Tag Archives: write

“It is a far finer thing to be in love, or to risk a danger, than to paint the finest picture or write the noblest book”

[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 5, 1642.] To Harriet Monroe [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 335-338] [Skerryvore, Bournemouth, 30 June 1886] My dear … Continue reading

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Written part in slumber by a heavy, dull, somnolent, superannuated son of a bedpost

[Dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 4, 1256.] To Sidney Colvin [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 223-225] [Hyères, c. 20 April 1884] […] My life dwindles … 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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It occurred to me last night in bed that I could write…

With all his throat and lung troubles actively renewed, RLS fled to Davos (Switzerland) again in October 1881. For this second winter he occupied with his wife and stepson a small chalet called ‘Villa am Stein’ on the hillside just … Continue reading

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Here I am in my native land

RLS and Fanny travelled from Paris to London soon after 18 May, 1881, visiting Fanny’s son, Lloyd, who was studying at York. Then they returned to Scotland, moving (on 6 June) to Pitlochry, Perthshire, and staying at first at Fisher’s … Continue reading

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To write a book like this were impossible

A close intimate of J.A. Symonds, and frequent visitor at Davos, was Horatio Robert Forbes Brown (1854-1926), historian of Venice. He took warmly, as did every one, to Stevenson. The following two notes are from a copy of Penn’s Fruits … Continue reading

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When I suffer in mind, stories are my refuge; I take them like opium; and I consider one who writes them as a sort of doctor of the mind

One day at the Savile Club in London, RLS, hearing a certain laugh, cried out that he must know the laugher, who turned out to be a fellow-countryman, John Meiklejohn, the well-known educational authority and professor at St. Andrews University. … Continue reading

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No man is any use until he has dared everything

RLS’s rail journey across America began from the New Jersey terminal of the Pennsylvania Railroad on the evening of 18 August 1879. At Pittsburgh on 19 August evening he changed to the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad and travelled … Continue reading

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Here I am living like a fighting-cock

RLS, hard at work upon Providence and the Guitar, New Arabian Nights, and Travels with a Donkey, was occupying for a few days Sidney Colvin’s rooms at Trinity College, Cambridge, in his friend’s absence. The college buildings and gardens, the … 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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