van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Ramsgate, 28 April 1876

Dear Theo,

Many happy returns, my best wishes for this day, may our mutual love increase with the years.

Mr. Stokes has told me that he intends to move after the holidays, of course with the whole school, to a little village on the Thames about three hours from London. There he will organize his school somewhat differently and perhaps enlarge it.

Now I am going to tell you about a walk we took yesterday. It was to an inlet of the sea, and the road thither led through fields of young corn and along hedges of hawthorn, etc.

Arriving there, we saw to our left a high steep ridge of sand and stone as tall as a two-storey house. On the top of it were old, gnarled hawthorn bushes, whose black and grey moss-grown stems and branches were all bent to one side by the wind; there were also a few elder bushes.

The ground on which we walked was covered all over with big grey stones, chalk and shells.

To the right lay the sea, as calm as a pond and reflecting the light of the transparent grey sky where the sun was setting.

The tide was out and the water very low.

Thanks for your letter of yesterday, I am very glad that Willem Valkis is also an employee of the house. Give him my best regards.

Have a pleasant day today and give my love to all who may ask about me and believe me,

Your loving brother,


Once more my best wishes, lad, I hope you will begin a happy and prosperous year. These are important years that we are living through now and much depends on them. May everything come out all right.

A hearty handshake. À Dieu.

At this time, Vincent was 23 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 28 April 1876 in Ramsgate. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 063.

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