Kennedy and Boyd

Selected Short Stories
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By Stevenson, Robert Louis. Introduction by Ian Campbell
ISBN 1849210993
SERIES Robert Louis Stevenson Rediscoveries
Paperback  268 pages
Published 23 September 2011
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Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) has enjoyed immense popularity since his early death - for his prose and poetry, his command of children's literature, and his acute sense of his place in a rapidly changing literary environment, a lot of which he viewed from a distance. Anchored in imagination in his native Scotland, he was forced through illness to spend most of his adult life far from it, and his rich correspondence reveals an omnivorous interest in the culture and writing of a host of countries:: continental Europe (notably France), North America (to which he famously went as amateur emigrant to marry Fanny Osbourne), and finally the South Sea islands - where he established his family home in Tusitala, and died, still writing furiously. Something of this fierce intellectual energy is reflected in these stories covering much of this life-experience, and reflecting too in selected critical writing his sensitivity to the strengths, and limitations, of what he called "romance". It has taken decades for Stevenson to receive his rightful place, no longer pigeonholed as children's author or merely writer of adventure stories. These stories reveal a challenging writer probing the limits of human motivation and belief, of critical attitudes to religion and other countries' culture. Their writing shows Stevenson's celebrated "style", wonderfully crafted in both Scots and English. In the twenty-first century, the work of revaluating him continues, and he continues to challenge those who sample the extraordinary variety of his writing.

Ian Campbell retired in 2009 from the chair of Scottish and Victorian Literature at the University of Edinburgh, where he remains Emeritus Professor.

© Kennedy & Boyd, an imprint of Zeticula Ltd., Unit 13, 196 Rose Street, Edinburgh EH24AT, Scotland