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Record 18316

Reading Experience:

'Do you know Soulary and Sully-Prudhomme? Such birds, both of them: Soulary a really consummate artist, More akin to Rosetti than anyone else in English: Sully-Prudhomme , [italics] a good man[end italics] and a very pretty poet, somewhat after the fashion of Longfellow, with plaintive passages that haunt one?s mind and sentiments that one can share.I clapped my hands, when I found the reign of scarlet corruption at an end, and a new generation arisen that did not remember Gautier. Here are men whom everything interests; men with red blood (not quintessential absinthe and vitriol), and a strong social passion in them. I am so anxious to write about them. I offered Appleton a series of papers on the modern French school − the Parnassiens, I think they call them − de Banville, Coppee Grammont) I think that?s his name), Soulary and Sully-Prudhomme. But he has not deigned to answer my letter − God?s blood if I had my hand on his weasel!'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Until: 14 Jan 1875
Country: Scotland
Time: n/a
Place: city: Edinburgh
specific address: 17 Heriot Row
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: Soulary
Title: unknown
Genre: Poetry, French Parnassien poets. See Section 3, Additional Comments.
Form of Text: Print: Unknown
Publication details: Mid-19th-century French volumes/periodicals.
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 18316  
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: 106-7
  Additional comments: Letter 353, To Sidney Colvin, [14 January 1875] 17 Heriot Row. Co-editor Ernest Mehew. The date 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. 106-7,, accessed: 04 March 2024

Additional comments:

For Sully-Prudhomme and Soulary: see also Letter 350 and ID 18160. On p. 107 Editors? Note 1 reads: ?Theodore de Banville (1823-91), poet and dramatist, was one of the precursors of the group known as Les Parnassiens. The early poems of Francois Coppee (1842-1908) were Parnassian in manner. It is not clear who RLS meant by ?Grammont??. Re the Grammont reference: a possibility could be as in the Britannica Online Encyclopedia entry for Sestina: ?In the 19th century, Ferdinand, comte de Gramont, wrote a large number of sestinas.? Or as in the Sestina ? LoveToKnow website entry of Classic Encyclopedia, based on 11th edn of Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911(the website omits French accents): ?In the 19th century, the sestina or sextine was assiduously cultivated by the Comte de Gramont, who, between 1830 and 1848, wrote a large number of examples, included in his [italics]Chant du passe[acute accent over e; end italics] (1854). He followed the example of Petrarch rather than of the Proven?al troubadours, by introducing two rhymes instead of the rigorous blank verse. A sestina by Gramont, beginning: "L'etang qui s'eclaircit au milieu des feuillages, La mare avec ses joncs rubanant au soleil, Ses flotilles de fleurs, ses insectes volages Me charment. Longuement au creux de leurs rivages J'erre, et les yeux remplis d'un mirage vermeil, J'ecoute l'eau qui reve en son tiede sommeil," has been recommended to all who wish to "triumph over the innumerable and terrible difficulties" of the sestina, as a perfect model of the form in its "precise and classic purity." Editors? Note 2 to ?weasel? reads: ?Presumably a slip of the pen for ?weasand?? According to the 1964 printing of the revised 3rd edition of the Shorter OED,?weasand?, from Old English and now chiefly dialectal, denotes the gullet, the windpipe or the throat generally.



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