Tag Archives: donkey

What is bred in the bone will come out, sir, in the flesh

The next letter is written in the styles and characters of the two Edinburgh ex-elders, Johnstone (or Johnson) and Thomson alternately, the joke characters created by RLS and Baxter when they they were students at the university. [As usual, dots … Continue reading

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I am not sure that my incapacity to work is wholly due to illness

[Dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 5, 1322.] To W.E. Henley [Colvin 1912, p. 197] Bonallie Towers, Bournemouth, November 11, 1884. Dear boy, I have … Continue reading

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Keep the jelly for the last

The persons mentioned below in the third paragraph are cousins of the writer and playmates of his childhood; two of them, christened Lewis like himself after their Balfour grandfather, had been nicknamed after their birthplaces ‘Delhi’ and ‘Cramond’ to avoid … Continue reading

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It is time I sufficed for myself indeed. And I believe I can

The names listed at the beginning of this letter are used by RLS to mask his friends, as they were sketched in his essay ‘Talk and Talkers’, just then drafted (publ. 1887). [As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts … Continue reading

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The handwriting is not good because of the ship’s misconduct

In France, RLS had met Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne, the American lady who was afterwards to become his wife. Her domestic relations had not been fortunate; and almost from their first meeting, at Grez in 1876, he conceived for … Continue reading

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I think I have travelled with donkeys all my life

This correspondent, the long-lived spinster among Margaret Balfour Stevenson’s sisters (died 1907, aged 91) and well-beloved ‘Auntie’ of a numerousclan of nephews and nieces, is the subject of the set of verses, Auntie’s Skirts, in the Child’s Garden of Verses. … Continue reading

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You must not expect to hear much from me for the next two weeks

This letter tells of the progress of the Portfolio papers called Picturesque Notes on Edinburgh; and of preparations for the walking tour narrated in Travels with a Donkey. Philip Gilbert Hamerton, editor of the Portfolio and author of many well-known … Continue reading

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