Samuel Beckett: ‘If you ever meet my ghost…’

Nobel laureate’s letter to a schoolboy living in his childhood home

Writer Samuel Beckett wrote this letter to John Hughes, a schoolboy who was living in Beckett’s childhood home of Cooldrinagh in Foxrock, Ireland

Transcription: Side A

Perhaps you, too, were born in April.


Dear John Hughes,
Thank you for your letter.
My schools were:

  1. Miss Ellner’s kindergarten on the Leopardstown crossroad between the old Leopardstown level crossing and the main Bray road. The house was then called Tavernus[?].
  2. Earlsford House School, Dublin, as a dayboy.
  3. Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, as a boarder.

Transcription: Side B

As a boy I slept with my brother in the room at the top of the house next the [word corrected] attic where the water tank is – or was then.

As an undergraduate, before I went to live in T.C.D. [Trinity College Dublin] , I slept in the tiny room, originally my father’s dressing room, beside the big bedroom with the bay windows (where incidentally I was born).

If you ever meet my ghost in house or grounds, give it my regards. Wishing you happy years in that old home, I am

Yours antiquatedly
Sam Beckett

Source: The Little Museum Collection.

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