“Herewith goes my new book, … I hope you will like it: I do”

[For correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 5, 1654.]

To Alison Cunningham [Colvin 1912, p. 216]

[Bournemouth, 16 July, 1886]

My dear Cummy,

Herewith goes my new book, in which you will find some places that you know: I hope you will like it: I do.

RLS’s nurse Alison Canningham (1822-1913) aka ‘Cummy’ [http://imgc.allpostersimages.com]


Cummy’s copy of ‘Kidnapped’, inscribed ‘Alison Cunningham / from her boy / The Author / Skerryvore / July 16th 1886’ is at Harward. The dedication is reproduced here, in ‘A catalogue of the books and manuscripts of Robert Louis Stevenson in the library of Harry Elkins Widener’, Philadelphia 1913 [https://babel.hathitrust.org]


The name of the girl at Limekilns (as will appear if the sequel is ever written) was Hastie, and I conceive she was an ancestor of yours:

Hastie was the maiden name of Cummy’s mother. In the sequel of ‘Kidnapped’ (‘Catriona’, 1892), Alison Hastie rows David and Alan Breck across the Forth.




as David was no doubt some kind of relative of mine.


David Balfour, the protagonist of ‘Kidnapped’ could have benn a forefather of RLS’s mother, Margaret Isabella Balfour (1829-1897) [https://commons.wikimedia.org]


I have no time for more, but send my love, and remembrances to your brother. – Ever your affectionate




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