

Hyères, violet gatherers [http://media.communes.com/]

Hyères beach [http://media.communes.com/]

 

Hyères, the first palm plantations, 1889 [www.listephoenix.com/]

Hyères, upper town and castle ruins [www.avignon-et-provence.com/]

[www.archives.var.fr/]

 

Hôtel des Îles d’Or, Hyères [http://images-00.delcampe-static.net/]

Hôtel des Îles d’Or, Hyères [https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/]

From the window, Hôtel des Îles d’Or, Hyères [http://1.bp.blogspot.com/]

 

Health. – Our news is good: Fanny never got so bad as we feared, and we hope now that this attack may pass off in threatenings. I am greatly better, have gained flesh, strength, spirits; eat well, walk a good deal, and do some work without fatigue. I am off the sick list.

Lodging. – We have found a house up the hill, close to the town, an excellent place though very, very little. If I can get the landlord to agree to let us take it by the month just now, and let our month’s rent count for the year in case we take it on, you may expect to hear we are again installed, and to receive a letter dated thus: –

La Solitude,

Hyeres-les-Palmiers,

Var.

[…]

The chalet ‘La Solitude’, 4 rue Victor Basch, Hyères, was a pseudo-Swiss folly that RLS’s eccentric landlord had seen at the Paris Exhibition of 1878, and liked so much that he had it shipped to Hyères [http://images.cdn.bridgemanimages.com/]

1878 Paris Exhibition, map [https://i2.wp.com/blogs.princeton.edu/]

1878 Paris Exhibition, entrance to the Swiss pavilion [www.old-print.com/]

1878 Paris Exhibition, entrance to the Swiss pavilion [http://i.ebayimg.com/]

 If the man won’t agree to that, of course I must just give it up, as the house would be dear enough anyway at 2000 f. However, I hope we may get it, as it is healthy, cheerful, and close to shops, and society, and civilisation. The garden, which is above, is lovely, and will be cool in summer. There are two rooms below with a kitchen, and four rooms above, all told.

[…]

Ever your affectionate son,

R.L. Stevenson

[…]

Chalet La Solitude, 4 rue Basch, Hyères, today.

Chalet La Solitude, 4 rue Basch, Hyères, today.

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One Response to The garden, which is above, is lovely, and will be cool in summer

  1. Pingback: I was only happy once… | Le journal de Joli Rêve

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