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091 To Theo van Gogh. Isleworth, between Saturday, 16 and Friday, 22 September 1876.

No. 091 (Brieven 1990 086, Complete Letters 68)
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Isleworth, between Saturday, 16 and Friday, 22 September 1876

Source status
Original manuscript

Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, inv. no. b81 V/1962

Although both De brieven 1990 and Hulsker 1993-1 date this letter ‘16 or 17 August’, it must have been written a month later, since it announces a journey to London (l. 13) that took place on Saturday, 23 September. In letter 92 of 3 October, Van Gogh says (l. 22): ‘A week ago on Saturday I made a long journey to London’. That this took place on 23 September is confirmed in the family correspondence (FR b2773). Therefore, on the basis of l. 13, the letter could have been written at the earliest on the previous Saturday, 16 September. Moreover, Mr van Gogh told Theo that in a letter received on Sunday, 24 September, Vincent related that Teunis van Iterson had been to see him and that he really had walked to London, all of which means that the present letter must have been written between 16 and 22 September. Cf. exhib. cat. Nottingham 1974, p. 8.

Van Gogh sent the letter with Van Iterson, along with Wetherell’s Wijde wijde wereld, as evidenced both by the remark ‘Herewith the “Wijde wijde wereld” and another little book’ (ll. 8-9) and by another remark in letter 92: ‘If Van Iterson gave you that English hymnal, read No. 14’ (l. 56). Furthermore, this note, scribbled hastily in pencil, is written (in Dutch) in the present tense: ‘Van Iterson just came and surprised me’.

original text
Waarde Theo
Daarjuist komt v. Iterson mij verrassen, ik vind het prettig dat hij komt maar ’t is of hij een mensch uit de andere wereld is, zoo veel ligt er tusschen den tijd dat wij samen in de zaak waren en nu.
Hierbij de “wijde wijde wereld”1 en een ander boekje,2 geef ook een daarvan aan Carolien.3
Wat zou ik graag willen gij het ook eens zien kondt hier.
Zaturdag morgen 4 uur hoop ik naar Londen te wandelen om Gladwell4 en anderen op te zoeken. Ik wou gij mede kondt wandelen.
Een hartelijken handdruk in gedachten. à Dieu, geloof mij,

Uw zoo liefh. broer

My dear Theo,
Van Iterson just came and surprised me, I think it’s nice that he came, but it’s as though he were a person from another world, so much lies between the time when we were in the firm together and now.
Herewith the ‘Wijde wijde wereld’1 and another little book,2 give one of them to Caroline.3
How much I’d like you to be able to see it here.
I hope to walk to London on Saturday morning at 4 o’clock to visit Gladwell4 and others. I wish you could walk along with me.
A hearty handshake in thought. Adieu, believe me,

Your most loving brother
1. Elizabeth Wetherell, The wide, wide world; see letter 80, n. 5.
2. This must have been an English hymnal, which Van Gogh later mentions having given to Van Iterson to deliver (see letter 92, n. 9).
3. Caroline van Stockum-Haanebeek.
4. Van Gogh was no doubt referring to Henry William Gladwell’s gallery at 20-21 Gracechurch Street, London, since the Gladwells’ home was in Lewisham.