- Robert Louis Stevenson - Familiar Studies Of Men And Books
- Robert Louis Stevenson: Seven Novels
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During his many absences he was taught by private tutors. In October , he went to Edinburgh Academy , an independent school for boys, and stayed there sporadically for about fifteen months. In the autumn of , he spent one term at an English boarding school at Spring Grove in Isleworth in Middlesex now an urban area of West London. In October , following an improvement to his health, he was sent to Robert Thomson's private school in Frederick Street, Edinburgh, where he remained until he went to university.
He showed from the start no enthusiasm for his studies and devoted much energy to avoiding lectures. This time was more important for the friendships he made with other students in the Speculative Society an exclusive debating club , particularly with Charles Baxter, who would become Stevenson's financial agent, and with a professor, Fleeming Jenkin , whose house staged amateur drama in which Stevenson took part, and whose biography he would later write.
He enjoyed the travels more for the material they gave for his writing than for any engineering interest. The voyage with his father pleased him because a similar journey of Walter Scott with Robert Stevenson had provided the inspiration for Scott's novel The Pirate. Though the elder Stevenson was naturally disappointed, the surprise cannot have been great, and Stevenson's mother reported that he was "wonderfully resigned" to his son's choice.
To provide some security, it was agreed that Stevenson should read Law again at Edinburgh University and be called to the Scottish bar. Say not of me that weakly I declined The labours of my sires, and fled the sea, The towers we founded and the lamps we lit, To play at home with paper like a child. But rather say: In the afternoon of time A strenuous family dusted from its hands The sand of granite, and beholding far Along the sounding coast its pyramids And tall memorials catch the dying sun, Smiled well content, and to this childish task Around the fire addressed its evening hours.
In other respects too, Stevenson was moving away from his upbringing. His dress became more Bohemian ; he already wore his hair long, but he now took to wearing a velveteen jacket and rarely attended parties in conventional evening dress. Questioning his son about his beliefs, he discovered the truth, leading to a long period of dissension with both parents: . What a damned curse I am to my parents!
As my father said "You have rendered my whole life a failure". As my mother said "This is the heaviest affliction that has ever befallen me". O Lord, what a pleasant thing it is to have damned the happiness of probably the only two people who care a damn about you in the world. Stevenson was visiting a cousin in England in late when he met two people who became very important to him: Sidney Colvin and Fanny Frances Jane Sitwell.
Sitwell was a year-old woman with a son, who was separated from her husband. She attracted the devotion of many who met her, including Colvin, who married her in Stevenson was also drawn to her, and they kept up a warm correspondence over several years in which he wavered between the role of a suitor and a son he addressed her as "Madonna".
He placed Stevenson's first paid contribution in The Portfolio , an essay entitled "Roads". Stevenson was soon active in London literary life, becoming acquainted with many of the writers of the time, including Andrew Lang , Edmund Gosse ,  and Leslie Stephen , the editor of the Cornhill Magazine who took an interest in Stevenson's work. Stephen took Stevenson to visit a patient at the Edinburgh Infirmary named William Ernest Henley , an energetic and talkative man with a wooden leg.
Henley became a close friend and occasional literary collaborator, until a quarrel broke up the friendship in , and he is often considered to be the model for Long John Silver in Treasure Island. Stevenson was sent to Menton on the French Riviera in November to recuperate after his health failed.
He returned in better health in April and settled down to his studies, but he returned to France several times after that. He also traveled to Paris to visit galleries and the theatres. Stevenson, Advocate". His law studies did influence his books, but he never practised law;  all his energies were spent in travel and writing. One of his journeys was a canoe voyage in Belgium and France with Sir Walter Simpson, a friend from the Speculative Society, a frequent travel companion, and the author of The Art of Golf This trip was the basis of his first travel book An Inland Voyage She had married at age 17 and moved to Nevada to rejoin husband Samuel after his participation in the American Civil War.
