425
425
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Estimate
3,0005,000
LOT SOLD. 5,625 USD
JUMP TO LOT
425
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Estimate
3,0005,000
LOT SOLD. 5,625 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

THE JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: ARTS & SCIENCES, INCLUDING THE MARK TWAIN COLLECTION

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New York

Stevenson, Robert Louis

Fine group of two autograph letters to his mother written shortly after his decision to pursue a literary career, and a privately printed work, as follows:

Autograph letter signed ("R.L.S."), 1 page (8 x 5 1/8 in; 203 x 130 mm), Paris, no date [April 1875]. Green cloth folding-case, gilt-stamped title on spine. Stevenson is stymied by public offices in France: "All well & gay, vintages fallen through, also libraries, which I cannot work at all. They are worse than banks—if that be possible. I perspired with shame and diffidence. In public offices of all kinds, I feel like Esther before Ahasuerus. ... I shall go back to Barbizon in a few days; I wish to see some classical tragedies at the Francais and then (in a week or so) I shall go to London (I think—mind I never commit myself ..."

Autograph letter signed ("Robert Louis Stevenson"), 4 pages (8 x 5 in.; 203 x 127 mm) on letterhead with his monogram, Yacht Heron, July 1874; formerly folded. Green half-morocco clamshell box, gilt-stamped title on spine. Vividly describes life on the Heron: "... when I say I have forgotten how to think, it is in bitter seriousness. I am so stupid, I never do think. I prattle and am very easily satisfied with my own and other people's jests. I eat, I drink, I bathe in the briny; I sleep; generally I live as a beast with the beasts of the field. It is so nice. It is also so healthful. It is very thick-headed, stolid, real satisfaction. Simpson and I sleep at one end of the cabin, Stout and Barclay at the other. In the middle we batten over food. It is dirty. We try to keep our own glasses, but occasionally Tom mixes them up in what he calls cleaning it. Simpson looking at his glass the other day suspiciously through half-shut eyes, opined that "Tom had been tampering with it;" and the word was hailed with acclamation. ... We have most of the mercies packed up in small tins, by a dear man in Aberdeen. I don't think mercies are improved by packing up in tins. Apart from the dear man's preparations, we live principally on chops and steaks, with every now and again a leg of mutton: a leg of mutton is a very great thing."


With Mr. R. L. Stevenson's Compliments. Father Damien: An Open Letter to the Reverend Dr. Hyde of Honolulu. Sydney: 1890. 8vo (8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.; 210 x 133 mm), self wrappers, autograph corrections by the author on pages 7, 13, and 20, with an accompanying envelope recording "Sent to me by Louis Stevenson 1890 apparently a 'proof'? Correction by RLS. G[eorge] B[arclay];" creased, envelope soiled. Blue half-morocco folding-case, gilt-stamped title on spine. Said to have been privately printed in 25 copies but probably closer to 200, 2 similar copies with autograph corrections are at the Beinecke Library. Forbes, Hawaiian National Bibliography 4226 "of great rarity".


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Provenance

The Letters: Mrs. Salisbury Field (sale, Anderson Galleries, 16 February 1916, lot 154 & 161)

THE JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: ARTS & SCIENCES, INCLUDING THE MARK TWAIN COLLECTION

|
New York