Tag Archives: desire

I won the toss, sir, and Hades went off once more discomfited

A poetical counterpart to this letter will be found in the piece beginning ‘Not yet, my soul, these friendly fields desert,’ which was composed at the same time and later printed in Underwoods, 1887. The quoting of St Paul is … Continue reading

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Can I make some one happier this day before I lie down to sleep?

The Amateur Emigrant, an account of RLS’s journey to California, was then in draft. The novel A Vendetta in the West was eventually abandoned and apparently destroyed. The Pavilion on the Links had just then been accepted for the Cornhill … Continue reading

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People must be themselves, I suppose

In 1875, Frances (Fanny) Van de Grift Osbourne (1840-1914), estranged from her American husband, had taken her children to France, where she and her daughter Belle would be pursuing their art studies. RLS met Fanny at Grez-sur-Loing in 1876, and  … Continue reading

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Pitting my own humour to this old verse … we’ll walk the woods no more

At this time Stevenson was much occupied, as were several young writers his contemporaries, with imitating the artificial forms of early French verse. Some of his attempts have been preserved, like the two contained in this letter. The second is … Continue reading

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Nothing to do but to study oratory and etiquette, sit in the sun, and pick up the fruits as they fall

RLS visited London 17-21 June 1875. Burns means the article on Bums which RLS had been commissioned to write for the Encyclopædia Britannica. The ‘awfully nice man’ was the Hon. William Seed (1827-1890), formerly Secretary to the Customs and Marine … Continue reading

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