van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Anna van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Leeuwarden, 6 January 1874

[Unpublished Letter from Anna van Gogh to Theo]


6 January 1874

Monday morning at breakfast I found a letter from London, which contained a letter from Vincent and one from Ursula Loyer, both were very kind and amiable. She asks me to write her and Vincent wished very much we should be friends. I'll tell you what he writes about her: “Ursula Loyer is a girl with whom I have agreed that we should consider ourselves each other's brother and sister. You should consider her as a sister too and write to her, and I think you will then soon find out what kind of girl she is. I'll say nothing more than that I never heard or dreamed of anything like the love between her and her mother…Old girl, don't think there is more behind it than I wrote just now, but don't tell them at home; I must do that myself. But again: Love her for my sake.” I suppose there will be a love between those two as between Agnes and David Copperfield. Although I must say that I believe there is more than a brother's love between them, I send you here Ursula's letter and so you can judge for yourself. I hope you will send it back very soon with a long epistle of yourself.

[This letter was written in English, except for the sentences where Anna quotes Vincent, which are in Dutch. The name of the young woman Vincent fell in love with was actually Eugénie: Ursula was the name of her mother.]

At this time, Vincent was 20 year old
Anna van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 6 January 1874 in Leeuwarden. Translated by Robert Harrison, edited by Robert Harrison, number .

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