Their children were Isobel or "Belle" , Lloyd , and Hervey who died in But anger over her husband's infidelities led to a number of separations. In , she had taken her children to France where she and Isobel studied art. Stevenson returned to Britain shortly after this first meeting, but Fanny apparently remained in his thoughts, and he wrote the essay "On falling in love" for the Cornhill Magazine.
Stevenson spent much of the following year with her and her children in France. But he set off to join her in August , against the advice of his friends and without notifying his parents. He took second-class passage on the steamship Devonia , in part to save money but also to learn how others traveled and to increase the adventure of the journey.
He later wrote about the experience in The Amateur Emigrant. It was good experience for his writing, but it broke his health. He was near death when he arrived in Monterey, California , where some local ranchers nursed him back to health. He stayed for a time at the French Hotel located at Houston Street, now a museum dedicated to his memory called the " Stevenson House ". While there, he often dined "on the cuff," as he said, at a nearby restaurant run by Frenchman Jules Simoneau which stood at what is now Simoneau Plaza; several years later, he sent Simoneau an inscribed copy of his novel Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde , writing that it would be a stranger case still if Robert Louis Stevenson ever forgot Jules Simoneau.
By December , Stevenson had recovered his health enough to continue to San Francisco where he struggled "all alone on forty-five cents a day, and sometimes less, with quantities of hard work and many heavy thoughts,"  in an effort to support himself through his writing. But by the end of the winter, his health was broken again and he found himself at death's door. Fanny was now divorced and recovered from her own illness, and she came to his bedside and nursed him to recovery.
Fanny and Robert were married in May , although he said that he was "a mere complication of cough and bones, much fitter for an emblem of mortality than a bridegroom. He wrote about this experience in The Silverado Squatters. In August , he sailed with Fanny and Lloyd from New York to Britain and found his parents and his friend Sidney Colvin on the wharf at Liverpool , happy to see him return home. Gradually, his wife was able to patch up differences between father and son and make herself a part of the family through her charm and wit.
Stevenson searched in vain between and for a residence suitable to his health. He spent his summers at various places in Scotland and England, including Westbourne, Dorset , a residential area in Bournemouth. Poole after the town of Poole which is situated next to Bournemouth. In Westbourne, he named his house Skerryvore after the tallest lighthouse in Scotland, which his uncle Alan had built — But though you will be angry to hear it, I believe, for myself at least, what is is best.
He gave a copy of Kidnapped to his friend and frequent Skerryvore visitor Henry James. His father died in and Stevenson felt free to follow the advice of his physician to try a complete change of climate, so he headed for Colorado with his mother and family. During the intensely cold winter, Stevenson wrote some of his best essays, including Pulvis et Umbra.
He also began The Master of Ballantrae and lightheartedly planned a cruise to the southern Pacific Ocean for the following summer. Stevenson believed in Conservatism for most of his life. His cousin and biographer Sir Graham Balfour said that "he probably throughout life would, if compelled to vote, have always supported the Conservative candidate. He wrote at age "I look back to the time when I was a Socialist with something like regret…. Now I know that in thus turning Conservative with years, I am going through the normal cycle of change and travelling in the common orbit of men's opinions.
The vessel "plowed her path of snow across the empty deep, far from all track of commerce, far from any hand of help. He befriended the king's niece Princess Victoria Kaiulani , who also had Scottish heritage. During this period, he completed The Master of Ballantrae , composed two ballads based on the legends of the islanders, and wrote The Bottle Imp. He preserved the experience of these years in his various letters and in his In the South Seas which was published posthumously.
Fanny misnames the ship in her account The Cruise of the Janet Nichol. In , Stevenson purchased a tract of about acres 1. He took the native name Tusitala Samoan for "Teller of Tales". His influence spread among the Samoans, who consulted him for advice, and he soon became involved in local politics. He was convinced that the European officials who had been appointed to rule the Samoans were incompetent, and he published A Footnote to History after many futile attempts to resolve the matter.
