[Letterhead: Goupil Paris]

Paris, January 1876

My dear Theo,
In the first crate going to The Hague you’ll find various packages; be so good as to take care of them.
First of all, one for you containing ‘Felix Holt’,1 when you’ve read it please send it to Etten, and when they’ve finished it there please send it back here, when you get the chance, because it doesn’t belong to me. It’s a book that touched me deeply, and it will no doubt have the same effect on you.
There’s also a package for Mr Tersteeg and one for Mrs Tersteeg, and also one for Mauve and his wife.2 I wrote and told Mauve that he should ask you for that book about Michel;3 please show it to him sometime when it suits you.  1r:2
There’s also a package for Pa; do your best to ensure that it arrives in Etten on Pa’s birthday.4 Perhaps you could add Felix Holt to it and read it after it’s been in Etten, that might be the best thing.
In the small roll addressed to you you’ll find 3 etchings after Jules Dupré, one for you, one for Uncle Jan van Gogh, with my regards, and one for Pa. Also for Pa a lithograph after Bodmer5 and an etching by Jacque, and then there’s a lithograph after Cabat for you. Cabat is a lot like Ruisdael, there are two magnificent paintings by him in the Luxembourg, one a pond with trees around it in the autumn at sunset, and the other the evening of a grey autumn day, a road by the waterside and a couple of large oak trees.6
That etching after Jules Dupré is beautiful, it’s one from an album of 6 with Dupré’s portrait.7 He has such a simple and noble face, it reminds me a bit of Mauve’s, though he’s older,8 and perhaps in reality he looks different from Mauve.  1v:3
It’s good that you’re taking English lessons, you won’t regret it.9
I’d like to send you a Longfellow10 and ‘Andersen’s fairy tales’,11 I’ll see if I can find them. If I do send them, read especially Longfellow’s Evangeline, Miles Standish, The baron of St Castine and King Robert of Sicily &c.12
And now I’ll bid you good-day again and shake your hand in thought. Regards to everyone at the Rooses’ and if anyone else should ask after me, and believe me ever

Your loving brother

Give my regards again to my friend Borchers.


Br. 1990: 065 | CL: 51
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Paris, on or about Monday, 17 January 1876

1. George Eliot’s novel Felix Holt, the radical (1866) tells the love story of Felix Holt and Esther Lyon, which ends in their marriage. It ‘is a study in the Radicalism of the time of the Reform Bill, contrasting the ideal radicalism of Felix Holt, who, with talent which might command material success, prefers to spend himself in social service, and the political radicalism of the good business man, Harold Transome, who breaks away from the Tory traditions of his family’. See I.G. Mudge and M.E. Sears, A George Eliot dictionary. The characters and scenes of the novels, stories and poems alphabetically arranged. London 1924, p. xxii. Van Gogh’s parents also read the book (FR b954, b2234).
2. Anton Mauve and Jet Carbentus were married on 26 November 1874.
4. Mr van Gogh was to turn 54 on 8 February.
5. In letter 110, Van Gogh mentions the subject of a lithograph by Bodmer that was hanging in his parents’ house, which suggests that the work referred to here could be a lithograph after Fontainebleau in the autumn [1753] (In the forest during winter); see also letter 110, n. 10.
[1750] [1751]
7. It is unclear which series of etchings by Jules Dupré Van Gogh is referring to. The subject of the etching must have been a ‘little ship’, because Mr van Gogh wrote to Theo: ‘How kindly he [=Vincent] remembered us again. What a gorgeous print it is, the one of the panting hart. And that little ship by Dupré’ (FR b2234, 17 February). Perhaps this was the etching Bateau pêcheur et barques (Fisherman’s boat and small fishing vessels) by Léon Gaucherel, which Mr and Mrs van Gogh had at any rate known in November (the etching was published in Galeries Durand-Ruel, 1873, no. 225). Ill. 1763 [1763]. See also letter 98, n. 17. Another etching that is certainly a possibility is Le Crotoy, 1872 (made by Auguste Boulard after Jules Dupré), which is also to be found in the scrapbook containing prints from Theo’s estate (Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, t*1487, 26). Ill. 1764 [1764]. The depiction Mr van Gogh mentioned of ‘the panting hart’ – below which Vincent had written Psalm 42 (FR 2741) – could be one of the above-mentioned prints after Bodmer or Jacque.
[1763] [1764]
8. In January 1876 Dupré was 64, whereas Mauve was only 37.
9. On 29 January 1876 the Reverend Van Gogh wrote to Theo: ‘We think it a splendid idea that you take English lessons, that can stand you in good stead. We were more satisfied with Vincent’s last letter, not that it clarifies the future, but he speaks more naturally and says that the teaching profession seems quite attractive to him’ (FR b2230).
10. The poetical works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, of which various editions were available. It was not until 23 March that Vincent acted on his intention to send Theo a copy of this book. See letters 66 and 72.
11. Hans Christian Andersen, Fairy tales, of which numerous editions were in circulation.
12. Regarding Evangeline and Miles Standish, see letter 14. ‘The baron of St Castine’ and ‘King Robert of Sicily’ form ‘The student’s second tale’ and ‘The Sicilian’s tale’ of the book Tales of a Wayside inn. See Longfellow 1886-1891, vol. 4, pp. 179-188, 46-53.