A Beleaguered City.

Reading experience

?itemComments

A Beleaguered City.

Reading experience
Identifer:
ukred-30399

Evidence

My dear Mrs Oliphant, I address you freely, because I have a full heart just now; and I had rather speak foolishly out of my enthusiasm than hold my tongue afterwards in a state of clear and cowardly common sense. <br/> How you wrote A Beleaguered City, I cannot think; I had not supposed it had been in you; but God bless you, in all soberness, for having done so. I look in vain for anything like it, since the Pilgrim’s Progress &#8722; or before. How it might read to posterity, is a thing neither I nor you can tell; but to your contemporaries, or to some of them, it will be truly good news. And this, after all, is the great affair; to these, we speak with comprehensible accents; to posterity, or to all but a few of them, <i>nous autres morts</i> will speak a flat, unresonant dialect. Whether I like the <i>Maire</i> more than Lecanus, or more than the cur&eacute;, I cannot tell. They are all three admirably touched, and full of significance to the main issue. All their humours tell; they show our Babel, toiling here a while, as we hope, in the midst of a clearer universe. Shelley has said something in poetry, which youe have said over again, and most pleasantly glossed upon, in the idiosyncrasies of all your characters: ‘Life like a dome of many coloured glass (I quote from a bad, a heartless memory) stains the white radiance of eternity’.<br/> I have thought often, how many arrows an author shoots into the air &#8722; I daresay, so have you. In the <i>Beleaguered City</i>, you have lodged some three or four in my heart. I have cried heartily; I feel the better for my tears; and I want to thank you. Let that excuse this otherwise inexcusable letter and believe me gratefully your very much obliged reader<br/> Robert Louis Stevenson

Source

The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, April 1874-July 1879

Text being read

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Reader(s) and listener(s)

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Stevenson, Robert Louis
Born in 1850

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Notes
Editors’ Note 1, Letters 2, 299 reads: “Mrs Margaret Oliphant (1828-97), Scottish author of over a hundred novels; she also wrote biographical and historical works and was a lifelong contributor of critical articles and reviews (as well as fiction) to Blackwood’s Magazine. <i>A Beleaguered City</i>, one of the best of her stories of the supernatural, appeared in the New Quarterly Magazine for January 1879 and was published, slightly expanded, in book form in 1880. It tells how the unseen spirits of the dead (‘[italics]nous autres morts[end italics]' they describe themselves [sic] in letters of fire on the front of the cathedral) occupy a small French town for three days and expel the inhabitants. The story is narrated by Martin Dupin, the rationalist mayor, with contributions from other eye-witnesses, among them Paul Lecamus, a mystic &#8722; the only person to make contact with the spirits. The novel concerns the reactions to the miracle of people of differing characters, social positions and religious attitudes, and dramatises the leading religious issues of the time. (See R. and V. Colby, ‘A Beleaguered City: A Fable for the Victorian Age’, Nineteenth Century Fiction, March 1962.”

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The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, April 1874-July 1879
http://eured.univ-lemans.fr/dbworkshop/index.php/Detail/objects/93959
Accessed on 2019/10/20 10:24:11

Related place
Scotland
Related people
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Related text or manuscript
The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, April 1874-July 1879
Related place
Scotland
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              <ptr target="ukred-30399">My dear Mrs Oliphant, I address you freely, because I have a full heart just now; and I had rather speak foolishly out of my enthusiasm than hold my tongue afterwards in a state of clear and cowardly common sense. &lt;br/&gt;
How you wrote A Beleaguered City, I cannot think; I had not supposed it had been in you; but God bless you, in all soberness, for having done so. I look in vain for anything like it, since the Pilgrim’s Progress &amp;#8722; or before. How it might read to posterity, is a thing neither I nor you can tell; but to your contemporaries, or to some of them, it will be truly good news. And this, after all, is the great affair; to these, we speak with comprehensible accents; to posterity, or to all but a few of them, &lt;i&gt;nous autres morts&lt;/i&gt; will speak a flat, unresonant dialect.
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A Beleaguered City.

