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Record 20512

Reading Experience:

'[…] I’ve been to church and am not depressed − a great step. I was at that beautiful church my P.P.P.[Petit Poeme en Prose] was about. It is a little cruciform place, with heavy cornices and string course to match, and a steep slate roof. The small kirkyard is full of old gravestones; one of a Frenchman from Dunquerque, I suppose he died prisoner in the military prison hard by. And one, the most pathetic memorial I ever saw: a poor school-slate, in a wooden frame, with the inscription cut into it evidently by the father’s own hand.'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: 4 Jul 1875
Country: Scotland
Time: daytime
Place: city: Glencorse, nr Edinburgh
county: Mid-Lothian
specific address: Glencorse Church/Old Kirk.
other location: The churchyard.
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: Anon [Apprently the father of the dead child]
Title: [memorial on grave]
Genre: Improvised memorial on grave.
Form of Text: Manuscript: Inscription carved on school slate.
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: read in situ


Source Information:

Record ID: 20512  
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: 147
  Additional comments: Section headed Sunday in Letter 399, To Frances Sitwell, Thursday [1 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. 147,, accessed: 24 June 2024

Additional comments:

On p. 147 in the Editors’ Note 3 to Letter 399 we read: “Glencorse Church in the Pentlands, now a picturesque ruin.[…] The church and the clergyman reappear in ch. 6 of "Weir of Hermiston." The gravestones are still there. The French prisoner was Charles Cotier, captured during the Napoleonic wars and killed in January 1807 when a sentry was ordered to fire at random into the prison; there was a public outcry and the officer responsible was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment.”



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