This was such a stinging protest against existing conditions that it resulted in the recall of two officials, and Stevenson feared for a time that it would result in his own deportation. He wrote to Colvin, "I used to think meanly of the plumber; but how he shines beside the politician! He also found time to work at his writing, although he felt that "there was never any man had so many irons in the fire". Stevenson grew depressed and wondered if he had exhausted his creative vein, as he had been "overworked bitterly"  and that the best he could write was "ditch-water".
He rebelled against this idea: "I wish to die in my boots; no more Land of Counterpane for me. To be drowned, to be shot, to be thrown from a horse — ay, to be hanged, rather than pass again through that slow dissolution. On 3 December , Stevenson was talking to his wife and straining to open a bottle of wine when he suddenly exclaimed, "What's that?
Robert Louis Stevenson - Familiar Studies Of Men And Books
He was 44 years old. The Samoans insisted on surrounding his body with a watch-guard during the night and on bearing him on their shoulders to nearby Mount Vaea , where they buried him on a spot overlooking the sea on land donated by British Acting Vice Consul Thomas Trood. Stevenson was loved by the Samoans, and his tombstone epigraph was translated to a Samoan song of grief.
His heirs sold his papers during World War I, and many Stevenson documents were auctioned off in Barrie ,  and G.
Chesterton , who said that Stevenson "seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillikins. Stevenson was seen for much of the 20th century as a second-class writer. He became relegated to children's literature and horror genres,  condemned by literary figures such as Virginia Woolf daughter of his early mentor Leslie Stephen and her husband Leonard Woolf , and he was gradually excluded from the canon of literature taught in schools.
The late 20th century brought a re-evaluation of Stevenson as an artist of great range and insight, a literary theorist, an essayist and social critic, a witness to the colonial history of the Pacific Islands , and a humanist. Rider Haggard. On the subject of Stevenson's modern reputation, American film critic Roger Ebert wrote in ,.
I was talking to a friend the other day who said he'd never met a child who liked reading Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Neither have I, I said. And he'd never met a child who liked reading Stevenson's Kidnapped. Me neither, I said. My early exposure to both books was via the Classics Illustrated comic books.
But I did read the books later, when I was no longer a kid, and I enjoyed them enormously. Same goes for Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. The fact is, Stevenson is a splendid writer of stories for adults, and he should be put on the same shelf with Joseph Conrad and Jack London instead of in between Winnie the Pooh and Peter Pan.
The Writers' Museum near Edinburgh's Royal Mile devotes a room to Stevenson, containing some of his personal possessions from childhood through to adulthood. The Stevenson House museum is graced with a bas-relief depicting the sickly author writing in bed. Helena, California, is home to over 11, objects and artifacts, the majority of which belonged to Stevenson. Opened in , the museum houses such treasures as his childhood rocking chair, writing desk, toy soldiers, and personal writings among many other items.
The museum is free to the public and serves as an academic archive for students, writers, and Stevenson enthusiasts. Stevenson's former home in Vailima, Samoa is now a museum dedicated to the later years of his life. The museum collection includes several original items belonging to Stevenson and his family. The path to Stevenson's grave at the top of Mt Vaea commences from the museum. A plaque above the door of a house in Castleton of Braemar states "Here R. Stevenson spent the Summer of and wrote Treasure Island, his first great work". A garden was designed by the Bournemouth Corporation in as a memorial to Stevenson, on the site of his Westbourne house, "Skerryvore", which he occupied from to A statue of the Skerryvore lighthouse is present on the site.
In the story line, Stevenson falls in love with Fanny Osbourne, played by Aline Towne , the mother of two children in a loveless marriage in San Francisco. The couple met in France where Stevenson was recuperating from health issues and moved to San Francisco, where Stevenson worked tirelessly despite lingering health matters in the production of his large volume of literary works. Alongside Stevenson's portrait are scenes from some of his books and his house in Western Samoa. The first note to be printed was sent to Samoa in time for their centenary celebrations on 3 December Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, California , was established in and still exists as a college preparatory boarding school.
