‘The Home of my Childhood’

William Orpen’s letter to his wife while sailing on the Royal Mail Steamer ‘Munster’ to teach at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. He depicts himself in front of the fireplace at Oriel, Stillorgan with the family pets – Bellcoe and Nikky. 1st June 1905.

“My Dearest Grace, forgive the terrible parting we had this morning. I was perturbed at having to come over here at all on the Teaching Game – which is not much to my liking – However, it may turn out all right – I find it very hard to write as the boat is pitching and rolling a lot – I never said goodbye to Mary! Ask her also to forgive. It seems strange to think that I will be back in Oriel again – I did not quite realise it till just now – Bellcoe, Nikky and the lot – good stuff, bye. Your loving husband Billon”.

NB. Orpen was heading to Dublin from London to teach at his old school – the Metropolitan Art School (now the NCAD).

Post by Dominic Lee, Orpen Research Archives.