Love, poetry and music, and the Arabian Nights, inhabit just my corner of the world – nest there like mavises

[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 4, 1139.]

To Sidney Colvin [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 183-184]

La Solitude, Hyères [? 19 September 1883]

My dear Colvin,

I have been bad, but as you were worse, I feel no shame. I raise a blooming countenance, not the evidence of a self-righteous spirit.

1883 - portrait

RLS in 1883

I continue my uphill fight with the twin spirits of bankruptcy and indigestion. […] Duns rage about my portal, at least to fancy’s ear.


I suppose you heard of Ferrier’s death: my oldest friend, except Bob.


Robert Alan Mowbray Stevenson, ‘Cousin Bob’ (1847-1900) []

It has much upset me. I did not fancy how much. I am strangely concerned about it.

My house is the loveliest spot in the universe; the moonlight nights we have are incredible;



Vincent Van Gogh, La Nuit étoilée, 1889 []



love, poetry and music, and the Arabian Nights, inhabit just my corner of the world – nest there like mavises.

Here lies

The […] carcase


Robert Louis Stevenson

An active, austere, and not inelegant



at the termination of a long career,

wealthy, wise, benevolent, and honoured by

the attention of two hemispheres,

yet owned it to have been his crowning favour



(With the consent of the intelligent edility of Hyères, he has been interred, below this frugal stone, in the garden which he honoured for so long with his poetic presence.)

I must write more solemn letters. Adieu. Write. […]



'Chalet La Solitude', Hyères, France, home of Robert Louis Stevenson from 1882-84 (photo)

La Solitude


RLS’s grave, Samoa []

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