I will now make a confession

‘Tushery’ had been a name in use between RLS and Henley for romances of the Ivanhoe type. He now applies it to his own tale of the Wars of the Roses, The Black Arrow, written for Young Folks. RLS began writing it on May 26th, 1883.

[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 4, 1108.]

To William Ernest Henley [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 137-138]

[Hyères, Late May 1883]


[…] The influenza has busted me a good deal; I have no spring, and am headachy. So, as my good Red Lion Courter begged me for another Butcher’s Boy — I turned me to — what thinkest ’ou? to Tushery, by the mass! Ay, friend, a whole tale of tushery. And every tusher tushes me so free, that may I be tushed if the whole thing is worth a tush. The Black Arrow: A Tale of Tunstall Forest is his name: tush! a poor thing!

James Henderson was the publisher of 'Young Folks,' at the Red Lion Court, London.

James Henderson was the publisher of ‘Young Folks,’ at the Red Lion Court, London.

Clip of the first installment of ‘The Black Arrow’, Young Folks vol. XXII, no. 656 (Saturday, June 30, 1883) [www.sc.edu/]


Will Treasure Island proofs be coming soon, think you?

Treasure Island’, 1st edition by Cassell & Co., Nov. 4, 1883 [https://upload.wikimedia.org/]


I will now make a confession. It was the sight of your maimed strength and masterfulness that begot John Silver in Treasure Island. Of course, he is not in any other quality or feature the least like you; but the idea of the maimed man, ruling and dreaded by the sound, was entirely taken from you.

W.E. Henley (1849-1903). From the age of 12, he suffered from tuberculosis of the bone that resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee in 1868–69 [http://upload.wikimedia.org/]

W.E. Henley (1849-1903) [http://1.bp.blogspot.com/]

W.E. Henley (1849-1903) [http://4.bp.blogspot.com/]

John Silver, 1st American (illustrated) edition of ‘Treasure Island’, 1884 [https://ia800301.us.archive.org/]

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