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Record 21724

Reading Experience:

'I have fallen in love with the Charles of Orleans period and cannot get enough of it. I see six essays at least, on single characters: Charles, Rene of Anjou, Jacques Coeur, Villon, Louis XI, Joan of Arc. Would not that be a jolly book? I do not propose to write any of them just now; but study the period quietly. It suits me better than the Reformation , because − well, because it’s more romantic to begin with, and again because it is more manageable − not such a monstrous large order.
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Until: Oct 1875
Country: Scotland
Time: n/a
Place: city: Edinburgh
county: Lothian
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: Writer
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: Various
Title: [Texts by or about 15th-century French literary and historical figures]
Genre: History, Poetry, Biography
Form of Text: Print: Probably books and articles.
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 21724  
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: 163
  Additional comments: Letter 422, To Frances Sitwell [? October 1875], [on Advocates’ Library paper]. 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. 163,, accessed: 25 July 2024

Additional comments:

It is not possible from the evidence of Letter 422 to pinpoint the texts RLS was reading in the furtherance of his interest in reading and writing about 15th-century French literary and historical figures. These texts would presumably have included both primary and secondary sources on 15th-century French literature and history, in French and possibly English and other languages. After the words “Joan of Arc”, Note 1 to Letter 422 reads: “Only the essays on Charles of Orleans and Villon were written. Charles of Orleans (1391-1465), whose court at Blois was a centre for poets, wrote many skilful and graceful ballades and rondeaux and inspired RLS’s own interest in these forms. Rene d’Anjou (1408-90) ‘the last of the troubadours’ was also a patron of poets and musicians at his court at Aix-en-Provence. Jacques Coeur (1395?-1456) was a merchant and financier.” The rest of the French personalities named here by RLS also lived essentially in the 15th century: Joan of Arc (1412-31; the poet Francois Villon (1431-after 1463), and King Louis XI (1423-83, reigned 1461-83). On page 158, a Note to the mention of “Rondeaux” in Letter 415 reads: In “An Epilogue” RLS says that he ‘carried in his knapsack the works of Charles of Orleans [cf. Letter 422] works of Charles of Orleans, and employed some of the hours of travel in the concoction of English roundels. In this path, he must thus have preceded Mr. Lang, Mr. Dobson, Mr. Henley, and all contemporary roundeleers. In the 1870s there was a great deal of interest in the revival and imitation of the traditional French forms of rondeaux, ballades and triolets.” The full title of the essay is “An Epilogue to 'An Inland Voyage'". "An Inland Voyage" was published, with the Epilogue, in 1878. The voyage in question took place in 1876.



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