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Island Nights' Entertainments

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By: (1850-1894)

A marvelous depiction of two sides of South Sea Islands' life through three separate tales. One, the experience of the incoming British keen to live free and exploit the innocent; the other the supernatural as perceived by Stevenson working in the lives of the natives. One tale carries the germ of the story of Madame Butterfly, since become a part of Western culture. Another is an extraordinary retelling of a German horror story transposed to a South Sea Island setting. The last is an effort of the pure Stevensonian imagination and there can be nothing better.

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Island Nights’ Entertainments


The Beach of Falesá A south sea bridal The Ban The Missionary Devil work Night in the bush The Bottle Imp The Isle of voices



I saw that island first when it was neither night nor morning. The moon was to the west, setting, but still broad and bright. To the east, and right amidships of the dawn, which was all pink, the daystar sparkled like a diamond. The land breeze blew in our faces, and smelt strong of wild lime and vanilla: other things besides, but these were the most plain; and the chill of it set me sneezing. I should say I had been for years on a low island near the line, living for the most part solitary among natives. Here was a fresh experience: even the tongue would be quite strange to me; and the look of these woods and mountains, and the rare smell of them, renewed my blood.

The captain blew out the binnacle lamp.

“There!” said he, “there goes a bit of smoke, Mr. Wiltshire, behind the break of the reef. That’s Falesá, where your station is, the last village to the east; nobody lives to windward—I don’t know why... Continue reading book >>

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