The Life of Algernon Charles Swinburne

By Edmund Gosse | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
PUTNEY (1879-1909)

IN September 1879 Swinburne was removed, as has been said, in a state of health which seemed almost desperate, from Watts' rooms in Great James Street, to the upper storey of a semidetached villa at Putney, which Theodore Watts now took for the purpose.1 He was at first too ill to see any one or to write a letter, yet, such was his recuperative vitality, that by the middle of October he was once more able to resume his correspondence and his literary work, and to enjoy regular exercise out-of-doors. He wrote to Lord Houghton:

I keep no chambers in town henceforth, or (probably) for ever -- finding after but too many years' trial that in the atmosphere of London I can never expect more than a fortnight at best of my usual health and strength. Here I am, like Mr. Tennyson at Farringford, "close to the edge of a noble down," and I might add "Far out of sight, sound, smell of the town," and yet within an easy hour's run of Hyde Park Corner and a pleasant drive of Chelsea, where I have some friends lingering.

____________________
1
The lease was granted for twenty-one years, from the 18th of September 1879, to Walter Theodore Watts, "of Ivy Lodge, Werter Road, Putney," that being the residence of Watts' sister, Mrs. Mason.

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