[For correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 5, 1456.]
To his parents [Hitherto unpublished prose writings, 1921, p. 168]
Bournemouth, July 31, 1885
My dear people,
We are having great doings. The drawing-room will soon be lovely, and we bankrupt. It will be a very quaint, but a very pleasing and harmonious room, and rich too; and with the picture, a Great Spot altogether. The tricycle arrived here in delicate health, and has since boarded at the house of a perfidious tradesman; when we shall again behold it, the p. t. alone can say.
RLS’s stepson, Lloyd Osbourne (1868-1947, Lloyd had written to his mother from Edinburgh: ‘Has Louis been recommended a tricycle by Dr Scott? That will be splendid. I thought of hiring one in the holidays but this will be better’ [Mehew 5, p. 123] [https://upload.wikimedia.org]
Juvenile tricycle, 1887 [www.oldbike.eu]
Singer direct steering tricycle, 1888 [www.oldbike.eu]
Manumotive tricycle, 1880s [www.oldbike.eu]
Dr Thomas Bodley Scott (1851-1924), influential in the history of General Practice in Bournemouth (Westbourne Medical Center)[www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
I am very glad you have Mr. Bremmer with you; that will be a great comfort; please remember me to him kindly.
Alan Brebner (1826-90), engneer, and partner in the Stevenson family firm. He accompanied RLS’s parents in a business visit to Ireland to report on harbours [www.findagrave.com]
If I were my mother, I should draw it mild with the Irish Cars. I don’t believe they are good for her at all; or at least in excess.
A horse drawn tram on Dublin’s Westmoreland Street in the late 19th century [www.theirishstory.com]
Did you hear that I had given way to a convex mirror in the dining room? It is sublime; no picture can be so decorative and cheerful.
RLS’s convex mirror, in RLS’s Museum, Samoa [www.traveladventures.org]
My mind shows symptoms, I think, of reawakening; high time, by George! Sargent comes to paint me again.
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), American artist, considered the leading portrait painter of his generation [www.eeweems.com]
John Singer Sargent, self-portrait [www.artble.com/img]
John Singer Sargent, self-portrait, 1906 [www.eeweems.com]
Bob, Louisa, Pootle,
Robert Alan Mowbray Stevenson (1847-1900), RLS’s cousin, art critic, married in 1881 Louisa Pyrland. They had a daughter, nicknamed Pootle [http://stevensonmuseum.org]
Lemon and Mrs. Lemon are down at Poole, where Coggie goes today to make room for Henley for two days.
Arthur Lemon (1850-1912), The wooing of Daphne, 1881. This English painter was a pupil of Carolus-Duran [www.tate.org.uk]
A. Lemon, Landscape with horses [https://c1.staticflickr.com]
Blanche Strahan Lemon (1851-1912) was also an illustrator and artist, studied in Florence with Telemaco Signorini and was a great friend of Vernon Lee. She illustrated Linda Villari’s ‘On Tuscan Hills and Venetian Waters’, 1885 [https://ia802606.us.archive.org]