PREFACE

In falling in with the suggestion made to me by my publisher that I should write a further volume on my Bohemian days I found myself confronted with the perplexing question as to when one's "Bohemian days" can really be said to have ended, for I have always been inclined to think that "once a Bohemian, always a Bohemian." Of course, I do not refer to the state of affairs which is a dreadful reality to many a struggling artist, and from which through force of circumstances, there is no getting away — to such the word is but a synonym for penury, and there can be little romance in connection with it, in London at any rate. There is another form of Bohemianism not associated with actual poverty that appeals so strongly to some men, that long after youth is passed, and when they are in a position to live as ordinary citizens, they still remain under its spell. It might be termed the fascination of the unconventional, were it not that unconventionality is almost inherent, and is largely a matter of temperament and climatic influence. My souvenirs, as will be seen, relate more specially to this phase of Bohemian life.

In writing of the years I spent in St John's Wood, I realize that my Paris experiences of artistic Bohemianism helped in no small degree to impart a sort of reflected Parisian luster on my London studio, and made me perhaps take a somewhat different view of life in those days to what I should have done had I never lived abroad. It was not exactly looking at things through rose colored glasses, but with a certain sense of the romantic which had developed in the Quartier Latin and Montmartre. I lay no claim to having discovered any terra incognita, as I feel sure that to many men of my age, much of what I have described of the doings in the "Wood" in the mid 'eighties and early 'nineties, must have been to a certain extent familiar, but I venture to hope that my own personal reminiscences will prove of some interest, if only as affording a glimpse of studio life and a Bohemianism which is now but a memory.

This volume is intended as a sequel to "My Bohemian Days in Paris," so in conclusion I would add in the words of a once famous advertisement, " If you like the pickles try the sauce."

J. M. P.

22 Golden Square,
London, W.


[NOTE — The author had no opportunity of correcting the proofs of this book, as he was at the war while it was being printed and published in 1914]




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