This was also until recently changed the name of a restaurant on Comiston Road, Edinburgh on the route of a favourite walk that Stevenson often took to the village of Swanston in the Pentland Hills. In , Stevenson's open letter defending Father Damien from Rev. Stevenson paces in his dining room in an portrait by John Singer Sargent. His wife Fanny, seated in an Indian dress, is visible in the lower right corner. Portrait by John Singer Sargent , Portrait by William Blake Richmond , List of short stories sorted chronologically. Although not well known, his island fiction and non-fiction is among the most valuable and collected of the 19th century body of work that addresses the Pacific area.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Robert Louis Stevenson. Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne m. Portrait by Girolamo Nerli , This section needs additional citations for verification.
Robert Louis Stevenson: Seven Novels
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Poetry portal Children's literature portal Biography portal. The spelling "Lewis" is said to have been rejected because his father violently disliked another person of the same name, and the new spelling was not accompanied by a change of pronunciation Balfour I, 29 n.
The Manse. Retrieved 14 May Sheridan House, Inc. The New York Times. Alison Cunningham's recollection of Stevenson balances the picture of an oversensitive child, "like other bairns, whiles very naughty": Furnas , Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved: 1 August Matching red cloth covers; gold title of the individual volume and floral design thistle flowers? Published by Charles Scribner's Sons individually between and Condition ranges from near fine to very good; some spines a bit faded; one volume has name neatly written in old ink on first page.
Jekyll and Mr. More information about this seller Contact this seller 3. Red cloth with gilt lettering and decoration. Condition is Very Good, Cloth and gilt printing lightly faded on spines, covers are very bright, Vols. More information about this seller Contact this seller 4. Tandy compiled by. Condition: Good. This is the first Scribner's Thistle Edition The edition lacks a general title and is called the Thistle Edition only in its prospectus not included and in the header of the index see scan. A name evoked by thistle decorations on the spine.
I am calling the overall condition Good or better due to uniformly faded spines, some spines with dark spots, some hinges cracked with occasional discreet repair. Interior pages of all are excellent.
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The only interior marking anywhere is old seller's pencil notation on back endpapers of volume 1 and front endpapers of volume No tears, creases or vandalism of any type. All have frontis plates with tissue coverings. Pages have Scribner's watermark 'CSS. Top edges are gilt, one has a scratch to the gilt.
Bottom and fore edges are rough cut deckle as issued. A uniform set. Quite suitable for reading. These 22 volumes constitute Scribner's originally intended complete set published after author's death in December, Five additional volumes of letters and a biography were added later and are not included here. Feel free to contact me for list of titles, dates, condition report and for any other questions you may have. Please see scans of the books you will receive.
NOTE: For those interested I recommend a search of 'Collected Editions' of Robert Louis Stevenson which will direct you to a site that will provide illumination of this complicated subject. And finally, this heavy set will require extra postage. Seller Inventory ABE More information about this seller Contact this seller 5. Condition: Very Good Minus. Bound in three quarter red morocco over marbled paper covered boards with gilt titles, raised bands, and gilt floral devices to spines.
Minor wear to spine ends, corners, hinges, and edges of boards of most volumes. Several volumes have cracked or starting hinges. Chips to spine ends of some volumes. Clean, bright interiors. Previous owner's signature in pen dated to front free endpapers of each volume. Frontispiece engravings with captioned tissue guards and additional illustrations to some volumes.
Marbled endpapers and top edges gilt. An attractive set; however, restoration is needed on many volumes. A good reading copy. More information about this seller Contact this seller 6. Half titles, fronts. Untrimmed in orig. A good-plus set. More information about this seller Contact this seller 7.