As a committed pebble picker, I was delighted to read that Keats also thought to bend down and scoop up a few when he travelled. Here he brings them back from his trip to Scotland, as a memento for his sister.

On the metaphorical benefits of holding a pebble in your hand, see also ‘Still as a stone’.

‘I have a few scotch pebbles for you from the Island of Icolmkill.’


Source: John Keats, 19 August 1818, Selected Letters, ed. Robert Gittings (Oxford World Classics, 2002/2009), p. 142

Photo credit: Americanet at


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