A blog about the famous Victorian poet, designer, and Socialist, William Morris.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Don't forget to get your thigh-boots...

"William Morris Climbing a Mountain in Iceland" From www.leicestergalleries.com.

The stresses of packing for my upcoming summer-long adventure, and for a move in the fall, made me sympathize with Charley Faulkner, a longtime friend of Morris's. Faulkner, despite his poor health, signed up to go to Iceland with Morris in 1871, and was probably overwhelmed when he kept getting letters like this:

“I have bought a cork bed for your use, but couldn't buy your water-proof coat without your trying it: if you get one yourself it should be that stout india-rubber stuff not the light-coloured M[agn├║sson] and I both have hoods to ours. Don't forget to get your thigh-boots — and order your breeches if you are going in them, as I shall. Magn├║sson advises us to take saddles with us after all: I have borrowed one from my mother What will you do? I have seen a second-hand one... A gun I have borrowed I think I told you. I need not warn you perhaps to take an over plus of money out....”

The Icelandic adventure ended up being great fun, but as the packing list hints, it was also quite difficult and exhausting. Faulkner was a devoted friend.

The letter excerpt is from the 1st edition of The Collected Letters of William Morris, Volume I edited by Norman Kelvin. It's p137, letter 138.