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Record 20688

Reading Experience:

'Will you allow me to recommend you the accompanying sonnets? They are by Mr Henley, who wrote the “Hospital Outlines” in this month’s "Cornhill" − poems which have made a great sensation here, where the portraits are easily recognized; and though these have not the same extrinsic interest, they seem to me better as workmanship and more agreeable altogether. Henley is a singularly fine fellow, whose constancy under great trouble is as remarkable as his verse. Let me add that he is not the richest person in the world, so (should these sonnets suit you for the magazine) an early publication will be of great service to him.'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Between 12 Feb 1875 and Jul 1875
Country: Scotland
Time: n/a
Place: city: Edinburgh
county: Lothian
specific address: Perhaps Swanston Cottage.
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Robert Louis Stevenson
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 13 Nov 1850
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: Aspiring writer and intermittent law student
Religion: Uncommitted.
Country of origin: Scotland
Country of experience: Scotland
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: William Ernest Henley
Title: Notes on the Firth
Genre: Poetry
Form of Text: Manuscript: Sheet, Unknown
Publication details: Would be published in Macmillan's Magazine for October 1875.
Provenance: borrowed (private library)
RLS is passing on and recommending his friend's poems to a prospective editor.


Source Information:

Record ID: 20688  
Source - Print  
  Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
  Editor: Bradford A. Booth
  Title: The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, April 1874-July 1879
  Place of Publication: New Haven and London
  Date of Publication: 1994
  Vol: 2
  Page: 148
  Additional comments: Letter 401, To George Grove, [Early July 1875], Swanston. Co-editor Ernest Mehew. The material in square brackets has been added by the editors.

Citation: Robert Louis Stevenson, Bradford A. Booth (ed.), The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, April 1874-July 1879 (New Haven and London, 1994), 2, p. 148,, accessed: 06 July 2020

Additional comments:

RLS’s reading experience here is of the Henley sonnets mentioned this letter. On p.148 the Editors’ Note to this letter reads, referring to the sonnets: “ Published as ‘Notes on the Firth’ in "Macmillan’s Magazine" for October 1875.”



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)