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Robert Louis Stevenson: a record, an estimate, and a memorial   By: (1837-1905)

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ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON A RECORD, AN ESTIMATE, AND A MEMORIAL

BY ALEXANDER H. JAPP, LL.D., F.R.S.E

AUTHOR OF "THOREAU: HIS LIFE AND AIMS"; "MEMOIR OF THOMAS DE QUINCEY"; "DE QUINCEY MEMORIALS," ETC., ETC.

WITH HITHERTO UNPUBLISHED LETTERS FROM R. L. STEVENSON IN FACSIMILIE . . .

SECOND EDITION

NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 153 157 FIFTH AVENUE 1905

Printed in Great Britain .

{Robert Louis Stevenson, from a sketch in oils by Sir William B. Richmond, K.G.B., R.A.: p0.jpg}

Dedicated to C. A. LICHTENBERG, ESQ. AND Mrs LICHTENBERG, OF VILLA MARGHERITA, TREVISO, WITH MOST GRATEFUL REGARDS,

ALEXANDER H. JAPP.

19 th December 1904.

PREFACE

A few words may here be allowed me to explain one or two points. First, about the facsimile of last page of Preface to Familiar Studies of Men and Books . Stevenson was in Davos when the greater portion of that work went through the press. He felt so much the disadvantage of being there in the circumstances (both himself and his wife ill) that he begged me to read the proofs of the Preface for him. This illness has record in the letter from him (pp. 28 29). The printers, of course, had directions to send the copy and proofs of the Preface to me. Hence I am able now to give this facsimile.

With regard to the letter at p. 19, of which facsimile is also given, what Stevenson there meant is not the "three last" of that batch, but the three last sent to me before though that was an error on his part he only then sent two chapters, making the "eleven chapters now" sent to me by post.

Another point on which I might have dwelt and illustrated by many instances is this, that though Stevenson was fond of hob nobbing with all sorts and conditions of men, this desire of wide contact and intercourse has little show in his novels the ordinary fibre of commonplace human beings not receiving much celebration from him there; another case in which his private bent and sympathies received little illustration in his novels. But the fact lies implicit in much I have written.

I have to thank many authors for permission to quote extracts I have used.

ALEXANDER H. JAPP.

CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCTION AND FIRST IMPRESSIONS II. TREASURE ISLAND AND SOME REMINISCENCES III. THE CHILD FATHER OF THE MAN IV. HEREDITY ILLUSTRATED V. TRAVELS VI. SOME EARLIER LETTERS VII. THE VAILIMA LETTERS VIII. WORK OF LATER YEARS IX. SOME CHARACTERISTICS X. A SAMOAN MEMORIAL OF R. L. STEVENSON XI. MISS STUBBS' RECORD OF A PILGRIMAGE XII. HIS GENIUS AND METHODS XIII. PREACHER AND MYSTIC FABULIST XIV. STEVENSON AS DRAMATIST XV. THEORY OF GOOD AND EVIL XVI. STEVENSON'S GLOOM XVII. PROOFS OF GROWTH XVIII. EARLIER DETERMINATIONS AND RESULTS XIX. MR EDMUND CLARENCE STEDMAN'S ESTIMATE XX. EGOTISTIC ELEMENT AND ITS EFFECTS XXI. UNITY IN STEVENSON'S STORIES XXII. PERSONAL CHEERFULNESS AND INVENTED GLOOM XXIII. EDINBURGH REVIEWERS' DICTA INAPPLICABLE TO LATER WORK XXIV. MR HENLEY'S SPITEFUL PERVERSIONS XXV. MR CHRISTIE MURRAY'S IMPRESSIONS XXVI. HERO VILLAINS XXVII. MR G. MOORE, MR MARRIOTT WATSON, AND OTHERS XXVIII. UNEXPECTED COMBINATIONS XXIX. LOVE OF VAGABONDS XXX. LORD ROSEBERY'S CASE XXXI. MR GOSSE AND MS. OF TREASURE ISLAND XXXII. STEVENSON PORTRAITS XXXIII. LAPSES AND ERRORS IN CRITICISM XXXIV. LETTERS AND POEMS IN TESTIMONY APPENDIX

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION AND FIRST IMPRESSIONS

My little effort to make Thoreau better known in England had one result that I am pleased to think of. It brought me into personal association with R. L. Stevenson, who had written and published in The Cornhill Magazine an essay on Thoreau, in whom he had for some time taken an interest. He found in Thoreau not only a rare character for originality, courage, and indefatigable independence, but also a master of style, to whom, on this account, as much as any, he was inclined to play the part of the "sedulous ape," as he had acknowledged doing to many others a later exercise, perhaps in some ways as fruitful as any that had gone before... Continue reading book >>




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