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J M Barrie to Arthur Quiller-Couch - 1895


Letter from J M Barrie to Arthur Quiller-Couch (‘Q’), 26 March 1895, written from Kirriemuir.

{Taken from “The Letters of J M Barrie”, edited by Viola Meynell, Peter Davies Publishing, 1942}


My dear Couch,

Your bad news gave us a shock to-day and somehow the Pippa is the last quarter from which one would have expected bad news—it seemed so much a part of him to be well and full of spirits. You must have had a most painful time when he was at his worst and we sympathise with you both very deeply and feel some of the pain too. But that anxiety need not to hope that he will soon be his own masterful self again. It seems often difficult to say what causes pneumonia, but I believe it is a fact—many people who have had it tell me so: that you are often stronger after it than ever before. It does not at all necessarily leave the lungs weak. You will soon see him lording it on the Parade again. He always seems to me as much a bit of the Parade as the grass wall, and I wish I were there again to be his very worst horse.

We have not been having a very lively time either. As soon as I stepped on my native soil ten days ago the influenza snapped me up and though I am all right again, my wife and sister both have it now, and my mother is very frail. However all seem to be mild cases. We have not fixed the house yet, had to come north hurriedly, but unless something new turns up it will be the Chiltern Hills. I wasn’t very happy in London, chiefly perhaps because I wasn’t working, but it impressed me as a werry hollow place—and as for the clubs, after one look inside I conceived a desire to resign my membership, from which my wife enticed me. They are the most unprofitable places, and the only real club I know is your study when the lamp is lit and the top off the chair and the clock pointing to eleven P.M.

Meredith was in town and we dined with him. He had come to let the doctors work their will, but they found it unnecessary. I have got no work done since I left Fowey from the various causes I mention. Glen is here and becomes very bushy. I wish you would let me hear how the Pippa gets on. He is my favourite boy in the wide wide world. With love from us both to you all,



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