Tag Archives: play

“Your father has brought you this day to see me”

The following is addressed to the son of the Irish-American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who was at that time 8 years old. [For correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 6, 2097.] To Homer Saint-Gaudens [Colvin 1911, 3, pp. … Continue reading

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“Prince Otto was originally a tragedy, and, by my sooth! in blank verse”

Gerald Gurney and T.B. Thalberg were adapting on the stage RLS’s novel, Prince Otto. [For critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 6, 2000.] To Gerald Gurney [The Academy, 19 May 1900, p. 419] Saranac Lake [? January 1888] Dear … Continue reading

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I fear my affections are not strong to my past works

The play of Deacon Brodie, the joint work of RLS and W.E. Henley, was to be performed in London early in July 1884. [As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical … Continue reading

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In not many years shall we not all be clay-cold and safe below ground, you with your loud-mouthed integrity, I with my fastidious briskness

This refers to some dispute which had arisen between Henley and the editor W.H. Pollock concerning the refusal of an article on the great Italian actor Tommaso Salvini, who was appearing in plays in London. “Fastidious Brisk” was a name … Continue reading

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Art is a diversion and a decoration, no triumph or effort is of value, nor anything worth reaching except charm

[Dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 4, 1238.] To Edmund Gosse [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 206-208] La Solitude, Hyères, March 17, 1884 My dear Gosse, … Continue reading

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Do not forget that even as ‘laborare’, so ‘joculari’, est orare; and to be happy the first step to being pious

[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 4, 1204.] To his parents [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 192-193] La Solitude [c. 23 December, 1883] My … Continue reading

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We were all in a buck basket about halfway between the swing and the gate

RLS’s cousin, Henrietta Traquair (1850-1902), had been reading Penny Whistles (‘family’ edition of “A Child’s Garden of Verses”) and recognised herself and her brother Willie in the poem ‘A Pirate Story’. Henrietta lived in Colinton Road, Edinburgh, and had married … Continue reading

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I have had to go full-tilt at tushery for a while

‘Tushery’ had been a name in use between RLS and Henley for romances of the Ivanhoe type. He now applies it to his own tale of the Wars of the Roses, The Black Arrow, written for Young Folks. RLS began … Continue reading

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Miss Havisham is, probably, the worst thing in human fiction

‘Cassandra’ was a nickname of RLS’s father for his daughter-in-law, Fanny.The scheme of a play to be founded on Dickens’s Great Expectations was one of a hundred formed in these days and afterwards given up. [Dots between square brackets indicate … Continue reading

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Forbidden … even to play Patience, that last of civilised amusements

As a young art student, Arthur Trevor Haddon (1864-1941), English portrait painter, had written to RLS after reading his essay on Walt Whitman. He won a scholarship at the Slade School in 1883. The Edinburgh Courant reported RLS’s illness and … Continue reading

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