The Silverado Squatters [with Biographical Introduction]

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Ill September - September London : Waverley Book Company in assoc. Embossed circular RSL monogram on the green board cover. The Master of Ballantrae. The Strange Case of Dr. Virginibus Puerisque.


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Between the c. Title pages, paper and type size vary, however: the unification just applies to the covers. The design seems to have been used for other authors too: Cassells produced a Conan Doyle The Doings of Raffles Haw in with blue-ish cloth similar to the Chatto Memories and Portraits and with boxed gilt titles on the spine. Perhaps this provided a model for other coordinated publications: both Barrie and Crockett whose books were spread among many publishers appeared in coordinated similar-coloured bindings.

After the publishers were united in producing the Tusitala and Skerryvore Editions and it seems that they then decided not to produce and market these volumes any more. The following volumes have been reported, and probably represent the complete set 43 vols. Edinburgh : Picturesque Notes Seeley, but in the coordinated style of the other publishers. In the Track of R. Stevenson and Elsewhere in Old France by J. Hammerton, J. Arrowsmith, , also conforms to the 'Chatto, etc.

The Silverado Squatters by Robert Louis Stevenson (1883)

This was merely a coordinated series of single 'pocket-size' volumes, mostly undated but probably starting from the end of 'unrestricted copyright' in December Robert Louis Stevenson signature in gilt on the front cover. This seems to be the first series with non-family introductions, and these introductions by what looks like an exclusively Scottish series of writers and academics together with the series title suggests an attempt to create an all-Scottish 'edition'.

The list below includes volumes from all Collin Clear-Type pocket-size Stevenson texts from c. The covers seem to have varied perhaps for different price-ranges: blue, burgundy, red and black cloth; dark red leatherette, dark blue leatherette; soft red leather; dark green flexible cloth with slipcase. The volumes were proposed in various editions or issues, including what seems to be a lates series by London: British Books Ltd: 15 cm high, flexible leatherette, gilt decorated spines, decorated titlepage and a few sepia plates.

The Black Arrow , Intro. The meeting with his future wife, Fanny , was to change the rest of his life. Two years later she returned to California and a year after that, in August , RLS set out on the long journey to join her. This experience was to be the subject of his next large-scale work The Amateur Emigrant written , published in part in and in full in , an account of this journey to California, which Noble 14 considers his finest work.

In this work of perceptive reportage and open-minded and humane observation the voice is less buoyant and does not avoid observation of hardship and suffering. The light-hearted paradoxes and confidential address to the reader of the essays written a few years before and then published as Virginibus Puerisque continue in the creation of that original debonair authorial persona. Concluding this first period of writing based closely on his own direct experiences is The Silverado Squatters , an account of their three week honeymoon at an abandoned silver mine in California.

Stevenson has an important place in the history of the short story in the British Isles: the form had been elaborated and developed in America, France and Russia from the midth century, but it was Stevenson who initiated the British tradition. This collection is seen as the starting point for the history of the English short story by Barry Menikoff , p. They have an affinity with the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in their setting in the labyrinthine modern city, and the subject matter of crimes and guilty secrets involving respectable members of society.

Robert Louis Stevenson Biography

Despite problems of health and finances, this was a period of meetings with Henry James , W. The four narrative works mentioned in this paragraph, though they all have youthful protagonists and were all first published in magazines for young people, are also clearly intended for adult readers. The last three, based on careful documentary research, are fictions exploring history and culture; and the last two are interesting studies of Scottish culture and could also be placed in the following section. His decision to sail around the Pacific in , living on various islands for short periods, then setting off again all the time collecting material for an anthropological and historical work on the South Seas which was never fully completed , was another turning point in his life.

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Early Works

The Works of R. Sidney Colvin, ed. When one reads the nonfiction work of Robert Louis Stevenson along with the novels and short stories, a more complete portrait emerges of the author than that of the romantic vagabond one usually associates with his best-known fiction.

The Stevenson of the nonfiction prose is a writer involved in the issues of his craft, his milieu, and his soul. Moreover, one can see the record of his maturation in critical essays, political tracts, biographies, and letters to family and friends.

What Stevenson lacks, especially for the tastes of this age, is specificity and expertise: he has not the depth of such writers as John Ruskin , Walter Pater , or William Morris. But he was a shrewd observer of humankind, and his essays reveal his lively and perspicacious mind. Though he lacked originality, he created a rapport with the reader, who senses his enthusiastic embrace of life and art. If Stevenson at first wrote like one who only skimmed the surface of experience, by the end of his life he was passionately committed to his adopted land of Samoa, to his own history, and to the creation of his fiction.

