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Robert Louis Stevenson
 
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Robert Louis Stevenson
A Literary Life
 
Series: Literary Lives
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
12 Mar 2004
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£26.50
|Paperback In Stock
  
9780333984017
||
 
 
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

More than most writers, Robert Louis Stevenson requires a Literary Life. As Henry James commented on reading Balfour's Life: 'Louis... has superseded, personally, his books, and this last replacement of himself... has killed the literary baggage.' Serious critical attention to Stevenson's literary works has been relatively slow to appear, though the 'Life of Stevenson' continues to flourish, having become almost a minor genre in its own right. The version of Stevenson's literary life presented here embraces Stevenson's own reservations about the role of linear chronology in biography, and is more of a literary geography than a literary history. Its structure is defined by the various geographical and cultural contexts (Scotland, France, England, America and the South Seas) in which Stevenson lived and worked. This is the first literary biography of Stevenson since the publication of his Collected Letters, and makes use of previously unpublished letters.


Description

More than most writers, Robert Louis Stevenson requires a Literary Life. As Henry James commented on reading Balfour's Life: 'Louis... has superseded, personally, his books, and this last replacement of himself... has killed the literary baggage.' Serious critical attention to Stevenson's literary works has been relatively slow to appear, though the 'Life of Stevenson' continues to flourish, having become almost a minor genre in its own right. The version of Stevenson's literary life presented here embraces Stevenson's own reservations about the role of linear chronology in biography, and is more of a literary geography than a literary history. Its structure is defined by the various geographical and cultural contexts (Scotland, France, England, America and the South Seas) in which Stevenson lived and worked. This is the first literary biography of Stevenson since the publication of his Collected Letters, and makes use of previously unpublished letters.


Reviews

'A new book... mapping the bohemian life of Robert Louis Stevenson looks at the cocaine-fuelled convalescence that produced Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and a whole lot more besides.' - Phil Hewitt - Chichester Observer

'Gray's close reading is meticulous and intelligent so there's a sense that we're engaging with the real texture of Stevenson's life and work.' - The Scotsman

'With admirable economy, Gray delineates Stevenson's engagements with different literary cultures and traditions - he is especially good on the fertilizing effects of French literature on Stevenson's imagination - and then lays out the varied fruits of those engagements: essays, poems, letters, travelogues, plays, and prose fiction' - Stephen Arata, Victorian Studies 48 (Spring 2006)


Contents

Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction and Chronology
The English Scene
The French Connection
Forever Scotland
America
In the South Seas
Conclusion
Notes
Index


Authors

WILLIAM GRAY is Professor of Literary History and Hermeneutics at the University of Chichester, UK. He studied literature, philosophy and theology at the Universities of Oxford, Edinburgh and Princeton, and has published widely in these areas, including Death and Fantasy and books on C.S. Lewis and Robert Louis Stevenson.