Reading experience
Identifer:
ukred-30399

Evidence

My dear Mrs Oliphant, I address you freely, because I have a full heart just now; and I had rather speak foolishly out of my enthusiasm than hold my tongue afterwards in a state of clear and cowardly common sense. <br/> How you wrote A Beleaguered City, I cannot think; I had not supposed it had been in you; but God bless you, in all soberness, for having done so. I look in vain for anything like it, since the Pilgrim’s Progress &#8722; or before. How it might read to posterity, is a thing neither I nor you can tell; but to your contemporaries, or to some of them, it will be truly good news. And this, after all, is the great affair; to these, we speak with comprehensible accents; to posterity, or to all but a few of them, <i>nous autres morts</i> will speak a flat, unresonant dialect. Whether I like the <i>Maire</i> more than Lecanus, or more than the cur&eacute;, I cannot tell. They are all three admirably touched, and full of significance to the main issue. All their humours tell; they show our Babel, toiling here a while, as we hope, in the midst of a clearer universe. Shelley has said something in poetry, which youe have said over again, and most pleasantly glossed upon, in the idiosyncrasies of all your characters: ‘Life like a dome of many coloured glass (I quote from a bad, a heartless memory) stains the white radiance of eternity’.<br/> I have thought often, how many arrows an author shoots into the air &#8722; I daresay, so have you. In the <i>Beleaguered City</i>, you have lodged some three or four in my heart. I have cried heartily; I feel the better for my tears; and I want to thank you. Let that excuse this otherwise inexcusable letter and believe me gratefully your very much obliged reader<br/> Robert Louis Stevenson

Source

The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, April 1874-July 1879

Text being read

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Reader(s) and listener(s)

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Stevenson, Robert Louis
Born in 1850

Details of the reading experience

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EuRED : experience type
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EXF3
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EuRED : emotions
EuRED : intensity
EuRED : environment
EuRED : lighting
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Notes
Editors’ Note 1, Letters 2, 299 reads: “Mrs Margaret Oliphant (1828-97), Scottish author of over a hundred novels; she also wrote biographical and historical works and was a lifelong contributor of critical articles and reviews (as well as fiction) to Blackwood’s Magazine. <i>A Beleaguered City</i>, one of the best of her stories of the supernatural, appeared in the New Quarterly Magazine for January 1879 and was published, slightly expanded, in book form in 1880. It tells how the unseen spirits of the dead (‘[italics]nous autres morts[end italics]' they describe themselves [sic] in letters of fire on the front of the cathedral) occupy a small French town for three days and expel the inhabitants. The story is narrated by Martin Dupin, the rationalist mayor, with contributions from other eye-witnesses, among them Paul Lecamus, a mystic &#8722; the only person to make contact with the spirits. The novel concerns the reactions to the miracle of people of differing characters, social positions and religious attitudes, and dramatises the leading religious issues of the time. (See R. and V. Colby, ‘A Beleaguered City: A Fable for the Victorian Age’, Nineteenth Century Fiction, March 1962.”

How to cite this record

You can copy this item for personal use, share it, and post it on a blog or website. It cannot be used commercially without permission. Please ensure the following credit accompanies it:

The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, April 1874-July 1879
http://eured.univ-lemans.fr/dbworkshop/index.php/Detail/objects/93959
Accessed on 2019/10/20 10:24:11

Related place
Scotland
Related people
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Related text or manuscript
The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, April 1874-July 1879
Related place
Scotland
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              <ptr target="ukred-30399">My dear Mrs Oliphant, I address you freely, because I have a full heart just now; and I had rather speak foolishly out of my enthusiasm than hold my tongue afterwards in a state of clear and cowardly common sense. &lt;br/&gt;
How you wrote A Beleaguered City, I cannot think; I had not supposed it had been in you; but God bless you, in all soberness, for having done so. I look in vain for anything like it, since the Pilgrim’s Progress &amp;#8722; or before. How it might read to posterity, is a thing neither I nor you can tell; but to your contemporaries, or to some of them, it will be truly good news. And this, after all, is the great affair; to these, we speak with comprehensible accents; to posterity, or to all but a few of them, &lt;i&gt;nous autres morts&lt;/i&gt; will speak a flat, unresonant dialect.
    Whether I like the &lt;i&gt;Maire&lt;/i&gt; more than Lecanus, or more than the cur&amp;eacute;, I cannot tell. They are all three admirably touched, and full of significance to the main issue. All their humours tell; they show our Babel, toiling here a while, as we hope, in the midst of a clearer universe. Shelley has said something in poetry, which youe have said over again, and most pleasantly glossed upon, in the idiosyncrasies of all your characters: ‘Life like a dome of many coloured glass (I quote from a bad, a heartless memory) stains the white radiance of eternity’.&lt;br/&gt;
     I have thought often, how many arrows an author shoots into the air &amp;#8722; I daresay, so have you. In the &lt;i&gt;Beleaguered City&lt;/i&gt;, you have lodged some three or four in my heart. I have cried heartily; I feel the better for my tears; and I want to thank you. Let that excuse this otherwise inexcusable letter and believe me gratefully your very much obliged reader&lt;br/&gt;
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