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Robert Louis Stevenson: A Biography

by Claire Harman

Biography / Autobiography eBooks of the Month

LoveReading View on Robert Louis Stevenson: A Biography

The first life story of Stevenson to be written with access to his collected correspondence. Harman’s previous book (on Fanny Burney) was shortlisted for the Whitbread

Robert Louis Stevenson: A Biography Synopsis

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 step-family, 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 With access to this and much previously unpublished material, Claire Harman, the acclaimed biographer of Sylvia Townsend Warner and Fanny Burney, has written the most authoritative, comprehensive and perceptive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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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780007113217
Publication date: 07/02/2005
Publisher: Harper Collins
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780007113217
Publication date: 7th February 2005
Author: Claire Harman
Publisher: Harper Collins
Format: Hardback
Genres: Biography / Autobiography, eBook Favourites,
Categories:

About Claire Harman

Claire Harman's biography of Sylvia Townsend Warner was published in 1989 by Chatto (Minerva pb 1990) and won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for a book of value from a writer of growing stature. She was Co-ordinating Editor of PN Review from 1981 to 1984; has written short stories for radio; written for most of the major British literary papers; and edited Sylvia Townsend Warners Diaries (1994) to wide acclaim. She has taught 19th and 20th century literature at Manchester University and now lives in Oxford with her daughter and two sons.

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