The most authoritative, comprehensive, perceptive biography of R. L. Stevenson to date, using for the first time his collected correspondence (unavailable to previous writers).
The short life of Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) was as adventurous as almost anything in his fiction: his travels, illness, struggles to become a writer, relationships with his volatile wife and stepfamily, friendships and quarrels have fascinated readers for over a century. In his time he was both engineer and aesthete, dutiful son and reckless lover, Scotsman and South Sea Islander, Covenanter and atheist.
Stevenson's books, including Treasure Island, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Kidnapped, have achieved world fame; others – The Master of Ballantrae, A Child's Garden of Verses, Travels with a Donkey – remain all-time favourites. His unique gift for storytelling and dramatic characterisation has meant that that some of his characters live in the consciousness even of those who have never read his work: Long John Silver, with his wooden leg and his parrot, is more real to most people than any historical pirate, while 'Jekyll and Hyde' has become a universally recognised term for a split personality.
No biography has yet done justice to the complex, brilliant and troubled man who was responsible for so many remarkable creations. His interest in psychology, genetics, technology and feminism anticipated the concerns of the next century, while his experiments in narrative technique inspired post-modern innovators such as Borges and Nabokov. Stevenson's recently collected correspondence shows him to have been the least 'Victorian' of Victorian writers, a man of humour, resilience and strongly unconventional views. With access to this and much previously unpublished material, Claire Harman, the acclaimed biographer of Sylvia Townsend Warner and Fanny Burney, has written the most authoritative, comprehensive and perceptive portrait of 'RLS' to date.
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'Excellent...RLS has never been portrayed with such diligence and care...her portraits of Stevenson's nearest and dearest are also unsurpassed' -- Independent on Sunday
'Judicious and readable. It should be good for a decade at least' -- Glasgow Sunday Herald
'a highly readable account that alters the usual perspective, setting Stevenson in a wider cultural environment' -- The Scotsman
'a smoothly assembled and readable study which confirms Stevenson as a writer of the first importance' -- The Independent
'a terrific story' -- The Spectator
'cool, ironic and often funny...appreciative, extremely subtle...lively accessible...compelling' -- Financial Times
'rich and colourful...Harman's book is a delight from beginning to end.' -- Sunday Times , John Carey
'superbly readable...she has excellent taste...a marvellous and eventful read' -- Evening Standard
'very good new biography' -- James Buchan , The Guardian
'vivid and engaging...Stevenson emerges from her pages as a vital, courageous, contrary and exhilarating figure' -- TLS
Claire Harman's first book, a biography of the novelist Sylvia Townsend Warner, was published by Chatto & Windus in 1989 and won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for 'a book of value from a writer of growing stature'. Her second, a life of Fanny Burney (2000), published by HarperCollins, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize. She has edited Warner's Collected Poems (1982) and Diaries (1994) as well as works by Robert Louis Stevenson. Harman worked for the literary periodical PN Review in the 1980s and has taught at the universities of Manchester and Oxford. She has written for all the major British literary papers and currently teaches a course in creative writing at Columbia University's School of the Arts.
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Book Description Harper Collins, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0007113218
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0007113218 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW4.0001655
Book Description Harper Collins, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. illustrated edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0007113218
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0007113218
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110007113218