I shall be very much pleased to have you call me Louis

[For correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 5, 1448.]

To Anne Jenkin [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 284-286]

[Skerryvore, Bournemouth, June 1885]

My dear Mrs. Jenkin,

I should have written sooner, but we are in a bustle, and I have been very tired, though still well. Your very kind note was most welcome to me. I shall be very much pleased to have you call me Louis, as he has now done for so many years. Sixteen, you say? is it so long? It seems too short now; but of that we cannot judge, and must not complain.

Professor Fleeming Jenkin (1833–1885), who in RLS’s early student days at Edinburgh had been both the warmest and the wisest of his elder friends, had died unespectedly [https://upload.wikimedia.org]

Professor Fleeming Jenkin (1833–1885), who in RLS’s early student days at Edinburgh had been both the warmest and the wisest of his elder friends, had died unespectedly [https://upload.wikimedia.org]

I wish that either I or my wife could do anything for you; when we can, you will, I am sure, command us.

I trust that my notice gave you as little pain as was possible. I found I had so much to say, that I preferred to keep it for another place and make but a note in the Academy.

https://ia800304.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/0/items/papersliterarysc02jenk/papersliterarysc02jenk_jp2.zip&file=papersliterarysc02jenk_jp2/papersliterarysc02jenk_0009.jp2&scale=4.963414634146342&rotate=0

RLS wrote an obituary notice in the Academy of 20 June 1885. His Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin was published in 1887, in a book of Papers literary, scientific etc. of the late Fleeming Jenkin [https://ia800304.us.archive.org]

To try to draw my friend at greater length, and say what he was to me and his intimates, what a good influence in life and what an example, is a desire that grows upon me. It was strange, as I wrote the note, how his old tests and criticisms haunted me; and it reminded me afresh with every few words how much I owe to him.

Professor Fleeming Jenkin is known as the inventor of the cable car or telpherage [www.tramroma.com]

Professor Fleeming Jenkin is known as the inventor of the cable car or telpherage [www.tramroma.com]

I had a note from Henley, very brief and very sad.

W.E. Henley (1849-1903) [https://upload.wikimedia.org]

W.E. Henley (1849-1903) [https://upload.wikimedia.org]

We none of us yet feel the loss; but we know what he would have said and wished.

Do you know that Dew Smith has two photographs of him, neither very bad? and one giving a lively, though not flattering air of him in conversation? If you have not got them, would you like me to write to Dew and ask him to give you proofs?

Albert George Dew-Smith (1848-1903), bibliophile and amateur photographer, worked as a lens grinder at the Observatory in the University of Cambridge. At Trinity College, Cambridge, with Horace Darwin they worked together in setting up the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Co. [http://images.npg.org.uk]

Albert George Dew-Smith (1848-1903), bibliophile and amateur photographer, worked as a lens grinder at the Observatory in the University of Cambridge. At Trinity College, Cambridge, with Horace Darwin they worked together in setting up the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Co. [http://images.npg.org.uk]

I was so pleased that he and my wife made friends; that is a great pleasure. We found and have preserved one fragment (the head) of the drawing he made and tore up when he was last here. He had promised to come and stay with us this summer. May we not hope, at least, some time soon to have one from you? Believe me, my dear Mrs. Jenkin, with the most real sympathy, your sincere friend,

Robert Louis Stevenson

Dear me, what happiness I owe to both of you!

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One Response to I shall be very much pleased to have you call me Louis

  1. rdury says:

    wonderful pictures, as always

    Liked by 1 person

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