From the beginning he was sickly. Through much of his childhood he was attended by his faithful nurse, Alison Cunningham, known as Cummy in the family circle. She told him morbid stories about the Covenanters the Scots Presbyterian martyrs , read aloud to him Victorian penny-serial novels, Bible stories, and the Psalms, and drilled the catechism into him, all with his parents' approval. Thomas Stevenson was quite a storyteller himself, and his wife doted on their only child, sitting in admiration while her precocious son expounded on religious dogma.

Stevenson inevitably reacted to the morbidity of his religious education and to the stiffness of his family's middle-class values, but that rebellion would come only after he entered Edinburgh University. The juvenilia that survives from his childhood shows an observer who was already sensitive to religious issues and Scottish history. Not surprisingly, the boy who listened to Cummy's religious tales first tried his hand at retelling Bible stories: "A History of Moses" was followed by "The Book of Joseph.

In November Stevenson entered Edinburgh University, where he pursued his studies indifferently until By the time he was twenty-one, he had contributed several papers to the short-lived Edinburgh University Magazine , the best of which was a fanciful bit of fluff entitled "The Philosophy of Umbrellas.


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His only consistent course of study seemed to have been of bohemia: Stevenson adopted a wide-brimmed hat, a cravat, and a boy's coat that earned him the nick-name of Velvet Jacket, while he indulged a taste for haunting the byways of Old Town and becoming acquainted with its denizens. The most significant work from his student days was "On a New Form of Intermittent Light for Lighthouses," a scientific piece that explained the economical combination of revolving mirrors and oil-burning lamps. The paper, a result of his engineering studies, revealed his keen eye for technical detail.

Only two weeks later, however, Stevenson took a long walk with his father and declined to follow the family profession of engineering; he meant to become a writer. Thomas Stevenson insisted that the young man study law, and his son stuck to the bargain long enough to receive, in , a law degree he barely used. It was not the first time that Stevenson disappointed his father. In January Thomas Stevenson discovered some papers that seemed to suggest that the young Stevenson was an atheist.

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Father and son had their worst falling out. In letters to his student chums, especially to Charles Baxter , Stevenson called himself a "damned curse" on his family. Though it is tempting to see his filial rebellion as a classic Victorian melodrama, father and son did reconcile.

The episode is more important in having given the author one of the enduring themes of his fiction. It runs from "An Old Song," a short story published in an issue of the weekly London , to the masterly romance Weir of Hermiston , left unfinished. It also threads through his nonfiction, in which it is tempered by a tone of reconciliation.

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For example, in "Crabbed Age and Youth," written in , Stevenson seems to be looking for the common bond that father and son share. In the decade after his university graduation, Stevenson steeped himself in life, finding an essential core of good humor in people and things. Something of the lightheartedness of this period survives in the humorous essays in Virginibus Puerisque and Other Papers , published when the author was thirty-one years old. The essays in this collection had been originally published from to in the Cornhill , Macmillan's , and London magazines.

The collection received little attention from the critics, but the brilliant whimsy and ironic tone in these pieces were well matched to their loose structures, modeled after Thomas Browne's and William Hazlitt's works, which Stevenson admired. He pretends to analyze marriage in "Virginibus Puerisque" and the relationship between old and young in "Crabbed Age and Youth"; he mounts a pseudophilosophical defense of sloth in "An Apology for Idlers" and humorously advocates the old method of illuminating cities in "A Plea for Gas Lamps.

There is a more serious side to the collection as well: in "Aes Triplex" and "Ordered South" Stevenson deals with his physical frailty and the trips away from Scotland's rugged winters he had taken for his health. As a boy, Stevenson had been to the Continent several times, and he grew up to love purposeless, rambling tours across Europe. The young author expresses pleasure at having been suspected of being a Prussian spy by the French gendarmes and pride at having endured hunger, cold, and misery on a journey that, from Stevenson's account, sounds like one of the oddest and most aimless ever undertaken.

The publication of An Inland Voyage was significant: it was his first full-length book and was reviewed kindly by the critics, though it did not enjoy as many printings as his next travelogue did. Its more somber, melancholy tone is due to the fact that Stevenson had fallen in love, and the relationship was a difficult one. She had been living in Paris and had come to the sleepy summer colony of Grez to recuperate after the death of her son.